No Question U.S. Would Pre-empt Another 9-11, Cheney Says
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2002 Vice President Dick Cheney said today the terrorists who struck America, Aug. 29, 2002 that the United States seeks to thwart terrorists' plans and hunt them down one-by-one to bring them to justice. "Wherever terrorists operate, we must stop them," he said.
The vice president spoke about the danger Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein poses to the world. He said Hussein already has chemical and biological agents.
"There is no doubt that he is amassing them against our friends, allies and us," Cheney said. "And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors."
He said many Iraq watchers believe that Saddam will soon possess nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. An Iraq with such weapons, he said, would threaten neighbors in the region and nations around the world who depend on the resources of the area.
"The whole range of weapons of mass destruction would then rest in the hands of a dictator who has already shown his willingness to use such weapons," Cheney said.
He said the United States recognizes the threat and will proceed with care, deliberation and in consultation with allies. He said President Bush would consult widely with Congress, and that administration officials will participate fully in the hearings that Congress plans to hold next month.
He addressed assertions of Saudi Arabia and others that Hussein can be dealt with by returning inspectors to Iraq.
"We must remember that inspections are not an end in themselves," Cheney said. "The objective has to be disarmament." The objective, he continued, must be to compel Iraqi compliance with the U.N. Security Council resolutions that called for the complete destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.
Cheney said old doctrines of security do not apply, given the web joining Iraq, terrorist groups and weapons of mass destruction.
"In the days of the Cold War, we were able to manage the threat with strategies of deterrence and containment," he said. "But it's a lot tougher to deter enemies that have no country to defend. And containment is not possible when dictators obtain weapons of mass destruction and are prepared to share them with terrorists who intend to use them to inflict catastrophic losses on the United States."