A Dictator Holding Onto Weapons of Mass Terror Is Scary, Wolfowitz Says
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2003 "The most dangerous thing in this whole scenario is the fact that we're dealing with a dictator who had weapons of mass terror, who continues to hold on to them at great cost to his country and to his own regime," Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told ABC's Diane Sawyer today on "Good Morning America." "And that's the scariest part of it."
Wolfowitz said the danger grows the longer the U.S. waits and "the misery and suffering of the Iraqi people grows along with it."
Saddam Hussein has begrudgingly said he'd destroy about 100 Al-Samoud missiles. The missile exceeds the 95-mile limit imposed on Iraqi missiles by the United Nations after the 1991 Gulf War.
However, Wolfowitz emphasized, "It's not about Saddam Hussein dribbling out the weapons that he claimed he didn't have when he's caught holding them. " The only thing that would solve this is a full disclosure of all of his weapons of mass terror so they can all be destroyed.
"He's a dangerous man, and he's dangerous to his own people," Wolfowitz said.
After telling Sawyer about his visit with more than 300 Iraqi Americans and recent immigrants in Dearborn, Mich., on Feb. 23, Wolfowitz said, "It's hard to describe the hunger the Iraqi people have to be rid of that tyrant."
Sawyer asked the deputy secretary if Russia vetoes the resolution in the United Nations Security Council, will the U.S. ignore the veto and go to war with Iraq anyway?
Wolfowitz responded: "In the 1930s, the League of Nations failed the test of whether it meant what it said. It's very important now that the United Nations not fail a similar test. We need the United Nations as an instrument to address many other issues besides Iraq. North Korea is one of them."
Wolfowitz was referring to the League of Nations failure to take action when Japan invaded the Chinese province of Manchuria in 1931. Over the years, leading up to World War II, the league wasn't taken seriously and its members were not willing to use force to stop aggression. Its credibility as a peacekeeper was damaged beyond repair.
"The United States has got to defend its own security," the deputy secretary emphasized.
"We have more than 40 countries who are with us in this effort. Some of them, including the people inside Iraq are terribly afraid that this thing will drag out in ways that are very dangerous to them."
"Saddam has a very clear choice. He's failed to make that choice," Wolfowitz said. "It's now going to be a test whether the United Nations meant what it said in the 17th resolution on Iraq."