Bush: Don't Trust Saddam Because of 5 Days of Cooperation
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2002 After 11 years of deceit and defiance, the world shouldn't trust Saddam Hussein now just because he appears to have cooperated with U.N. inspectors for five days, President Bush said this morning.
"This isn't about inspectors," Bush said at the White House. "The issue is whether Saddam Hussein will disarm. Will he disarm in the name of peace?"
U.N. weapons inspectors have been operating in Iraq for five days without significant interference from Hussein's government. Bush noted this doesn't mean Hussein is fully complying with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, which orders full disarmament.
The president pointed out that Iraq still routinely fires on coalition pilots patrolling no-fly zones in the country's north and south. "Anybody who shoots at U.S. airplanes or British airplanes is not somebody who looks like he's interested in complying with disarmament," Bush said of Hussein.
Iraq has until Dec. 8 to fully declare all weapons of mass destruction and disclose equipment and plans for producing such weapons. The Iraqi government has indicated it would do so by Dec. 7.
U.S. government officials have expressed doubt any such declaration by Iraq would provide a full accounting.
"For years, he said he didn't have any weapons, and now we'll see whether or not he does," Bush said today. "And if he does, we expect them to be completely destroyed and (to have) a full accounting."
Bush reminded that the U.N. Security Council voted 15-0 to support Resolution 1441. "Our NATO allies have joined us," he said. "And we all expect Saddam to disarm."