Powell: 'Saddam Will Stop at Nothing'
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Senate Visit, U.N. Speech Makes Case for War on Iraq
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Listen to NPR coverage of Colin Powell's remarks to the U.N. Security Council, Feb. 5.
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Feb. 6, 2003 -- Pressing on as the Bush administration's lead advocate for military intervention against Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell met Thursday with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Powell urged the U.N. Security Council Wednesday to support further steps aimed at making Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein comply with a U.N. resolution ordering him to disarm.
"Saddam Hussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him," Powell said during an exhaustive effort to detail Iraq's transgressions and what he termed "a pattern of evasion and deception that goes back 12 years."
China, France and Russia oppose military action against Iraq, and each holds a veto vote on the U.N. Security Council. They say U.N. weapons inspectors are making progress and should continue their work.
The White House maintains it needs no further U.N. support to mount an attack, saying Iraq is in violation of a Nov. 8, 2002, U.N. resolution that authorized new arms inspections and laid out terms of compliance. But the Bush administration would prefer to have as much international support as it can muster before moving ahead.
Dipping into material from the intelligence gathered by the U.S. and other nations, Powell used satellite photos and recordings of intercepted telephone messages to enforce his main point: "Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort... no effort... to disarm."
He said the satellite photos showed, among other things, an Iraqi chemical weapons compound that was active until just before Dec. 22, when the area was suddenly evacuated in advance of a pending visit by U.N. arms inspectors. Powell said that quick pullout was "disturbing" evidence that Iraq was "tipped off" that inspectors were headed to the area.
Powell reiterated the U.S. stance that Iraq has not given sufficient proof that it destroyed any of the biological or chemical weapons that it has been known to possess since the 1990s.
He also said Iraq has two of the three necessary components to build a nuclear bomb: nuclear scientists and a working design. The only thing lacking is the enriched uranium needed to fuel such a bomb, Powell said, and he insisted Saddam has been working "desperately" to acquire that.
He described Iraqi efforts that include "biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails" and dangerous materials hidden in the homes of scientists and intelligence agents, making the point that U.N. arms inspectors are not likely to find what Saddam does not wish to reveal.
"Are the inspectors to search the house of every government official... to find the truth, to get the information they need?" Powell asked.
"Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction is not an option," Powell said.
See U.S. State Department photos of the slides of evidence against Iraq that Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the U.N. Security Council, Feb. 5, 2003.
Read a copy of the U.N. news release on the arms inspections resolution of Nov. 8, 2002.
On Colin Powell
The U.S. State Department's biography of Colin Powell.
The White House's biography of Colin Powell.
The World News Map documents, in timeline fashion, news related to Colin Powell.
Learn more about Iraq from the CIA World Factbook.
View a timeline of Iraq's history.
Read about Iraq at the U.S. State Department Web site.
The Federation of American Scientists' Web site offers an Iraq special weapons guide.
The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.
The U.N. News Centre offers extensive coverage of U.N. arms inspections in Iraq.
The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iraq.
GlobalSecurity.org offers a detailed timeline beginning with President Bush's Jan. 29, 2002, State of the Union address.