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From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Thu Dec 13 08:00:25 2001
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 17:59:09 -0600 (CST)
Organization: South Movement
From: Dave Muller <davemull@alphalink.com.au>
Subject: [southnews] 10 Leading US Lawmakers Urge Targeting of Iraq
Article: 132019
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

10 Leading Lawmakers Urge Targeting of Iraq

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post, Thursday 6 December 2001; Page A28

Ten leading members of Congress have signed a letter urging President Bush to make the Iraqi regime the next major target in the war on terrorism, declaring that as we work to clean up Afghanistan and destroy al Qaeda, it is imperative that we plan to eliminate the threat from Iraq.

Among the signers are former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); former vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.); the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms (N.C.); Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.); House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.); and the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard C. Shelby (Ala.).

The letter adds to the chorus of policymakers calling for efforts to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It follows warnings by Bush that Iraq will face serious consequences if it does not allow United Nations inspectors to search for weapons of mass destruction. We believe we must directly confront Saddam, sooner rather than later, the letter said.

Noting that this month marks the third anniversary of the last U.N. inspection of Iraqi weapons programs, the lawmakers said the current economic sanctions are not enough to contain Iraq. They said the administration had struggled to close loopholes in the sanctions but had failed to stop illicit oil sales. They also said they have no doubt Hussein has reinvigorated Iraq’s biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.

The lawmakers urged Bush to provide more assistance to the opposition Iraqi National Congress. Successive administrations have funded conferences, offices and other intellectual exercises that have done little more than expose the INC to accusations of being ’limousine insurgents’ and ’armchair guerrillas,’ the letter said.