The latest on Iraq, including U.S. Senator Wellstone's position on upcoming vote

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U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone on the Senate floor, said he will not support the Bush administration's desire to take unilateral military action against Iraq. We'll hear his position as the Senate is expected to begin formal debate of the Iraq resolution later today.

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(00:00:03) And good afternoon. Welcome back to midday and Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten as you heard on the news Minnesota. Senator Paul wellstone said today on the floor of the US Senate that he will oppose any resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq unless the US has the support of a broad International Coalition wellstone said today that unilateral action would undermine the nation's war on terror and he said only a broad Coalition of nations would succeed in truly dealing with the threat posed by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The Senate is expected to begin formal debate soon, perhaps as early as this afternoon on a bipartisan resolution, which would authorize the president to use military force as he quote deems necessary and appropriate use military force to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein resolution, which is expected to win easy approval in both the Senate and the house Just the president to gain the support of the UN Security Council for any military action, but it does not require un approval as part of that resolution. The president has also agreed to pursue diplomatic means to disarm Saddam Hussein and he's agreed to certify to Congress within 48 Hours of launching. Any attack that peaceful means had not been successful in protecting the u.s. From Iraq. Well today on. Midday. We're going to focus on the Iraq debate to begin today. We're going to hear what Senator wellstone had to say, then we'll be opening the phone lines for your comments on whether the US should use military force against Iraq, but to begin here's Minnesota senator Paul wellstone speaking this morning on the floor of the US Senate, (00:01:43) mr. President and colleagues. I Rise to address our policy in Iraq. The situation remains fluid and administration officials are engaged in negotiations at the United Nations over what approach we ought to take with our allies disarmed the brutal and dictatorial Iraqi regime. Our debate the debate we're going to have on the floor of the Senate today. And in the days to follow is critical because the administration seeks our authorization now for military action, including possibly unprecedented pre-emptive go It Alone military action in Iraq, even as it seeks to Garner support from our allies on a new UN disarmament resolution. Let me be clear colleagues Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein is a brutal ruthless dictator who has repressed his own people attacked his neighbors and he remains an international Outlaw the world would be a much better place if he were gone and the regime in Iraq were changed. That's why the United States should unite the world against the Dom and not allow him to unite forces against us. A go-it-alone approach allowing a ground invasion of Iraq without the support of other countries could give Saddam is exactly that chance a pre-emptive go It Alone strategy towards the rack is wrong. I oppose it. I support ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction through unfettered un inspections, which would begin as soon as possible only a broad Coalition of Nations United to disarm Saddam while preserving. Our war on terror is likely to succeed. Our primary focus now must be on a racks verifiable. Disarmament of weapons of mass destruction this will help maintain international support and could even lie could even eventually result. in saddam's loss of power Of course, I would welcome this along with most of our allies. The president has helped to direct intense new multi lateral pressure on Saddam Hussein to allow un and international atomic energy agency weapons inspectors back in Iraq to conduct their assessment of Iraq's chemical biological and nuclear programs. He clearly has felt that heat and it suggests what might be accomplished through Collective action. I am not naive about this process. And much work lies ahead but we cannot dismiss out of hands the Dom's late and reluctant commitment to comply with us disarmament arrangements or the agreement struck Tuesday to begin to implement it. We should use the Gathering International resolve to collectively confront this regime by building on these efforts. This debate colleagues must include all Americans because our decisions finally must have the informed consent of the American people who will be asked to bear the cost in Blood and Treasure of our decisions when the lives of Sons and Daughters of average Americans could be risked and lost Their voices must be heard in the Congress before we make decisions about military action right now, despite a desire to support our president. I believe many Americans still have profound questions about the wisdom of relying too heavily on a per Vamp on a pre-emptive go It Alone military approach acting now on our own might be a sign of our power acting sensibly and in a measured way in concert with our allies with bipartisan Congressional support would be a sign of our strength It would also be a sign of the wisdom of our Founders who lodged in the president the power to command us armed forces and in Congress the power to make war ensuring a balance of powers between co-equal branches of government. Our constitution Lodge has the power to weigh the causes of War and the ability to declare war in Congress precisely to ensure that the American people and those who represent them will be consulted before military action is taken the Senate has a grave duty to insist on a full debate that examines for all Americans the full range of options before us and ways those options together with their risks and costs. Such a debate should be energized by the real Spirit of September 11th a debate which places a priority not on unanimity, but on the unity of a people determined to forcefully confront and defeat terrorism and to defend our values. I have supported internationally sanctioned Coalition military action in Bosnia and Kosovo and Serbia and Afghanistan even so in recent weeks I and others including major Republican policy makers like former Bush National Security advisor Benson Brent scowcroft former Bush Secretary of State James Baker my colleague on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator, Chuck Hagel Bush Midwest envoi General Anthony, zinni and other leading US military leaders have raised serious questions. About the approach the administration is taking on a rack there have been questions raised about the nature and urgency of Iraq's threat and our response to that threat. What is the best course of action that the United States could take to address this threat, what are the economic political and National Security consequences of possible United States or Allied invasion of Iraq. There have been questions raised about the consequences of our actions abroad including its effects on the continuing war on terrorism our ongoing efforts to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan and efforts to come the intensifying Middle East crisis, especially the israeli-palestinian conflict and there have been re and there have been questions raised about the consequences of her actions here at home of greatest and of gravest concern, obviously. Are the questions raised about the possible loss of life that could result from our actions the United States could post tens of thousands of troops in Iraq and in so doing we risk countless lives of United States soldiers and innocent Iraqis. There are other questions about the impact of an attack in relation to our economy. The United States could face soaring oil prices and could spend billions both on a war and a years-long effort to stabilize Iraq after an invasion. The resolution that will be before the Senate explicitly authorizes a go-it-alone approach. I believe an international approach is essential in my view. Our policy should have four key elements first and foremost the United States must work with our allies to deal with Iraq. We should not go it alone or virtually alone with a pre-emptive ground invasion. most critically acting alone could jeopardize our top National priority the continuing war on terror. I believe it would be a mistake to vote for a resolution that authorizes a pre-emptive ground Invasion the intense cooperation of other nations in relation to matters that deal with intelligence-sharing security and political and economic cooperation and law enforcement and financial surveillance and other areas are crucial to this fight and this is what's critical for our to be a for our country to be able to wage its War effectively with our allies. Over the past year this cooperation has been the most successful weapon against terrorist networks that not attacking Iraq should be the main focus in our efforts on the war on terrorism as I think about what a going alone strategy would mean in terms of the consequences in South Asia in the near East and the need for for our country to have assets on the ground and cooperation of the community and get intelligence in this war against al Qaeda and in this war against terrorists. I believe that a go alone approach could undercut that effort. That is why I believe that our effort should be International we have succeeded in destroying some Al-Qaeda forces, but many of its operatives have scattered. Their will to kill Americans still strong. The United States has relied heavily on alliances with nearly 100 countries in a coalition Against Terror for critical intelligence to protect Americans from possible future attacks acting with the support of our allies including hopefully Arab and Muslim allies would limit possible damage to that Coalition and our anti-terrorism efforts, but as general West Clark former supreme commander of Allied Forces in Europe has recently noted a premature. Go It Alone invasion of Iraq quote with supercharged recruiting from for Al Qaeda and of quote second. Our efforts should have a goal of disarming Saddam Hussein of all his weapons of mass destruction Iraq agreed to destroy its weapons of mass destruction at the end of the Persian Gulf War and to verification by the United Nations and the international atomic energy agency that has been done. According to the United Nations in that and the iaea and Undisputed by the administration inspections during the 1990s neutralize the substantial portion of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and getting inspectors back to finish. The job is critical we know that he did not cooperate with all of the inspections regime we know what needs to be done. But the fact of the matter is we had that regime and it is important now to call on the security Council and the United Nations to insist that those inspectors be on the ground. The goal is to SGT unfettered access. It is an international effort and a Saddam Hussein must comply. Otherwise the be consequences. Including appropriate use of force. The Prompt resumption of inspections and disarmament under an expedited timetable and with unfettered access in Iraq is imperative third weapons inspections should be enforceable if efforts by United Nation weapons inspectors are tried and failed a range of potential un sanctioned means including proportion military force should be considered I have no doubt that this Congress would act swiftly to authorize force in such circumstances. This does not mean giving the United Nations Kali a veto over United States actions. No one wants to do that. It simply means as chairman Levin has observed that Saddam is a world problem and should be addressed in the World Arena. Finally a reproach toward Iraq must be consistent with international law and the framework of collective security developed over the last 50 years or more. It should be sanctioned by the security Council under the United Nations Charter to which we are a party and by which we are legally bound. Only a broad Coalition of Nations United to disarm Saddam while preserving. Our war on terror can succeed. Our response will be far more effective if Saddam sees the whole world arrayed against him we should act forcefully resolutely sensibly with our allies and not alone to disarm Saddam authorizing. The pre-emptive going alone use of force right now, which is what the resolution before us calls for in the midst of continuing efforts to enlist the world Community to back a tough new disarmament resolution on Iraq could be a very costly mistake for our country. Madam chair I quite often in debates at the end of debates on amendments. We thank our staff for the work that they've done and appreciate their hard work. I would at the end of my statement today in the floor of the United States Senate as to why I am opposed to the resolution that will be before us and that we will be debating today. And in the days to come which is too open-ended and would provide the president with authority for pre-emptive military action including ground of Asia and Iraq. I would like to Thank my staff. I'd like to thank my staff for never trying one time to influence me to make any other decision than what I honestly and truthfully believe is right for the state. I represent Minnesota and for my country and for the world that my children and my grandchildren live in And to all of my staff I would like to thank you for believing in me. I yield the floor (00:17:03) Minnesota. Senator Paul wellstone speaking this morning on the floor of the United States Senate President Bush for his part said yesterday that while dealing with Iraq quote may bring many sacrifices delay in decision. And in action could lead to a massive and sudden horror Center wellstones principal Challenger in this Fall's US Senate race is Republican Norm Coleman. He was not available for comment today, but he did Issue a statement yesterday after agreement was reached on that bipartisan resolution. He said in that statement quote. I was pleased this morning to see a bipartisan group of lawmakers stand with the president to unveil a new resolution on Iraq. Thanks to Democratic and Republican leaders who put aside politics America can now speak to the world with a clear unified voice. The new bipartisan resolution is strong and balanced. It's strongly supports diplomatic efforts without supplying diplomatic handcuffs and it gives the president the proper authority to act in council with Congress to take whatever action is necessary to protect our country and our interests the statement from the norm Coleman goes on to say today's resolution. Tell Saddam Hussein that he cannot continue to stockpile weapons of mass destruction and threatened the world without facing consequences and it sends a clear message to the International Community that America is serious about enforcing existing un resolutions and restoring credibility to an institution whose standing has been a casualty of saddam's continued Defiance while I encourage a thoughtful debate in Congress. I sincerely hope that Congress will swiftly pass this resolution so that our president can deal with the growing threat of Iraq and protect our national security interests statement issued by Norm Coleman yesterday. Well for the rest of this hour as we keep an eye on the US Senate as we said earlier, it's possible. They will actually begin formal debate on that resolution yet this afternoon for the rest of this hour. We're interested in your comments on possible military action against Iraq is military force justified in your mind. If so, is it necessary to get International support for such action or should the u.s. Be able and willing to act on its own as the president convinced you that Saddam Hussein poses an imminent threat to the US what happens in Iraq after Saddam is removed if he's removed and what if the president is right about the threat from Saddam and the US doesn't take any action some of the naughty questions that members of Congress are facing and were interested in your thoughts. Give us a call here at 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll-free and Number is 1-800-218-4243 or 1-800 to for to to 8287 here first. Go ahead place. Thank you. I just simply like to point out that whether or not it's going to war against it. I'm saying is morally Justified or not and the risk that he poses to us and the International Community are not correlated and are not connected with whether or not the United States goes alone or with allies or with United Nations resolution authorizing Force those those are tangential issues and I agree with Senator wellstone, that would be much better to go with allies or not. But that the main issues of the risk that Saddam Hussein poses and whether or not it's morally Justified or not to go to war simply are not connected with Our who takes him out and whether that entity has allies in doing so what do you think setting aside then the issue of unilateral action versus multilateral action and all of that has the president made the case in your mind. I'm not sure if the president has I think Saddam Hussein has made the case by his actions that in this day and age with weapons of mass destruction at his disposal that that he should he shouldn't he said he doesn't have a legitimate and regime and it's odd to me that United Nations Charter which is a beautiful document speaking to the issue the the individual rights that all peoples should have is really being disregarded when everyone says that you regime change is not a proper goal to me once Leader of a country passes certain boundaries wherever you set them, whether it's gassing his own people or whatever that that is an illegitimate regime and the United the world Community should be absolutely for regime change to protect those rights and of individuals to practice their own religion not be tortured and so forth. Okay. Thanks Kevin. Thank you. Let's move on to Josh who's on the line from Albert Lea Josh your comments this afternoon. Yeah. I think that the US should or could go alone. I don't think that Saddam Hussein is a good leader and I do feel that his regime has done some very harsh and negative things to their own people and the people in their surrounding area. I do feel he does have these weapons or could use them I do fear. However, that if we go in there at this time, if we are saying we're going to get rid of him that he will use those on our own troops or the UN troops. Oops, and that's all I have to say right now. I guess I'll take the rest of your comments. And anybody else's comments on the radio. All right, Josh. Thank you. Fortunately Josh's line breaking up there. Let's see. Let's move on to fill Steiger who has just back from Iraq actually failure comment. All right, thanks. Yeah. I think that people I think if the whole question would change if people really could see who the Iraqi people are and what they've been suffering already are all of the are all is all of their suffering the cause caused by the United States and the sanctions. No, not at all. But the sanctions alone have cause such Devastation that UNICEF has talked about a human rights catastrophe not just a humanitarian catastrophe but a human rights catastrophe caused by sanctions and the director of Unicef Carol du Roi talks about the interruption of a food basket that the Iraqi government and the UN distributes to the Iraqi people and that if this is As it surely would be in a war that what we're facing is famine in Iraq, and the primary victims would be pregnant and lactating women and children. I think if if we could really see what suffering this would cause on the Iraqi people. I think we would look for every other option most Americans this kind of suffering does not go with along with our values what options other than use of military force. Do you see as a way? Let's assume for a moment that Saddam poses the threat that the administration says he does what what other options are there available than short of using military force. Well, I think the point that Senator wellstone brought up was was good. The weapons inspections regime that did exist. They weren't complete but they didn't need to be in order for us to be completely safe. So long as Weapons inspectors are in the country president Hussein cannot develop new weapons and The process of dismantling the present the weapons that he has is underway and it's making progress. We don't need 100% weapons inspections to be 100% safe. And then what we do is if we lift the sanctions simultaneously with the reinstatement of inspectors, then all of the internal pressure in Iraq is taken off of the use of sanctions as a means of getting our way in Iraq and put onto Saddam himself by his own people and his justification for continuing to not cooperate with weapons inspections that he gives to the Iraqi people through the state media and then that he gives to the International Community he can't use that anymore. He's in a corner and it puts intense internal pressure on him one last response to that. Okay. One last question for you fell if the inspectors go in he's not cooperative. Or they find weapons. He's not willing to turn them over then what? Well, I think I think we still have them in the corner. And and then we really have to take a look at at supporting the Iraqi people in trying to transform the situation from within I think containment will work at that point if we know that he's got weapons. He's not going to use them because he knows that that will invite immediate Annihilation and if there's one thing that Saddam Hussein loves more than increasing his power it's keeping his power and it all goes up in a Flash if he tries to use his weapons. All right. Thanks Phil. Thank you very much. Let's move on to Peggy who's on the line for Minneapolis Peggy your comment this afternoon, please let's not go down this way. There's just there's this big propaganda machine. I mean if there weren't George Bush and his and his administration of hawks, I mean we wouldn't be talking about this if we don't have to do this, it's just something it's a big it's a big idea that they got and I think that it's really clearly overstepping The role of our country to be meddling like this. I think there's a lot of other ways that we could that we could contain continue containment and I think that this is just an invention just something to do for the people in the Bush Administration if the UN ultimately agrees with the Bush Administration, would your Viewpoint change that well, I would feel somewhat better about it. I would I would feel that least it wasn't just just something that that they dreamed up which is what it looks like to me. Hmm, so you don't you don't think Saddam poses any kind of a threat to the US not any more than he has over this over all these years. Okay. Thanks Maggie. Let's move on to Jim who is calling from Mon Ami died this afternoon. Good afternoon Jim. Hi. My basic feeling for it is is I've got a son that's 20 years old now and I certainly do not want to have him killed just because Bush wants to get more oil rice and that's sort of what I feel is going on right now. He can't mr. Bush seems to not be able to get the economy under control and and one of the ways of in the past has been to start a war and that way the big Industries General Electric and all these other corporations are able to make a lot of money because it's such a destructive thing to have a war and I really really has me upset about the whole situation, especially if one looks at the Islamic view point which would be all the all the Christian countries are allowed to have biological weapons and they're allowed to have nuclear weapons either Soviet Union United States Canada or and this was all these llama countries whenever they start to develop something to protect themselves to make them feel like they're on an even Keel with the with the Christian countries all of a sudden there, you know mass destruction and all this Jazz comes out Jen. Are you are you at all concerned that that you that the administration might be right here and it's assessment of the threat and that your assessment might be wrong and that if nothing is done about Saddam Hussein one day, we'll wake up and New York will have been incinerated. Well, I agree with you I could easily be wrong. I certainly don't know all the answers and I you know, and but the thing is biological weapons can be had by anybody they could be had by. Mexico by Columbia by you know some Splinter Group in Canada, and we're not as a country. I'd seems to me to be wiser to for example in our education system teach everybody. First aid if there is any disaster the one thing that's going to keep people alive as first aid just kind of wait. Well, what else can we do? We're not going to wipe them on if we say we wipe out a rack completely, you know, and just turn it into a dust bowl. Then what's going to evolve from that the other Muslim countries that have a lot of money can easily just start up the program from there. So we're going to go just down the line one after another. All right. Thanks Jim. Thank you. I appreciate the call. Let's move on to Jane who's on the line from St. Paul Jane. Go ahead place. Thank you. Good morning. I am so appreciative of the of the intelligence of the of the Minnesota listeners. I feel very Proudest moment to be a Minnesotan the comments that Senator wellstone made really I think zeroed right on into what is one of our major problems today. And that is the arrogance with which we regard our super status as the superpower superpower in the world. I don't believe that President Bush may be singularly may be singularly naive about what the average American Fields but I certainly know that if there had been more Senators who in the as in the Vietnam War we're faced with perhaps possibly their own children being drafted as was the case. Then there would be more voices like Senator wellstone speaking for caution. And the at least give the United Nations a chance to see if we can have any sort of contact instead. We've been the we've been demoralizing that the the public and we have been Dehumanizing the Iraqi people. I am certainly a proud American but I don't think a patriotism has to mean you go in and you wipe someone out not thinking at all of the ramifications of what will happen to their nation and to the rest of the world Jane is there and this was a question raised by our first caller. Yeah in your mind. Is there any fundamental difference between the u.s. Acting alone and acting in concert with other nations? I mean if it's still the same action that you're talking about ultimately. Yes. So is there any real fundamental difference between actually I think there is what I just said about us having this this arrogance and thinking that we can have this euphemism called regime change we can we can instigate it. I think of the person that you had on the program a bit earlier who was there with UNICEF and said that the changes should come from within those people. I think that yes it. It should come from within the Iraqi people and I'm bothered and I'm not trying to be facetious here, but I'm bothered by the fact that it almost seems as though I think somebody in today's star trip said they wrote a letter to the star trip and they said, you know did the President Bush think that that that unconvincing vote in Florida made him emperor of the world rather than just the president of the United States. We should not have the power to use euphemisms like regime change and not not understand that that would mean door-to-door combat. It's not going to be in a desert. It's not going to be as was the case with the Gulf War II noticed. We had two gentlemen so far on the show today who have said things to the effect of being in support of the president at least basically, that's what I thought they said, but I don't know if those gentlemen are aware that this would just being havoc and while unlike what someone said those missiles cannot come the missiles that they currently have cannot come across. To our country, but they can go to Israel. They don't have the distance missiles right now. And I really think that we should follow the United Nations be a good partner then if we are to take the lead we take the lead but unilaterally, no, absolutely no. Okay. Thanks Jen. Let's move on to Joe who's up next a Joe your comments, please my good afternoon mostly in support of the use of force. But I too would wait to see what the inspectors would have to say and try to work through the UN. They produced what 15 of the 19 of the terrorists on September 11th. Their King is on his deathbed King fahd, and they're having a power struggle and I think that is really the hotbed of fundamentalist activity and that's what we should be concentrating on. Your phone's breaking up. So don't want to keep you on the line here, but just a quick question Here For You Joe are you suggesting that we kind of March down the road and knock off one all the all the countries that are either run by fundamentalists or might be no not suggesting that actually with Saudi Arabia would I would use is economic power to try to convince them to change the way they do business to try to make it a republic. I mean weird Saudi Arabia's biggest economic partner is the United States and we have a lot of power as to whether or not we purchase their oil and I know that would have repercussions in our economy, but we have a lot of Leverage in terms of how they run their economy and their government I would not use military force against Saudi Arabia. They're not our enemy. But I would try to change them in any way else that I could all right. Thanks, Joe. Thank you. Let's move on to Bobby who's on the line with a comment about the debate over Iraq actually participating in the debate over what to do about Iraq Bobby. Go ahead, please. Good afternoon. I'm in accordance with what welcome said is exactly right? However, I think the UN does need to be strengthened. They need to be more vocal or or actually acting upon what the resolutions are and stick with them so that the consistent and so that other nations are countries or States what have you in the Middle East see that? They are consistent and take Prince of Saudi Arabia. If we act in consistency with our rack making sure they do what they are to do anybody else in the upcoming ranks, whether they take over certain countries and whatnot will see that you win as a nation together as all these nations work together will combat that type of behavior and and Maybe not go down that same direction that Saddam is chose to take and quick question for you Bobby. The inspectors go in and they either you know, Saddam doesn't either cooperate with them or they find weapons and he won't disarm or whatever then is it time to use force or no? Well, yeah, I think yeah but adds not unilateral but as a un you know as the UN sanctions Force, that's how we should go about. I don't want to look like we're again imperialistic like the lady before was saying or like we're back in the Roman days where America is so powerful that we're policing the world we're going to take over and that's that. I don't like that at all. Okay. Thanks. Bobby. Next caller is from Mankato barrier comment, please. Hi, I'm just concerned that we talked so much in abstraction over this issue lately that I haven't heard anybody in the media for instance asked how many American men and women in uniform will die in order to achieve this and it just seems to me that if we're going to talk about the cost in terms of strategy and and weapons of mass destruction that we should be talking about the cost that is that to American families. I don't yes. I haven't seen that figure either I suppose it's pretty difficult to know. Well, then, you know, there's folks who that's what they do at the Pentagon has come up with estimates and scenarios. And so, you know, somebody has come up with as realistic number as as possible. And where does that lead you in terms of what you're thinking about the what's that? The Congress should do here. Well, I'm thinking is similar to the woman earlier who said if the folks had more kids if there was a draft for instance name, they had more children who are of that age. They might be at least thinking more cautiously. I mean, you know as far as the the immediacy of the threat that really see To not have been proven to anyone's satisfaction except for George Bush's so okay. Thanks Barry. Appreciate the call. Let's go on to Michael who's on the line from Brainerd at Brainerd. Bring Michael co-ed place. Sorry about that. Okay. I know what I want to say is going to sound awful naive and some real kind of like a pathetic Dove some sort. But when you think of all the money that's going to be spent if there were there should be a war and if that money could be taken and used for peaceful purposes such as helping the Iraqis rebuild their country and their infrastructure and the like and simply make an ovation towards the leadership of Iraq to stating that if you behave yourself, Go be no problems. If you want we can even help you out with your military aspect of things. If you worried about your neighbors like Iran and the like and we'd have access to the country would have access to their culture and the people and saddam's an old man and he's got to be tired. I mean, this is gonna mean he is human I think and he's probably you know, this this type of thing, you know, he might go for it and Arab world would look upon the whole thing favorably I would think and would possibly help us economically to I mean, we like I said we'd have access to right the Administration has indicated that that's what it has in mind after Saddam is gone. And after the weapons of mass destruction are gone, but you think it might work before Saddam is removed. And before the weapons are are taken away. Of course, I mean United States was awfully cozy with him prior to all these problems. We've been having over the years with Saddam. I think like I said, I think he's old he's tired and I think that they possibly I mean what could you lose? I mean if he doesn't if he doesn't behave oh, well then what what could the world say then? I mean the administration I think the president would argue that what you could lose is you become become it could conceivably become the victim of an attack using the weapons of mass destruction obliteration of American cities in the rest. Saddam Hussein and Iraq is it's not the old Soviet Union or or even Minor powers like I can't think of any right offhand. I mean, they're not they're not that's Iraq is Iraq. I mean, it's just it's not that sophisticated of country when it comes to the you know, the scientific and the things I I don't I don't buy that I think I think that's just a scare tactic and a distraction for bigger problems that this country faces right now and I think I firmly believe that if you know that if the Iraqi people and the leadership was given a way out of this and helped out even I think I think they would take it and I think it would be I think would benefit them in the whole world. Thanks, Michael. You're welcome. Let's move on to another caller with some thoughts on what to do whether the use of force against Iraq is Justified whether it's advisable commie go ahead place it right there and I'm originally from Iran. I leave the war between Iran and Iraq when I was 16, and I haven't been In Iran for over 20 years. I do have some comments here. The first one Iraq, Saddam Hussein has used the chemical weapons against Iranian in 1978, which is a well-known fact. So the first comment is one I don't understand. What is the point of inspector in Iraq? We know they do have a chemical weapons. They have already used it second one if he knew they had a chemical weapon why we did not act on it a long time ago third thing and that I'm asking I think United States people are being attacked from outside of the US by 30 a smart move up European because we are taking action against Iraq and against terrorism and European suddenly, they're supporting the they the United Nation and they are Living us and play as a bad guy and keeping themselves is aside from that. The third comment I got is I would urge dit fellows are Makin to understand that Saddam Hussein is not actually representing the people of Iraq and it might be reasonable to seek some other form of intervention and and let their military action at the end and that so many people do not be killed. Both are many can even if is it one person that might be son or father of someone or eradicate the people that happened in Iran. I'm not Islamic. I haven't been raised in Islamic family and who maybe never represented me, so I thought that people in here Is being represented by Saddam. Thank you, sir. Appreciate the comments. Thank you. Let's move on to another listener who's on the are here with some thoughts on the Iraq situation whether military force should be used Jerry your that's you go ahead please. Yes, I think we should be thinking about how many Iraqi conscripts died in the first Gulf War. And how many more would die in this war? And and then what? Well, it's it's it doesn't seem to be a problem or question that's entered into the equation and the previous war all this talk was about how terrible Saddam was but he was the one that that remained standing after it was all over and done but there were I've heard thousands and thousands and thousands of Iraqi conscripts were just annihilated. So where does that leave you then if you were talking with the president he would argue I suppose that the threat is an imminent one. We cannot just it's too bad. Unfortunately that people will be killed but there will be people killed. There's been talk that signals have been sent to the Iraqi Army and will continue to be sent to the army that if you just stay in your barracks will leave you alone. We're not interested in hurting you or the Iraqi civilians were interested in Saddam and his supporters. Well, I don't think George Bush can be trusted on this. I think this was a drummed up thing. For what purpose? Well for many purposes. Okay. All right. Thank you Jerry. You're welcome. Let's move on to Dave. Who's on the line now Dave. Go ahead please. How's it going? I think we should go in, you know, just because he has a we should go in and get him out. Now. Whatever means it takes should we make sure that we've that we have some support for this or should we do it on our own? I think I think we definitely should have the Coalition, you know, it's proven in the past their works good, but if they're not there, so be it we go on our own. I mean we are the super power. Where are the only one I call the shots. What about this notion though that I mean, are you comfortable with the concept of the United States come marching around the world and pointing the finger at this country or that country and saying we don't like you anymore your Here I think you know not just necessarily we don't like you but I think the ones that have passed history and stuff like that. We should maybe not necessarily Go Marching In her and stuff but but do something about it. I mean in in Iraq's case where we see, you know, people say Iraq on the war with Iraq, we shouldn't say Iraq. We should say Saddam Hussein. Let's get him out of there and then see what you know, go from there. All right at least eliminate that problem and then deal with the next problem. And one last question for you Dave. Is there any concern Center wellstone talked quite a bit in his speech about the his concern that an attack on Iraq, especially if we did it by ourselves would really undermine our attack our war against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations because we depend so heavily on other nations in terms of their intelligence and police work and so on is that trouble you at all? No, not really. No, I think that we can get by without it. I think that we can You know, like I said, were you the intelligence community and stuff like that? Everybody wants proof and stuff, you know from Bush and all that. I totally support Bush and when I was in the military, it was a need to know basis, you know, and sometimes we don't need to know sometimes it is it, you know, compromises other things. I think we should just trust you know, we liked it. Um, he's in there. He's our president. He's the one calling the shots, you know, we need to people just need to trust him a little bit. All right. Thanks. I guess I guess in the words of Rod Steiger new command. New come now. Are you serious? No, I'm just kidding. No, I really shouldn't use nuclear weapons, but I think we definitely need to go in there and do something about it. All right. Thanks Dave. Yo, let's move on to Bob. Who's on the line with a comment Bob. Go ahead, please. Thank you very much. I think my comments are very appropriate right. Now. First of all, my position is some many years ago. We changed our military to be under the defense department and we have funded Defense department and had gained great world-renowned by not being the big bully on the on the street but providing strong military supported by the American voters and the world for a strong defense department that tells me that George Bush and that previous caller have to think much more clearly about our stature in the world. But our support for a defense department not a prosecuting attorney. Right? But if if the if the threat is an imminent one as the administration argues if there is a genuine threat to the United States isn't it acting in our own defense to eliminate that threat it is but it must be done very carefully imprudently if it's a defense if it's a threat to the United States, it's a greater threat to Saudi Arabia Italy turkey Germany, France Spain. They're closer than the kind of threats they have and I think it's a very small power. There's always going to be a threat in this country. There's a thread in Oklahoma from a Serial bomber. There's a threat all around the world and are we going to shoot down everybody when we think there might be a threat Let's do it prudently and let's do it with the International Community and increase our stature instead of run our stature down when you think about the defense department and if it if the United Nations ultimately decides that military force is Justified with the would you be okay with it then or would you still have some reservations? I would be absolutely in favor of it if it comes down to a broad Alliance after having tried all of the Efforts Last Resort. Yes, John Kerry Paul wellstone. Hagel Senator Hagel are all correct and none of them are facing away from And if we had to defend this Saudi Arabia's we would do it with our defense department. If we have to defend together with the other nations not by ourselves, but in some cases we'd have to act by ourselves, but let's keep in mind having a strong defense department has been supported by the American people and by the world and I don't want to be the bully of the world. Do you? All right? Well, thank you Bob. I appreciate you giving me the time. Okay, thanks. I'm very considerate of the danger. But Prudence is the best policy. Alright defense for all of us is what we have the strong and we have the strongest military in the world, Amen. Okay. Thanks Bob appreciate the comments. And in fact, we'd like to thank all of you who have called in tried to call in with your comments course. There's a big debate that will get underway very shortly on Capitol Hill over this resolution bipartisan resolution. In which essentially would allow the president to use military force if he deems it necessary to protect the United States from Saddam Hussein, we're not entirely sure when that debate will begin. We've heard some indications that it might actually get underway in the Senate this afternoon. The house is expected to begin its debate next week. Probably on Tuesday, when all the speeches are given it's expected that the resolutions will pass perhaps with some amendments. And then meanwhile, the administration is also trying to convince Security Council Members at the United Nations to support its position as well. We'll keep you posted on all of this as this story develops again. We'd like to thank you for tuning in and we hope you'll be able to join us for midday tomorrow. Mike Edgerly will be in the seat be good to him and we will see you on Monday (00:52:44) programming on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by theater de la Jeune Lune 2002-2003 season featuring The Seagull June loons distinctively different. Coach to check off tickets and season subscriptions available. 8612333 6200 The twins in the Oakland A's move their playoff series to the Metrodome. I'm Cathy Wars. ER well here why the twins have such a big dome field advantage tomorrow and (00:53:09) Morning Edition from Minnesota Public Radio, Canada. Will you FM 91.1? You're listening to Minnesota Public Radio. We have a cloudy Sky 51 degrees at Kenner wfm 91.1 Minneapolis and Saint Paul. There's a slight chance for some rain this afternoon with a high in the mid 50's good chance for rain tonight, maybe some heavy rain temperatures still in the 50s. So it's not going to war a cool off tonight. Then tomorrow temperatures in the 50s with a 70% chance for rain.


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