Protests fail to move Bush
United Nations --- The United States and Britain vowed Tuesday to move forward with a new resolution for the use of military force to disarm Iraq, even as an open debate in the U.N. Security Council laid bare deep opposition to war.
A second resolution could be introduced as early as today, after the end of a two-day session during which nations not on the 15-member Security Council were given the chance to voice their opinions.
In Washington, President Bush said a second U.N. resolution "would be useful" but not necessary.
"War is my last choice," Bush said. "But the risk of doing nothing is even a worse option, as far as I'm concerned. Saddam Hussein is a threat to America. Saddam Hussein is providing links to terrorists. And we will deal with him."
Although aware of the widespread anti-war demonstrations over the weekend, Bush said he reserved the right to "respectfully disagree" with those who don't believe Saddam is a threat to world peace.
"You know, the size of protests is like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group," Bush said. "The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security --- in this case, the security of the people."
> In Ankara, Turkish officials said they were waiting for the Bush administration to answer their demand for $32 billion in economic aid to ensure Turkey's participation in a war with Iraq. The Turkish request is about $6 billion more than the amount American officials termed their "final" offer over the weekend. The Turks called their offer "final" as well, as the two longtime allies seemed to harden their positions.
> In Brussels, Belgium, future European Union members voted to endorse a stern admonition delivered to Saddam by current EU members Monday. Thirteen countries scheduled to become EU members next year backed the statement approved by EU members, which warns Saddam to disarm "immediately and fully." The EU statement acknowledged that "inspections cannot continue indefinitely," although it emphasized that "war is not inevitable." The statement set no deadlines by which the inspection process must get results.
> In Rome, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Iraq had to "move very fast" to cooperate or face war. But he declined to spell out how long inspections should continue, saying it was up to the Security Council to decide whether they had gone on long enough.
> In Baghdad, the spokesman for the U.N. weapons inspectors expressed frustration at conditions Iraqi scientists and engineers have insisted on before they will agree to be interviewed. Only three scientists have been interviewed, according to the spokesman, Hiro Ueki. Iraqi officials reported U.N. inspectors visited at least eight military and industrial sites.
> In Washington, the Pentagon ordered the deployment of 28,000 more troops to the Persian Gulf. They will join around 150,000 personnel already in the area.
The Security Council voted unanimously Nov. 8 for U.N. Resolution 1441, which gave Iraq one last chance to comply with inspections and disarm or face "serious consequences."
Divisions have erupted in recent weeks over how long to give U.N. inspectors, who have been searching Iraq for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
"There are no time limits stipulated for inspections in 1441," said South African Ambassador Dumisani Shadrack Kumalo, urging that the inspection process be given ample time to show results.
South Africa requested the open U.N. session to allow nonaligned and anti-war nations to air their positions.
Representatives of 70 countries --- most of whom are expected to voice opposition to war --- have requested an opportunity to speak.
Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohammed al-Douri, said U.S. moves against Iraq are part of an American march toward world domination.
Iraq has consistently denied possession of any banned weapons.
Al-Douri appealed to the United Nations to heed the "call of millions" who condemned war in weekend demonstrations.
France and Germany oppose military action and want inspectors to be granted additional time.
France is one of five permanent Security Council members with veto power.
Even British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington's staunchest ally, agreed during a news conference Tuesday that there is no need to rush to war.
"Indeed we have waited 12 years," said Blair, who is facing a stinging public outcry against war at home.
But he added that without full cooperation by Saddam, the inspectors
"are never going to be able to play detective to search out weapons
hidden" in such a large country.
Won't Deter Bush
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