- The Washington Times - Monday, February 10, 2003

Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led U.S. military forces in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, yesterday reversed his reluctance to use military force against Iraq, saying Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein should be disarmed.
Gen. Schwarzkopf said he changed his mind after hearing Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's presentation before the United Nations Security Council last week.
"I found it very compelling, and I found it a very, very good rationale," Gen. Schwarzkopf said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Two weeks ago, Gen. Schwarzkopf said in an interview with The Washington Post that he believed U.N. inspections were the proper course to follow because he hadn't seen enough evidence to convince him a war was warranted. He told The Post he was worried about the cockiness of the U.S. war plan and by the potential human and financial costs of occupying Iraq.
Gen. Schwarzkopf also told The Post he believed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his advisers lack much military experience themselves and shouldn't disregard the Army's judgments on the issue.
Yesterday, Gen. Schwarzkopf said Mr. Rumsfeld should base military action on sound military advice.
"It's very, very important that you use your military expertise, your military planners, people who've been trained for this for years and years and years; and use all of these capabilities and don't just run off on your own," he said. "That's what concerned me."
Gen. Schwarzkopf said capturing Saddam would be the bottom line.
"Saddam Hussein is a monster," he said. "The mere thought of Saddam Hussein with a nuclear, biological, chemical capability is frightening to me because the difference between him and some of the other nuclear powers is the fact that he'll use them, and that's what makes it scary."
But Gen. Schwarzkopf said he doesn't believe it's necessary for the U.S. to use weapons of mass destruction against Saddam, even if the dictator uses them against U.S. troops.
"I think that we are going to prevail, no matter what he uses," he said. "Our troops know how to take care of themselves in that kind of chemical environment. It's not easy … But they know how to prevail in that environment."
Gen. Schwarzkopf also said it's equally important for the United States to catch terrorist Osama bin Laden, blamed for plotting the September 11 attacks on the U.S., if he still lives.
"It's necessary to bring him down, one way or the other," he said. "Someone asked me, 'Can we forgive him?' and I said, 'Forgiveness is up to God. I just hope we hurry up the meeting.' That's the way I feel about him, really."

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