- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2003

New York Times

Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the United Nations and a global television audience yesterday with the most powerful case to date that Saddam Hussein stands in defiance of Security Council resolutions and has no intention of revealing or surrendering whatever unconventional weapons he may have. In doing so, with the help of spy satellite photos and communications intercepts, Mr. Powell placed squarely before the Security Council the fateful question of how it should respond. As American military forces in the region build toward full strength, President Bush should continue to let diplomacy work. The manner in which the United States wields its great power, and the regard it gives to the views of other nations, are vital matters as a showdown with Iraq draws near. The character of America is at issue as much as its military might. …

The Security Council, the American people and the rest of the world have an obligation to study Mr. Powell's presentation very closely and very seriously. Because the consequences of war are so terrible, and the cost of rebuilding Iraq so great, the United States cannot afford to confront Iraq without broad international support.

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Los Angeles Times

The United Nations risks irrelevance unless it promptly sets a date on which it will use military force against Iraq if that nation does not disarm.

Piling fact upon fact, photo upon photo Wednesday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell methodically demonstrated why Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein remains dangerous to his own people, Iraq's neighbors and, potentially, the Western world. Powell reminded the U.N. that the responsibility is Hussein's alone for proving that he has destroyed the weapons of mass destruction his nation systematically acquired and that he has abandoned all efforts to develop more. …

Bush is threatening to attack Iraq without the United Nations, backed only by the growing coalition of nations that have offered support. The United Nations can spare the world that undesirable option by showing a resolve that is long overdue.

First, it must set an inviolate deadline. (Saddam) has smirked at and dodged U.N. resolutions for more than a decade. The chief U.N. weapons inspector, Hans Blix, and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, reported last month that Iraq remained recalcitrant. They will be back in Baghdad on Saturday and will report their latest findings to the Security Council on Feb. 14.

The United Nations must then give Hussein one final chance to avoid war — by complying or fleeing — and be ready to launch missiles, planes and troops if he again disregards or disrespects the world's clear disarmament demands.

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Christian Science Monitor

The late 20th century produced a memorable crop of visionary men and women — among them, Mandela, Aquino, Walesa — who risked their lives to stand up for freedom, equality, and democracy against ruthless rulers.

Many won the day with their nonviolent methods and were elected into office. But eventually, like all heroes, they must fade from the scene.

The latest example is Vaclav Havel, the president of the Czech Republic, who stepped down from office this week. This playwright and author used the power of ideas to oppose the communist rulers who threw him in jail, only to see him become president in a liberated country after the "Velvet Revolution" in 1989.

Thirteen years later, Mr. Havel leaves behind a country that's free, but now politically adrift and unsure of itself.

Such is often the case with many of the brave, inspiring dissidents who came to power in recent decades but were unable to transform their countries quickly. They raised popular expectations, and perhaps left the impression that change will come from on high, when real change comes from the people themselves. …

Unfortunately, few of the countries that remain under dictators have such brave leaders, or they just aren't allowed to emerge. Iraq could use someone right now who could make the difference between war and peace.

The title of Havel's most famous anti-communist essay, "The Power of the Powerless," was the kind of message of hope that people under suppression need to hear. He and others like him leave a legacy to live up to.

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Washington Times

In his address yesterday to the U.N. Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell remorselessly documented Iraq's links with al Qaida terrorism and systematic efforts to deceive U.N. weapons inspectors about its weapons of mass destruction programs. Mr. Powell eliminated any reasonable doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime remains in material breach of Security Council Resolution 1441, passed on Nov. 8 to force Iraq to come clean about its WMD arsenal, an obligation Baghdad has ignored despite 16 previous resolutions dating back 12 years. …

In the wake of the extraordinarily powerful case made against Iraq yesterday by Mr. Powell, there can be no reasonable doubt that Saddam Hussein is a menace who must be disarmed — by force, if necessary. Those who remain opposed to the use of force, such as the French and German governments and Sen. Edward Kennedy, simply have chosen to ignore the evidence.

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Washington Post

After Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Powell left no room to argue seriously that Iraq has accepted the Security Council's offer of a "final opportunity" to disarm. And he offered a powerful new case that Saddam Hussein's regime is cooperating with a branch of the al Qaida organization that is trying to acquire chemical weapons and stage attacks in Europe. …

Whether Iraq is disarmed through the authority of the United Nations or whether the United States effectively assumes responsibility depends on how the Security Council responds. …

Twelve years of experience have demonstrated that it is impossible to strip an unwilling totalitarian government of its weapons by such means. As Mr. Powell asked, how could inspections ever determine which 18 of Iraq's tens of thousands of trucks carry mobile biological weapons labs? By choosing such a course, the Security Council would send Saddam Hussein the message that it remains the ineffectual body that shrank from enforcing 16 previous resolutions. By proposing it, France and those who support it are setting the stage for another momentous development they claim to oppose: the transfer of responsibility for countering the most serious threats to international security from multilateral institutions to the world's sole superpower.

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San Francisco Chronicle

It was not an "Adlai Stevenson moment," but it was impressive in its breadth and eloquence. Secretary of State Colin Powell laid out a strong case that Saddam Hussein is playing games with U.N. weapons inspectors, pursuing nuclear technology and violating human rights. If there was any doubt that (Saddam) is a dangerous tyrant who needs to be contained — and stripped of his chemical and biological capabilities — Powell put it to rest. …

The unmistakable message to Baghdad Wednesday is that the world is watching closely and losing patience. At the moment, at least, time is on our side, not Saddam Hussein's.

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Dallas Morning News

If a one-eyed man will be king in a country of the blind, then prepare to crown Colin Powell. In his speech before the United Nations Security Council yesterday, the U.S. secretary of state did everything but perform cornea transplants on the countries that still claim to see no reason for forcibly disarming Iraq.

That Mr. Powell was compelled to operate half-blind was no fault of his. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has done everything in his power to occlude. But Mr. Powell made the most of his one eye, effectively arguing why Iraq has so far failed to avail itself of its last chance to fulfill its commitment to disarm and bolstering his powerful words with hard and credible evidence.

In truth, the only thing wrong with the eyes of many U.N. members is that they are closed. …

There is time to avoid war, even at this late date. Having again proved that he cannot be relied upon to disarm, Saddam Hussein and his senior henchmen could accept exile. If he will not go, the United Nations must not flinch from its duty, must not shut its eyes in fear. Just ask King Colin.

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Chicago Tribune

In a dramatic appearance before a rapt United Nations, Secretary of State Colin Powell laid out powerful evidence, replete with satellite photos and tapes of intercepted telephone conversations, that Saddam Hussein has evaded and deceived U.N. weapons inspectors and utterly failed to meet his obligations to the world body.

If Powell lacked a "smoking gun" along the lines of the famous satellite photos Ambassador Adlai Stevenson brandished at the U.N. at the peak of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, there was nevertheless a persuasive, detailed accumulation of information that leads to one conclusion: Iraq continues to flout the United Nations' demands to disarm. …

The lessons of the last few months are clear. Only when the United Nations speaks with a single forceful voice, backed by a credible military threat, does (Saddam) listen. Last autumn the president challenged the Security Council and it responded. Now it must speak again with the same unmistakable voice. That may be the last hope to avoid war.

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(Compiled by United Press International)

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