- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The U.N. resolution demanding that Iraq disarm includes a little-noted provision that could be an early trigger for war.
One sentence in Resolution 1441 says Iraq "shall not take or threaten hostile acts" against any personnel of any U.N. member state who are "taking action to uphold" any Security Council resolution.
Some in the Bush administration say the wording could be interpreted as requiring Iraq to stop its frequent firings on American and British planes enforcing no-fly zones over the country's northern and southern sectors.
The flights were implemented to uphold an April 1991 U.N. resolution designed to keep Iraq from repressing its civilian population.
That view is not universally accepted, however, because the patrols are not explicitly authorized by the Security Council.
Iraq has never accepted the legitimacy of the no-fly zones and has tried for years to shoot down the pilots who enforce them. Iraqi gunners have used an extensive network of radar, surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery to challenge the patrols, although it has never downed a pilot.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has often pointed to Iraq's firing on pilots in the no-fly zones as evidence that President Saddam Hussein has no regard for U.N. resolutions and no intention to comply with them.
Asked at a Pentagon news conference Friday whether Iraq would be in violation of the latest U.N. disarmament resolution if it kept firing on U.S. and British patrols, Mr. Rumsfeld did not answer directly.
"That's for the United Nations and the president of the United States to make judgments like that," Mr. Rumsfeld said.
Other defense officials said there is no consensus within the administration how hard to press the argument that Iraq's targeting of no-fly zone patrols should be considered a breach of its commitments.

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