- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The administration's top arms-control official said yesterday that President Bush's goal of regime change in Iraq entails not just the removal of Saddam Hussein, but also the "de-Nazification" of the entire regime.
"It's not just the one person," Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton told reporters. "It's the top people around him."
The undersecretary likened the policy to the "de-Nazification" of Germany after World War II.
"I think one element that would have to be part of any post-Saddam process would be, in effect, the analogue to de-Nazification to take out the people at the top of the Iraqi regime who are so fundamentally part of Saddam's entourage that their remaining in power would have the problem persist," he added.
Mr. Bolton said Iraq needs the sort of wholesale regime change that took place last year in Afghanistan, where the Taliban government was destroyed and replaced with a fledgling democracy.
"Many people [who] were part of the Taliban administration but not really Taliban adherents were allowed to stay in their position," he said. "That's the kind of thing that the Iraqi opposition and opposition leaders inside Iraq would be looking at after Saddam left."
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer added that Saddam's Ba'ath regime "oppresses its people and engages in hostility against its neighbors. And that's why I think Congress, going back to the '98 Iraq Liberation Act, made regime change our policy."
Although no administration figure has explicitly laid out what the details of "regime change" might require, several have called for the ouster of Saddam personally by the Iraqi military.
Mr. Fleischer has said that regime change could come at "the cost of one bullet" or a "one-way ticket."
Earlier this month, Mr. Fleischer told reporters that the ouster of Saddam "is welcome in whatever form it takes," noting that "the cost of one bullet" is substantially less than "the cost of war."
Other administration oficials have said they hope that the Iraqi military would turn against Saddam.
Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, has said, "I don't believe we have to defeat Saddam's army. I think Saddam's army will defeat Saddam."
Mr. Fleischer yesterday added that regime change in Baghdad does not necessarily mean a military attack.
"The president does not want to go to war; the president wants to preserve peace," he said. "The president is for enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council that's why he went to the U.N."
At the United Nations yesterday, France, one of the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, proposed new language containing an explicit authorization of military action if Iraq does not meet U.N. demands on weapons inspections.
Mr. Bolton however said he held out little hope for that approach.
"If inspectors get back in, it's a certainty that Saddam will try to obstruct them," Mr. Bolton said, adding that such obstruction would simply advance Saddam's plan "to stay in power."


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