- The Washington Times - Monday, September 16, 2002

Bush administration officials say they want the U.N. Security Council to act quickly against Saddam Hussein, and some top U.S. senators now say they believe a congressional resolution toward that end should be passed before the midterm elections.
Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he believes there could be a congressional vote the first or second week of October.
"I think it should be on a short leash. I think we need to be clear to the United Nations that this is not something that can drag out," said Mr. Kerry, a potential presidential contender in 2004.
He said Congress should pass a resolution that says "we're all behind the effort to try to seek a consensus on dealing with Saddam Hussein" and that could pass the Senate unanimously.
President Bush has said he wants Congress to adopt a resolution before it adjourns next month for the November elections, but Democrats have been noncommittal.
On ABC's "This Week," Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, said he thinks it's "entirely possible we could have [a resolution] before the election," if Mr. Bush "formally" requests it and there is bipartisan contribution to the text.
Mr. Daschle said he could support a resolution similar to one he sponsored in 1998 that urged the president "to take all necessary and appropriate actions" to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs. Iraq insists it has no weapons of mass destruction.
"Clearly, I think that's the direction we're moving [in]. We've got to make sure that we do it in a way that will engage the international community" and answer some unresolved questions, the Senate leader said.
If the resolution is a bipartisan effort, "I fully expect there would be a broad consensus," Mr. Daschle added.
On NBC's "Meet the Press," Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said the United States would give the United Nations "a matter of weeks, not months," to draft and pass a tough resolution or resolutions designed to end Saddam's defiance of obligations that the world organization imposed on him and that he accepted, after Iraq's defeat in the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
Administration officials insist that any new resolutions the United Nations passes contain a deadline for Saddam's compliance. Asked how long the Iraqi dictator should be given to readmit U.N. weapons inspectors, banned from his country since 1998, Mr. Powell said, "It should be a very short period of time."
In three television appearances yesterday, Mr. Powell said he is working with leaders of other nations on the Security Council to come up with acceptable language for a resolution. But he said on NBC that such a resolution must have certain elements: "a clear recognition that Saddam Hussein is in material breach" of all 16 U.N. resolutions into which he entered; "action he must take to try to deal with the breach"; and information about "what the U.N. will do," if he does not comply.
Mr. Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who also appeared on three talk shows yesterday, repeatedly insisted that Mr. Bush had not decided on military action as the way to oust Saddam.
On Black Entertainment Television's talk show, "Lead Story," Miss Rice was asked if there was a time frame for deciding on military action.
"There is no deadline here for a decision on the use of force," she said. "There is a clear decision on the part of the president of the United States that he is not going to sit by and let storm clouds of danger gather over the American people, our friends and our allies."

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