- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2003

STANFORD, Calif. The United States needs the support of a broad coalition of countries when it goes into Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein from power, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz said Tuesday.
The task of toppling Saddam, disarming Iraq and rebuilding the country is "a big deal. We are perfectly capable of doing it," Mr. Shultz said. "But we should be leading a coalition. We shouldn't be doing this ourselves."
In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Shultz said he is "convinced that when this happens, then people will want to be on board. If there is a clear U.N. Security Council statement, then everybody will be on board."
Mr. Shultz, who served during the Reagan administration, said the U.N. inspection team's failure to find weapons of mass destruction will not deter President Bush's plans to go to war in Iraq. He said that he believed the United States has intelligence information showing Iraq is in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military action, and that it would be made public at the appropriate time.
"You don't have to show everything. You only have to show one thing" to demonstrate that Iraq is lying when it says it has no weapons of mass destruction, he said.
In a lengthy interview in his office here at the Hoover Institution, Mr. Shultz discussed plans for war in Iraq and North Korea's resumption of its nuclear weapons program. He said the two situations presented the United States "with very different problems" that required different solutions.
Mr. Bush's foreign policy critics have charged that North Korea was the more dangerous threat and thus should be dealt with before Iraq. Mr. Shultz disagrees.
"To me, North Korea and the sensitivity with which it needs to be handled, is a powerful argument for dealing with Iraq as promptly as possible before Iraq gets nuclear weapons.
"Because, with all due respect to biological and chemical weapons, nuclear weapons are a special class," he said.
"Iraq is a critically important part of the war on terrorism. It will be comparable to the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan," he said.
Mr. Shultz said the renewed threat from North Korea stemmed from a misguided accord negotiated by the Clinton administration in 1994 to get the communist state to halt its nuclear program in exchange for U.S. aid.
In that agreement "we had the pattern of saying you do something bad and undesirable, and then we will pay you to stop doing it, or to say you are going to stop doing it.
"That teaches a bad lesson. It teaches people that if you do something bad, we will pay you to stop," he said.
"A lot of people were suspicious of that deal. The Bush administration turned out to be right to be skeptical about that accord," he said.
Despite his support for using military force to disarm Iraq, Mr. Shultz said U.S. armed forces were being stretched too thin around the world.
"There are limits to what we can do," he said.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide