The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

President Bush, United Nations Address Iraq Concerns

On Sept. 12, with the anniversary of Sept. 11 and its memorial services still looming, President Bush stood in front of the United Nations and implied that yet another war may be necessary. Bush asked the United Nations for their support in taking action against Iraq if Saddam Hussein does not disarm his country and end the oppression of his people. He declared, “the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable, and a regime that has lost its legitimacy will lose its power.”

Bush is not alone in implying that violence will result if Saddam does not meet the demands. Secretary General Kofi Annan said, “If Iraq’s defiance continues, the Security Council must face its responsibilities.”

The New York Times reports, “U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared and has failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons.” Iraq is alsocurrently renovating “facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”

Iraq possesses a long history of disregarding the laws set forth by the United Nations.

In 1991, the United Nations Security Council demanded that Iraq cease any involvement with terrorism and terminate the production of all weapons of mass destruction.

The Security Council also demanded that Iraq release its war prisoners and end the cruelties imposed upon its people by the totalitarian state. It has been discovered that over 600 war prisoners are unaccounted for and human rights are still being violated.

Secretary Powell attended a lunch last Friday with members of the Security Council to discuss establishing an agreement regarding what the U.N. should do if Hussein does not comply with the orders given.

President Bush made it clear that he feels the Security Council should create plans for a course of action. He said, “We created a United Nations Security Council so that, unlike the League of Nations, our deliberations would be more than talk, our resolutions would be more than wishes.”

Many people see in Bush’s desire to take action a level of selfishness. Guilford first-year Celeste Palladino said, “Terrorism has always been an issue, but it wasn’t until we were personally wounded that Bush decided it should be a worldwide issue.”

Some feel that more productive methods exist to confront the issue. Junior Doug Robertson said, “Armed conflict with Iraq is not a solution to any of our problems. Perhaps Saddam Hussein would be more willing to cooperate if the United States relieved some of the economic sanctions they have been imposing on Iraq.”

Regardless of what citizens feel about the issue, Bush is making headway in his quest for support. He has been speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Word Political reports, “Russian officials indicated they may be prepared to support the U.S. demand for a tough new weapons inspection program.”

As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, Russia’s support is vital and President Bush is well aware of this. Regardless, the Bush administration will have to work to persuade the ten non-permanent members of the council: Syria, Mexico, Colombia, Ireland, Mauritius, Norway, Singapore, Bulgaria, Cameroon, and Guinea.

Save The Children U.K., the most successful non-government organization in Northern Iraq, fears any further support. The organization, actively dedicated to improving the lives of children in impoverished countries around the world, feels that, “Military intervention would greatly exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Iraq: pushing a population already suffering from poverty and sanctions over the edge.”

Chancellor Gerhard Schroder of Germany also opposes the idea of war in Iraq. In a speech last week he said, “We need more peace, not more war. And that’s why, under my leadership, Germany will not participate.”

France offered a different response. President Jacques Chirac said in an interview that he feels a three-week deadline for Iraq to comply with a weapon inspection should be installed, and, if refused, Washington should petition for military force.

Nations around the world are awaiting the Security Council’s decision on the course of action that will be taken to achieve Saddam Hussein’s compliance with U.N. demands. The tension amongst the Unites States and countries throughout Europe continues to grow as debates over the issue divide the world.

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