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Response to the President's Statement on Iraq

Carl Levin Chairman Senate Armed Services Committee

Response to the President's Statement on Iraq

Monday, 7 October, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., issued the following statement following the President's statement on Iraq tonight.

There is a consensus on the threat of the Saddam Hussein regime that the President described in detail tonight.

The best chance of forcing Saddam Hussein's compliance with his obligations to disarm is when he looks down the barrel of a gun and sees the world at the other end and not just the United States.

The question which Congress is faced with is whether the United States should decide now it will "go it alone,'' to act unilaterally against Iraq, at the same time we are trying to get from the United Nations a tough new resolution, which authorizes member states to use military force to enforce the UN resolution.

The issue before us is on the one hand, whether we should focus on getting the world community to authorize the use of force, or on the other hand, to take the United Nations off the hook by saying we will go it alone if they don't.

The President did not discuss this issue, which is the very issue the Congress will be voting on. He did not describe the significant risks of going it alone without United Nations authority, although he seeks that "going alone'' authority in the resolution he is supporting and that is on the floor of the Senate.

ENDS

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