Posted: Feb. 5, 2003
POWELL'S PRESENTATION WAS POWERFUL
U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden
Jr., a six-term Democrat, released the following statement Wednesday
on Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's adress to the United
“Secretary Powell made a
powerful and irrefutable case today before the UN Security Council.
The evidence he produced confirms what many of us already know -
that Saddam continues to flout the world’s demand that he disarm.
I commend the Secretary for
taking his case to the Security Council and for convincing the
President to go there last fall. By going to the UN, he has made
Iraq the world’s problem, not just an American problem.
“The question now is whether
the Security Council will live up to its responsibilities to enforce
its own resolutions? The Security Council should make clear that the
choice between war and peace is Saddam’s to make.
“Solidarity in the UN
Security Council is the best means to avoid war. Let me repeat
that: Only when Saddam realizes there is a strong international
consensus will he stop trying to drive a wedge between the US and
our allies. That consensus is our best, and probably last, chance to
concentrate his mind about his choice of war or peace.
“Now that the Secretary of
State has delivered his powerful statement, the President must
continue to engage in personal diplomacy to convince key members of
the Security Council to pass a second resolution setting a deadline
authorizing force if necessary to disarm Iraq. While a second
resolution isn’t a requirement, and while we can win a war on our
own, we are much better off if we have the support of the UN and a
"The harder part will begin
after a war, with what likely will be a lengthy and costly period of
nation-building and occupation. We want as many countries as
possible helping us in this “decade after” Saddam falls. We are far
more likely to get their help on the landing if we get them in on
the take-off. And getting them to sign up will be much easier if we
have a second resolution.
“But the most important task
for the President is to inform the American people about everything
that may be asked of them. I have urged the President to be
straightforward with the American people about the commitment they
may be asked to shoulder. No foreign policy, no matter how well
formulated, can be sustained without the informed consent of the
American people. The President must explain to the public that we
are about to embark on a costly and complicated effort that may
require American forces to stay in Iraq for several years.
“I believe the American
public will give their support, but only if they are informed ahead
of time. I don’t think many Americans understand the scope and
magnitude of what the US will be obligated to do for many years to
“We owe this not only to the
American people, but just as important, to our fighting men and
women must know they have our full support.
“Should the President make
the decision that going to war is necessary to disarm Saddam, it’s
vital that the American people and their political leaders continue
to maintain full support – supplying all the forces, material and
the billions of dollars it will cost – until the job is done.
“A united and stable Iraq is
our goal, and it’s a necessity as we work to enhance our security
and stabilize the region.
“The choice of war is
Saddam’s. The choice for the Security Council is between relevance
and irrelevance. I hope it moves quickly to live up to its mandate
by enforcing its own resolutions and thereby providing a united
front to force Saddam to back down and avoid war.”
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