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'Saddam Must Give Up Weapons of Mass Destruction,' Says Bush - 2002-11-09


President Bush says the U.N. resolution approved Friday on Iraq means Saddam Hussein must now give up weapons of mass destruction or face military action.

President Bush says the Security Council vote shows the world has now come together to say that Iraq will not be allowed to build or possess chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.

"The resolution presents the Iraqi regime with a test, a final test," president Bush said. "Iraq must now, without delay or negotiations, give up its weapons of mass destruction, welcome full inspections and fundamentally change the approach it has taken for more than a decade."

In his weekly radio address, the president said Iraq must now agree to give U.N. weapons inspectors immediate access to every site, every document, and every person they choose.

If Iraq fails to comply, Mr. Bush says the United States and its allies will disarm the country to enforce what he calls "the world's judgment" against Iraq.

"Iraq can be certain that the old game of cheat and retreat, tolerated at other times, will no longer be tolerated. Any act of delay or defiance will be an additional breach of Iraq's international obligations, and a clear signal that the Iraqi regime has once again abandoned the path of voluntary compliance," he warned.

Some U.S. allies initially questioned the president's plan because it sought to authorize any U.N. member to use force against Iraq if Iraq did not comply with the resolution. Mr. Bush ultimately won unanimous support for the plan Friday by agreeing that any U.N. response to Iraqi violations would first be discussed by the Security Council.

But that does not limit the president's ability to lead his own coalition against Iraq. He already has congressional approval to use U.S. troops if he concludes that diplomacy alone is not enough to remove Iraqi threats.

Baghdad has six days to decide whether to accept the terms of the U.N. resolution. Iraqi officials say they will announce their decision in the coming days.

President Bush also used his weekly radio address to call on Congress to approve a new cabinet level department of Homeland Security before the end of the year.

That legislation passed the Republican controlled House of Representatives but was blocked by Senate Democrats who refused to give the president authority to override civil service work rules in times of national emergency.

The president now hopes to get that bill passed following Republican wins in Tuesday's elections that give his party control of both houses of Congress.

A new department of Homeland Security would be the biggest government reorganization in more than 50 years with 170,000 employees from the Secret Service to the Coast Guard better coordinating border patrols, emergency response teams, and research into surviving chemical or biological attack.

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