Bush and the U.S. Threaten Iraq

On Monday November 26, President Bush warned Saddam Hussein that if he did not admit United Nations inspectors to determine if Iraq is developing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, he would face consequences. Bush declined for now to say what those might be. "He'll find out," he said.

Since Iraq has no direct link to the September 11 attacks, Bush seemed to broaden his definition of terrorism to include the development of weapons that would "terrorize nations," a significant departure from the definition he used in an address to Congress in September about the purpose of the war. "If anybody harbors a terrorist, they're a terrorist," Bush stated. "If they fund a terrorist, they're a terrorist. If they house terrorists, they're terrorists. I mean, I can't make it any more clearly to other nations around the world. If they develop weapons of mass destruction that will be used to terrorize nations, they will be held accountable."

On Tuesday November 27, Iraq rejected a call by President George Bush to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into the country. "Anyone who thinks Iraq can accept an arrogant and unilateral will of this party or that is mistaken," an Iraqi Government spokesman said. The spokesman, quoted by the official news agency INA, said Baghdad would "not bow to threats, but only to justice". The U.N. should lift sanctions on Iraq and the U.S. alliance should abolish its "no-fly zones" in northern and southern Iraq before asking Baghdad to accept the inspectors again, the spokesman said.

Other countries around the world warned the U.S. about attacking Iraq. On Tuesday, in Cairo, the secretary general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, decalred that "We do not accept striking Iraq or any other Arab country." He added that "Launching military action against any Arab state would spell the end of consensus in the international alliance against terrorism." He reiterated Wednesday that any attack on an Arab country would have "dangerous repercussions" and would affect the political climate in the region.

In Jordan, a government spokesman and a minister of state Saleh Qallab said that Jordan "rejects the use of force, external interference in Iraq's affairs and meddling with its integrity." He added, "Any military action will only lead to deterioration, depression, frustration and negative consequences that are extremely dangerous and would surpass the borders of the region." Asked about Bush's comments on Iraq, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara said: "Threats to any Arab country are rejected, and an attack on any Arab country is going to bring about endless problems." America knows this, Europe knows this, and I believe it would be a fatal mistake to encroach on any Arab country."

In Germany, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said "all European nations would view a widening of the conflict with great skepticism." "We should try to solve regional conflicts politically," Fischer said during a parliamentary debate. "We've explained that very thoroughly and precisely to the United States." Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also urged an end to the growing debate on whether countries such as Iraq and Somalia should be targeted after Afghanistan. "In particular, we should be very careful about discussing new targets in the Middle East," Schroeder told parliament. "More could blow up around our ears that any of us are able to deal with."

On Friday, November 30, Iran's foreign minister cautioned the United States against striking militarily beyond Afghanistan in the fight against terror, saying Friday the Islamic world would oppose attacks against Muslim nations. "There is no excuse to justify any military operation against any Islamic country," Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told a news conference in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.