Bush claims UN support for ousting Saddam

Wext: Friday, 17.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST


16. Sep. 2004, ST CLOUD, United States ( AFP ) - Faced with UN chief Kofi Annan's charge that the war in Iraq was "illegal" under the world body's charter, US President George W. Bush strongly implied that the invasion enjoyed UN support.

At a campaign rally in a sun-soaked football stadium here, Bush also accused Democratic White House hopeful John Kerry (news - web sites) of sending dangerous "mixed signals" to friend and foe alike with his explanations of his stance on the war.

"Mixed signals are the wrong signals to send to our troops in the field, the Iraqi people, to our allies and most of all to the Iraqi people," said Bush, who has accused his rival of being fickle on key national security issues.

"It is critical that the president of the United States speak clearly and consistently in this time of great threat in the world and not change positions because of expediency or pressure," said the president.

Bush did not directly address Annan's comment to the BBC that failure to secure explicit UN Security Council approval for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq meant that: "From the (UN) charter point of view it was illegal."

But he pointedly referred to the council's unanimous endorsement, in November 2002, of a resolution warning Baghdad of "serious consequences" if it was found not to have abandoned its quest for weapons of mass destruction.

"The United Nations looked at the same intelligence I looked at, they concluded that Saddam Hussein was a threat and they voted by 15-0 in the Security Council for Saddam Hussein to disclose, disarm or face serious consequences," said Bush.

"I believe when bodies say something they better mean it," said Bush, who heads to the UN General Assembly on Monday, two years after warning the world body would be just a "debating society" if it failed to back the war.

Bush made no mention of his failure to win UN Security Council support for a second resolution explicitly authorizing the use of force to strip Saddam of any weapons of mass destruction.

Source: AFP

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