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SHOWDOWN WITH IRAQ

U.s. Response

Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State

February 15, 2003

"I think I can take some credit sitting here as being the representative of the oldest democracy that is assembled here around this table. Proud of that. A democracy that believes in peace, a nation that has tried in the course of its history to show how people can live in peace with one another, but a democracy that has not been afraid to meet its responsibilities on the world stage when it has been challenged; more importantly, when others in the world have been challenged, or when the international order has been challenged, or when the international institutions of which we are a part have been challenged...."

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"What we need is not more inspections, what we need is not more immediate access, what we need is immediate, active, unconditional, full cooperation on the part of Iraq. What we need is for Iraq to disarm."

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"Are they serious? Are they going to disarm? Are they going to comply? Are they going to cooperate? And the answer ... was no, we're going to see what we can get away with. We can see how much we can slip under your nose and everybody will clap and say, 'Isn't that wonderful?' "

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"We are facing a difficult situation. More inspectors -- sorry, not the answer. What we need is immediate cooperation. Time? How much time does it take to say, 'I understand the will of the international community, and I and my regime are laying it all out for you,' and not playing guess -- not forming commissions, not issuing decrees, not getting laws that should have been passed years ago suddenly passed on the day when we are meeting?"

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"We are talking about weapons that will kill not a few people, not a hundred people, not a thousand people, but could kill tens of thousands of people, if these weapons got into the wrong hands. And the security of the region, the hopes for the people of Iraq themselves, and our security rests upon us meeting our responsibilities and, if it comes to it, invoking the serious consequences called for in 1441."

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