In New Hampshire on Dec. 2, 1999, he said: "If I found in any way, shape or form that [Saddam Hussein] was developing weapons of mass destruction, I'd take 'em out." Although he spoke of disarming Iraq, not "regime change," surely, after more than a decade of United Nations impotence regarding disarmament of Iraq, the burden of proof is on those who say disarmament can be achieved without regime change.
Iraq is flagrantly violating agreements it made with the United Nations in 1998, when the organization responded to Iraq's flagrant violations of agreements made after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Surely the burden of proof is on those who say the United States should stay its disarming hand until the United Nations has reached yet another set of undertakings with an Iraq that is contemptuous of such things.
On Dec. 2, 1999, President [George W. Bush] said the trigger for preemptive action against Iraq should be not just Iraq's acquisition of such weapons but Iraqi progress in "developing" them. Hence the importance of evidence that Iraq, which has endured sanctions costing it upward of $200 billion rather than permit weapons inspections, has been buying hardware necessary for developing nuclear weapons.
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