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Leaders Speak Out on Iraq Attack
Police officers/TWP
Compiled by staff
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1998

President Clinton ordered a sustained series of airstrikes, aided by Britain, against Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein's continued disruption of U.N. weapons inspections.

The following excerpted remarks and full transcripts from Clinton, Blair and others help explain the positions of key players in the conflict:

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President Bill Clinton
"Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons."
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Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
"We know what angers you is not their aggression but because they are not fighting you face to face, relying on their hi-technology which is in no way a measure of bravery."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
" There can be no greater responsibility upon a prime minister than to ask British servicemen to risk their lives for the sake of peace and stability in another part of the world, and I feel that responsibility tonight profoundly."
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Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon
"The exaggerated uproar over the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction is nothing more than a big lie. The other lie is that Iraq poses a threat to its neighbors."

U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen
"We want to degrade Saddam Hussein's ability to make and to use weapons of mass destruction, we want to diminish his ability to wage war against his neighbors, and we want to demonstrate the consequences of flouting international obligations."
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U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright
"Our quarrel is not with the Iraqi people. On the contrary, we recognize that Iraqis have been the primary victims of Saddam Hussein's failure to cooperate internationally and his reign of terror domestically."
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U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
"It is a very sad day for me personally. Throughout this year, I have done everything in my power to ensure peaceful compliance with Security Council resolutions and to avert the use of force. ... I deeply regret that today these efforts have proved insufficient."
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© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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