Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, August 27, 2002
US Vice President Favors Preemptive Strike on Iraq
US Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday called for preemptive strike against Iraq, saying that the US and its allies can not risk inaction on the issue. The US vice president also argued that it would be more easier to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after toppling the Iraqi government led by Saddam.
US Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday called for preemptive strike against Iraq, saying that the US and its allies can not risk inaction on the issue.
"Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator, or the two working together, constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined. The risk of inaction are far greater than the risk of action," Cheney said at a conference held in Nashville, Tennessee.
"What we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or willful blindness," he said.
Quoting an article recently published by former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Cheney said the imminence of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the huge dangers it involves, the rejection of a viable inspection system and the demonstrated hostility of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein combine to produce an imperative for preemptive action.
Talking about the ongoing domestic debate over possible US military strike against Iraq, the vice president rejected those arguments that the US should rule out any preemptive action until Iraq crosses the threshold of actually possessing nuclear weapons.
He said in that case, it would be more difficult for the US to carry out a military strike and rally allied support.
The US vice president also argued that it would be more easier to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after toppling the Iraqi government led by Saddam.
Cheney made the remarks amid growing speculations that the Bush administration is planning a military strike to topple President Saddam.
The administration has been accusing Iraq of attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction, an allegation flatly rejected by Iraq.
Even Kissinger who favors a regime change in Iraq recently acknowledged that a US preemptive strike against Iraq will violate international laws which only justify self-defense against actual threat instead of potential threat.