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Wednesday, 5 February, 2003, 21:38 GMT
Full text of Powell speech [pt II]
Colin Powell
You only need this much anthrax, said Powell
The second part of US Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council, setting out Washington's case against the Iraqi regime.

My friends, this has been a long and a detailed presentation. And I thank you for your patience.

But there is one more subject that I would like to touch on briefly. And it should be a subject of deep and continuing concern to this council - Saddam Hussein's violations of human rights.

Underlying all that I have said, underlying all the facts and the patterns of behaviour that I have identified as Saddam Hussein's contempt for the will of this council, his contempt for the truth and most damning of all, his utter contempt for human life.

Saddam Hussein's use of mustard and nerve gas against the Kurds in 1988 was one of the 20th Century's most horrible atrocities; 5,000 men, women and children died.

His campaign against the Kurds from 1987 to '89 included mass summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary jailing, ethnic cleansing and the destruction of some 2,000 villages.

He has also conducted ethnic cleansing against the Shia Iraqis and the Marsh Arabs whose culture has flourished for more than a millennium.

Saddam Hussein's police state ruthlessly eliminates anyone who dares to dissent.

Iraq has more forced disappearance cases than any other country, tens of thousands of people reported missing in the past decade.

Nothing points more clearly to Saddam Hussein's dangerous intentions and the threat he poses to all of us than his calculated cruelty to his own citizens and to his neighbours. Clearly, Saddam Hussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him.

For more than 20 years, by word and by deed Saddam Hussein has pursued his ambition to dominate Iraq and the broader Middle East using the only means he knows - intimidation, coercion and annihilation of all those who might stand in his way.

For Saddam Hussein, possession of the world's most deadly weapons is the ultimate trump card, the one he must hold to fulfil his ambition.

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction; he's determined to make more.

Given Saddam Hussein's history of aggression, given what we know of his grandiose plans, given what we know of his terrorist associations and given his determination to exact revenge on those who oppose him, should we take the risk that he will not some day use these weapons at a time and a place and in the manner of his choosing at a time when the world is in a much weaker position to respond?

The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American people.

Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-11 September world.

My colleagues, over three months ago this council recognised that Iraq continued to pose a threat to international peace and security, and that Iraq had been and remained in material breach of its disarmament obligations.

Today Iraq still poses a threat and Iraq still remains in material breach.

Indeed, by its failure to seize on its one last opportunity to come clean and disarm, Iraq has put itself in deeper material breach and closer to the day when it will face serious consequences for its continued defiance of this council.

My colleagues, we have an obligation to our citizens, we have an obligation to this body to see that our resolutions are complied with.

We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war, we wrote 1441 to try to preserve the peace. We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance.

Iraq is not so far taking that one last chance. We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us.

We must not fail in our duty and our responsibility to the citizens of the countries that are represented by this body.

Thank you, Mr President.


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