Prepared by the U.S. Department of State
Released September 13, 1999
Impact of Sanctions
Iraqi Obstruction of Oil-for-Food
Misuse of Resources by the Regime
Repression of the Iraqi People
Evading U.N. Resolutions and Failure to Disarm
Iraq is a Regional Threat
The purpose of this report is to present the facts concerning Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
There are a wealth of charges and counter-charges concerning actions undertaken by Saddam and by the international community towards Iraq.
Based on publicly available information, the facts contained in this report demonstrate that under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq continues to repress its people, threaten the region, and obstruct international efforts to provide humanitarian relief.
We are helping the Iraqi people in their efforts to bring about a regime that is committed to living in peace with its neighbors and respecting the rights of its citizens.
We want to see Iraq return as a respected and prosperous member of the international community, and as the evidence shows, this is unlikely to happen as long as Saddam Hussein is in power.
As long as Saddam Hussein is in power, we are determined to contain the Iraqi regime and prevent it from threatening the region or its own people. We will also continue our efforts to increase humanitarian relief for the people of Iraq, over the obstructions of the regime.
Impact of SanctionsSummary
Sanctions were imposed on Iraq by the international community in the wake of Iraq's brutal invasion of Kuwait. They are intended to prevent the Iraqi regime access to resources that it would use to reconstitute weapons of mass destruction. Sanctions can only be lifted when Iraq complies fully with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Saddam Hussein's regime remains a threat to its people and its neighbors, and has not met any of its obligations to the UN that would allow the UN to lift sanctions.
The international community, not the regime of Saddam Hussein, is working to relieve the impact of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis.
Impact of Sanctions
Sanctions are not intended to harm the people of Iraq. That is why the sanctions regime has always specifically exempted food and medicine. The Iraqi regime has always been free to import as much of these goods as possible. It refuses to do so, even though it claims it wants to relieve the suffering of the people of Iraq.
Iraq is actually exporting food, even though it says its people are malnourished. Coalition ships enforcing the UN sanctions against Iraq recently diverted the ship M/V MINIMARE containing 2,000 metric tons of rice and other material being exported from Iraq for hard currency instead of being used to support the Iraqi people.
Baby milk sold to Iraq through the oil-for-food program has been found in markets throughout the Gulf, demonstrating that the Iraqi regime is depriving its people of much-needed goods in order to make an illicit profit.
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Kuwaiti authorities recently seized a shipment coming out of Iraq carrying, among other items, baby powder, baby bottles, and other nursing materials for resale overseas (see photo 1).
Saddam Hussein's priorities are clear. If given control of Iraq's resources, Saddam Hussein would use them to rearm and threaten the region, not to improve the lot of the Iraqi people.
There is ample proof that lifting sanctions would offer the Iraqi people no relief from neglect at the hands of their government
Sanctions prevent Saddam from spending money on rearmament, but do not stop him from spending money on food and medicine for Iraqis.
Saddam's priorities are clear: palaces for himself, prisons for his people, and weapons to destroy Iraq's citizens and its neighbors. He has built 48 palaces for himself since the Gulf War. He would not use Iraq's resources to improve the lives of Iraqis. Saddam Hussein would use them to rearm and threaten the region.
Iraqi Obstruction of Oil-For-Food
Thanks to the oil-for-food program, the people of Iraq, especially those in the north, are getting needed foods and medicines.
The program would be even more effective if the Iraqi regime were cooperating. Iraqi obstruction of the oil-for-food program, not United Nations sanctions, is the primary reason the Iraqi people are suffering.
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Iraqi oil exports are now at near pre-war levels and revenues are above what Iraq was receiving during the Iran-Iraq war. For the six-month period June-November 1999, Iraqi oil exports are projected to exceed $6 billion (see chart 1).
Previously Iraq had said it was unable to produce enough oil to meet oil-for-food ceilings because the UN refused to approve contracts for spare parts for its petroleum industry. The facts demonstrate otherwise.
In the two and a half years that the oil-for-food program has been functioning, Iraq has been able to sell over $14.9 billion in oil. Iraqi oil exports are near pre-war levels, and rising world oil prices are allowing more oil-for-food goods to be purchased.
The oil-for-food program has delivered $3.7 billion worth of food, $691 million worth of medicine, and more than $500 million worth of supplies for electrical, water/sanitation, agricultural, education, oil industry, settlement rehabilitation and demining projects.
Despite Iraqi obstructionism, oil-for-food has raised by 50% the daily caloric value of the ration basket and has steadily improved health care for Iraqis. Infrastructure repair in areas such as agriculture, electricity, and water and sanitation is being undertaken.
Iraq has claimed it was unable to produce enough oil to meet oil-for-food ceilings because the UN refused to approve contracts for spare parts for its petroleum industry. The fact is that hundreds of millions of dollars of spare parts have been delivered and Iraqi oil production is expected to exceed pre-Gulf war levels.
Since the start of the oil-for-food program, of the 7,560 contracts received, 5,901, or 78.1%, have been approved. Their total value is $7.7 billion.
The 448 contracts on hold as of August 1999 include requests for items that can be used to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Many of these items are on the list described in UNSCR 1051, the list of goods which must be notified to and inspected by UNSCOM and the IAEA. As Iraq is not permitting either organization to perform its UN-mandated functions, there can be no assurance that Iraq would not divert these dual-use items.
Iraqi Obstruction, not Sanctions, Hinders Effectiveness
For five years, Iraq resisted international efforts to establish the oil-for-food program.
Concerned about the welfare of the Iraqi people, the Security Council attempted to create an oil-for-food program in 1991 that would allow Iraqi oil to be sold, with proceeds deposited in a UN-controlled account and used to purchase humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people. Iraq rejected the Security Council's original proposal.
In 1995,over Iraq's protests--the Security Council adopted another oil-for-food resolution. Again, Iraq refused to accept it. It was only after another year and a half of Iraqi delays and international pressure that the Iraq regime agreed to accept oil-for-food.
The August 1999 UNICEF Report on Child Health demonstrates that Iraqi mismanagement, -- if not also deliberate policy -- not sanctions, is responsible for malnutrition and deaths.
In Northern Iraq, where the UN administers humanitarian assistance, child mortality rates have fallen below pre-Gulf War levels. Rates rose in the period before oil-for-food, but with the introduction of the program the trend reversed, and now those Iraqi children are better off than before the war.
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Child mortality figures have more than doubled in the south and center of the country, where the Iraqi government -- rather than the UN -- controls the program. If a turn-around on child mortality can be made in the north, which is under the same sanctions as the rest of the country, there is no reason it cannot be done in the south and center (see chart 2).
The fact of the matter is, however, that the government of Iraq does not share the international community's concern about the welfare of its people. Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with the oil-for-food program and its deliberate misuse of resources are cynical efforts to sacrifice the Iraqi people's welfare in order to bring an end to UN sanctions without complying with its obligations.
The UN has reported that, despite Iraqi claims of infant malnutrition, the government of Iraq has ordered only a fraction of the nutrition supplies for vulnerable children and pregnant and nursing mothers recommended by the UN and for which money has been set aside under the oil-for-food program. Only $1.7 million of $25 million set aside for nutritional supplements has been spent by Iraq. In the past eighteen months, Iraq has ordered no nutritional supplements.
The United Nations has reported that $200 million worth of medicines and medical supplies sit undistributed in Iraqi warehouses. This is about half the value of all the medical supplies that have arrived in Iraq since the start of the oil-for-food program. Saddam can move his troops and missiles around the country, but claims that he doesn't have enough transportation to distribute these medicines, even as he alleges that children are dying due to sanctions.
Despite a 50% increase in oil revenues, Iraq has increased the amount earmarked for food purchases by only 15.6%.
Baghdad has reduced from $8 million to $6 million the amount allocated to the supplemental nutritional support program for malnourished children and pregnant and lactating mothers.
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Misuse of Resources by the Regime
Rather than spend money to help its people, Iraq's leaders enrich themselves.
With Iraqi oil revenues burgeoning, it's hard to understand why the people of Iraq aren't better off. The reason is because the government of Iraq is mismanaging the oil-for-food program, either deliberately or through incompetence.
Despite reports of widespread health problems, the government has still not spent the full $200 million for medical supplies allocated under phase five of the oil-for-food program (which ended in May). Only 40% of the money was used to purchase medicines for primary care, while 60% was used to buy medical equipment.
While the average Iraqi needs basic medicines and medical care, the government of Iraq spent $6 million on a gamma knife, an instrument used for complicated neurosurgery that requires extremely advanced training to use. Another several million was spent on a MRI machine, used for high-resolution imaging. Such exotic treatment is reserved for regime bodyguards and other members of the elite. This total of $10 million could instead have benefited thousands of Iraqi children if it had been spent on vaccines, antibiotics, and the chemotherapeutics necessary to treat the large numbers of children that are allegedly dying due to lack of medicine.
While the people of Iraq go wanting, their leaders enrich themselves.
In July 1999, Forbes Magazine estimated Saddam Hussein's personal wealth at $6 billion, acquired primarily from oil and smuggling.
Medicines received through the oil-for-food program are sold by the regime to private hospitals at exorbitant prices.
Members of the government and top military and security officials are provided with extra monthly food rations, Mercedes automobiles, and monthly stipends in the thousands of dollars. By comparison, the average monthly government salary is 6,500 dinars, or about $3.50.
In addition to the revenues generated under the oil-for-food program, the government of Iraq earns money from other sources which it controls. Rather than spend these funds to help the people of Iraq, Saddam Hussein chooses to build monuments to himself. In addition, he deprives those in need of water and other scarce resources in order to favor elites and other supporters of the regime.
Saddam celebrated his birthday this year by building a resort complex for regime loyalists. Since the Gulf War, Saddam has spent over $2 billion on presidential palaces. Some of these palaces boast gold-plated faucets and man-made lakes and waterfalls, which use pumping equipment that could have been used to address civilian water and sanitation needs.
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In April 1999, Iraqi officials inaugurated Saddamiat al Tharthar. Located 85 miles west of Baghdad, this sprawling lakeside vacation resort contains stadiums, an amusement park, hospitals, parks, and 625 homes to be used by government officials. This project cost hundreds of millions of dollars. There is no clearer example of the government's lack of concern for the needs of its people than Saddamiat al Tharthar (see photo 2).
In July, Baghdad increased taxes on vehicle ownership and marriage dowries, after earlier increases in taxes, fees, and fuel and electricity prices. This is in part what pays for Saddam's palaces. Saddam also uses food rations, medical care, and other state resources to buy the loyalty of his inner circle and security forces.
Iraq is facing its worst drought in 50 years. As a result, the government is restricting the planting of rice and told farmers not to plant summer crops without permission from the Ministry of Irrigation. The water levels of the reservoirs supplying Saddam Hussein's region of Tikrit, however, were at normal seasonal levels, while the flow of water to the southern cities was dramatically lower than during the previous two years. Saddam is diverting water to serve his political objectives, at the expense of the general population.
Saddam Hussein's repression of the Iraqi people has not stopped.
He is draining the southern marshes, causing grave environmental damage and forcible relocation of civilians in an attempt to eliminate opposition to the regime.
He is murdering Shi'a clerics.
He is destroying villages and forcibly relocating people in both the north and the south and destroying villages in the south.
International human rights groups and others are gathering evidence and working to establish an international criminal court to try Saddam and his senior aides for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
He has used chemical weapons against his own people.
UNSC Resolution 688
In Resolution 688 (1991), the UN Security Council condemned the Government of Iraq's repression of the Iraqi civilian population, which it concluded threatened international peace and security in the region.
The Council demanded that Iraq immediately end this repression and allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq.
Iraq has neither ended the repression of its civilian population nor allowed outside organizations access to help those in need. The government of Iraq uses military force to repress civilian populations throughout the country, resulting in the deaths of thousands and the destruction of entire villages.
Iraq has refused to allow the UN's Special Rapporteur for Human Rights to return to Iraq since his first visit in 1992. The government of Iraq has refused to allow the stationing of human rights monitors as required by the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Human Rights. The regime expelled UN personnel and NGOs who, until 1992, ensured the delivery of humanitarian relief services throughout the country.
Iraqi authorities routinely practice extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions throughout those parts of the country still under regime control. The total number of prisoners believed to have been executed since autumn 1997 exceeds 2,500. This includes hundreds of arbitrary executions in the last months of 1998 at Abu Ghraib and Radwaniyah prisons near Baghdad.
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In the 1970s and 1980s, the Iraqi regime destroyed over 3,000 Kurdish villages. The destruction of Kurdish and Turkomen homes is still going on in Iraqi-controlled areas of northern Iraq, as evidenced the destruction by Iraqi forces of civilian homes in the citadel of Kirkuk (see Photo 3 & 4).
In northern Iraq, the government is continuing its campaign of forcibly deporting Kurdish and Turkomen families to southern governorates. As a result of these forced deportations, approximately 900,000 citizens are internally displaced throughout Iraq. Local officials in the south have ordered the arrest of any official or citizen who provides employment, food or shelter to newly arriving Kurds.
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Iraq's 1988-89 Anfal campaign subjected the Kurdish people in northern Iraq to the most widespread attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The Iraqi military attacked a number of towns and villages in northern Iraq with chemical weapons. In the town of Halabja alone, an estimated 5,000 civilians were killed and more than 10,000 were injured (see photo 5).
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The scale and severity of Iraqi attacks on Shi'a civilians in the south of Iraq have been increasing steadily. The Human Rights Organization in Iraq (HROI) reports that 1,093 persons were arrested in June 1999 in Basrah alone. Tanks from the Hammourabi Republican Guards Division attacked the towns of Rumaitha and Khudur on June 26, after residents protested the systematic maldistribution of food and medicine to the detriment of the Shi'a. Iraqi troops killed fourteen villagers, arrested more than a hundred more, and destroyed forty homes. On June 29, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Resistance in Iraq reported that 160 homes in the Abul Khaseeb district near Basra were destroyed (see photo 8).
In March 1999, the regime gunned down Grand Ayatollah al Sayyid Mohammad Sadiq al Sadr, the most senior Shi'a religious leader in Iraq. Since 1991, dozens of senior Shi'a clerics and hundreds of their followers have either been murdered or arrested by the authorities,and their whereabouts remain unknown.
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In the southern marshes, government forces have burned houses and fields, demolished houses with bulldozers, and undertaken a deliberate campaign to drain and poison the marshes. Villages belonging to the al Juwaibiri, al Shumaish, al Musa and al Rahma tribes were entirely destroyed and the inhabitants forcibly expelled. Government troops expelled the population of other areas at gunpoint and also forced them to relocate by cutting off their water supply (see photo 6 & 7).
The nature and magnitude of the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein and his regime since 1980 demand that all efforts be made to hold those individuals accountable for their crimes. We believe that Saddam Hussein and key members of his regime should be brought to justice for their past and current crimes.
While its repression of the Iraqi people continues, the Iraqi regime still is far from complying with its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions.
It has not fully complied with a single resolution.
It has not fully declared and destroyed its WMD programs. It has not ceased concealment of its WMD. It has not responded fully to questions from UNSCOM and the IAEA. (UNSCRs 687, 707, 715, 1051)
It has not returned Kuwaiti and Third Country POWs and Missing Persons (UNSCRs 686 and 687). 605 Kuwaiti POW/MIAs and 34 Saudis remain unaccounted for.
It has not returned all stolen Kuwaiti property (UNSCR 686). In fact, some is still deployed with Iraqi military units
It has not stopped repressing its civilian population (UNSCR 688).
What Disarmament Means
UNSCR 687 and related resolutions 707, 715, and 1051 stipulate that Iraq must provide full, final and complete disclosure of all aspects of its nuclear, chemical, biological, and long-range missile weapons programs; allow unconditional inspection access by international monitors; cease any attempt to conceal, move, or destroy any material or equipment related to these programs; and cooperate with UN monitoring of relevant Iraqi facilities and trade activities.
What Iraq Has Done
When these resolutions were passed, it was expected that compliance would require no more than 90 days. Instead, nine years later, sanctions remain in place because Iraq has decided to (1) hide weapons and major components of these programs, (2) secretly destroy older, less-capable weapons and equipment, and (3) give UN inspectors fraudulent declarations to mask weapons and equipment that are still hidden.
Iraq began playing hide-and-seek with UN inspectors in 1991. In December 1998, Saddam stopped all cooperation with the UN, refusing to let any weapons inspectors into the country.
In July 1998, Iraq seized from the hands of UNSCOM inspectors an Iraqi Air Force document indicating that Iraq had misrepresented the expenditure of over 6,000 bombs which may have contained over 700 tons of chemical agent. Iraq continues to refuse to provide this document to the UN.
Iraq continues to deny weaponizing VX nerve agent, despite the fact that UNSCOM found VX nerve agent residues on Iraqi SCUD missile warhead fragments. Based on its investigations, international experts concluded that "Iraq has the know-how and process equipment, and may possess precursors to manufacture as much as 200 tons of VX ... The retention of a VX capability by Iraq cannot be excluded by the UNSCOM international expert team."
Iraq has refused to credibly account for 500 tons of SCUD propellant, over 40 SCUD biological and conventional warheads, 7 Iraqi-produced SCUDs, and truckloads of SCUD components.
Iraq refuses to allow inspection of thousands of Ministry of Defense and Military Industries Commission documents relating to biological and chemical weapons and long-range missiles.
In 1995, Iraqis who conducted field trials of R-400 bombs filled with biological agents described the tests to UNSCOM experts in considerable detail, including the use of many animals. These field trials were reflected in Iraq's June 1996 biological weapons declaration. Yet, amazingly, Iraq now denies that any such trials were conducted at all.
In September 1995, Iraq finally declared the existence of two projects to disseminate biological agents from Mirage F-1 and MiG-21 aircraft, yet there is no evidence that the prototype weapons and aircraft were ever destroyed. There is also no evidence that the 12 Iraqi helicopter-borne aerosol generators for biological weapon delivery were ever destroyed.
Apart from one document referring to a single year, no Iraqi biological weapon production records have been given to the UN -- no records of storage, of filling into munitions, or of destruction. This is why UNSCOM refers to Iraq's biological weapons program -- which deployed SCUD missile warheads filled with anthrax and botulinum toxin to be ready for use against Coalition forces -- as a "black hole."
The Iraqis have repeatedly changed their story about their biological weapons warheads. Iraq has revised several times its declarations regarding the precise locations of warhead destruction and the fill of warheads. The movements of concealed warheads prior to unilateral destruction, claimed by Iraq, have been proven to be false.
At the request of the UNSC, Brazilian Ambassador Amorim led a review of the mechanisms designed to ensure Iraqi disarmament. His 7 April 1999 report affirmed that future work "should be based on the full implementation of the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification approved by Security Council Resolution 715 (1991)" and called for Iraq to provide UNSCOM and IAEA inspectors with all the rights called for by UNSC resolutions 687, 707, and 1051." Rather than do so, Saddam has refused to allow weapons inspectors into Iraq.
Iraq is a Regional Threat
Iraq under Saddam Hussein remains dangerous, unreconstructed, and defiant. It has not disarmed. It has never apologized or expressed regret for the invasion of Kuwait. It continues to repress its people.
This is a dangerous regime that threatens its neighbors, has a long history of aggression, has ambitions to dominate the Gulf by force, and retains the capability to do so.
History of Aggression
Far from apologizing for its invasion of Kuwait, Iraq continues to assert that its actions were justified.
On this year's ninth anniversary of the invasion of Kuwait, the government newspaper Babel -- owned by Saddam's son Uday -- stated "We still believe that what we did on August 2, 1990, was the right response to foil a large and abortive conspiracy."
In an editorial on August 2, 1999, al Thawra, the regime's mouthpiece, referred to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait as, "the honorable day of the call."
In 1994, Saddam attempted to blackmail the UN Security Council into lifting sanctions by massing his forces for another invasion of Kuwait. In response, the UNSC passed Resolution 949, ordering Iraq to withdraw its Republican Guard forces from southern Iraq.
Not only does Baghdad consider its invasion of Kuwait "honorable," but Saddam Hussein has gone so far as to call for the overthrow of fellow Arab leaders and to attempt to murder the Emir of Kuwait and former president George Bush.
In Saddam's Army Day speech of January 6, 1999, he said: "Release your anger and rebel against the defiled ones who are playing with your fate and the fate of the nation.... Rebel against those who are proud of the friendship of the United States, those who are proud of being U.S. protégées..."
In 1993, Iraq organized an attempt to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush and the Emir of Kuwait.
In August 1996, the regime's forces attacked the Kurdish-held city of Irbil. Within hours, Iraqi secret police had swarmed over the city, arresting hundreds and killing scores of suspected oppositionists
Baghdad continues to harbor the Muhjahideen e-Khalq (MEK), Iranian dissents who conduct a widespread terrorist campaign to support their political agenda. In the past, the MEK has been responsible for attacks on Americans, (including participating in the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979), Iraqis, Iranians, and Europeans.
Saddam continues to attack coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones, which were established to prevent Saddam from attacking Kurdish and Shi'a civilians, in violation of UNSC Resolutions 688 and 949.
Saddam retains the capability to inflict significant damage upon Iraq's neighbors and its own civilian population.
Since December 1998, Saddam Hussein has prevented UN weapons inspectors from even entering Iraq. We do not know for sure what he is doing under the roofs of the weapons factories they routinely monitored. So, in addition to the weapons he has worked so hard to hide since 1991, Saddam may well have his experts making chemical and biological weapons, and pursuing nuclear weapon designs.
Iraq is capable of assembling its prohibited Al-Hussein long-range missiles with key parts known to have been stripped from destroyed imported SCUDs.
Iraq has refused to account for precursor chemicals capable of making as much as 200 tons of VX nerve agent. Iraq has the know-how and equipment to weaponize VX, despite its continuing denials.
Iraq loaded VX, anthrax, botulism toxin, and other chemical and biological agents into Al-Hussein missile warheads and deployed them during the Gulf War.
Iraq loaded thousands of munitions such as aerial bombs, tactical rockets, and artillery shells with a variety of chemical and biological agents similar to those used against Iran and against Iraqi civilians.
Without sanctions, Saddam would be free to use his resources to rearm and make good on his threats against Kuwait and the region.
The United States wants to see Iraq return as a respected and prosperous member of the international community. As long as Saddam Hussein is in power, however, we don't believe that that's going to happen.
Given Saddam Hussein's long record of aggression against his neighbors and repression of his own people, and absent any proof that he has in fact disarmed, it is important that the international community remain united in containing this dangerous regime.
Sanctions will remain in place until UNSC requirements are fully met.
Only a robust, fully empowered inspection regime can determine if Iraq is fully disarmed. A weak inspection regime will not be effective.
No-fly zones will be enforced to prevent Saddam from using his air force and helicopters to slaughter his people, as he has repeatedly done in the past. No-fly zones also contain Saddam Hussein's ability to threaten his neighbors.
The United States will use force if Saddam threatens Iraq's neighbors or coalition forces, reconstitutes or deploys WMD, or moves against the Kurds.
At the same time, we are working to relieve the suffering of the Iraqi people by:
Expanding Iraqi oil sales making more money available for oil-for-food.
Working to get Iraq to order more food, especially nutritional supplements for children and lactating mothers, which it has until now refused to do.
Expediting approval of contracts under oil-for-food.
Supporting a draft UNSC resolution which proposes lifting the oil-for-food ceiling on oil sales.
The international community, not Saddam Hussein, is caring for the Iraqi people.
Saddam's record over the past 10 years, however, demonstrates that he will never comply with UN resolutions and that he will continue to repress his own people and threaten his neighbors. That is why we believe that the only way to address the security needs of the international community and the needs of the people of Iraq is through a new government in Baghdad, one that is committed to living in peace with its neighbors and respecting the rights of its citizens. Iraq, the region, and the world would be better off with a new government in Iraq.
We support the territorial integrity of Iraq. One nation, whole and free. Saddam Hussein is not what's holding Iraq together; he's what's breaking it apart.
The United States believes that if there is to be change, it must come from within Iraq, led by Iraqis. We do not seek to impose an American solution or a foreign opposition on the people of Iraq.
In a post-Saddam Iraq, the United States will take the lead to foster economic development, restore Iraqi civil society, rebuild the middle class, and restore Iraq's health and education sectors.
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