Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-03-12-Speech-3-038"

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"Mr President, the threat of a punishment must always be so credible that the punishment does not need to be carried out. The massive military presence around Iraq, and Bush's rhetoric, have finally had their effect on Saddam. Suddenly he is cooperating with the inspections and destroying weapons he said he did not have. It is therefore naive to think that Saddam could have been called to order with diplomatic pleas alone. Apart from Saddam, Bush himself has unfortunately begun to believe in the military threat to such a degree that he feels he can no longer find a way out of it. Withdrawing a quarter of a million servicemen from the Iraq region while Saddam is still in charge is a disgrace for the American president that he wants to prevent in whatever way he can. To this end he is even trying to bribe members of the Security Council, in particular to make possible an attack in the near future. Bush and Blair have now become the prisoners of their own rhetoric and their diplomatic inability to mobilise sufficient support. With no green light from the Security Council, all that remains for them is the choice between two evils: to do nothing and consequently lose face or to take military action outside the UN with all the negative consequences that entails. A unilateral military intervention will lead to unprecedented instability and seriously impede the reconstruction of Iraq. While Saddam was himself destroying the rockets in Iraq, he was placing a bomb under the UN, NATO and the EU, enabled to do so by Western leaders acting irresponsibly. Since the fall of the Wall, the EU Member States have above all been pursuing their own interests and prestige and very little has come of a common foreign policy. European policy must consist of maintaining the pressure on Saddam and certainly there must be no headlong rush to war. We must be specific about what compliance we are expecting of the tyrant within a timeframe that the inspectors consider reasonable. Only the UN can ensure that Saddam obeys, and that the punishment does not need to be carried out."@en1

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