Punch: For the Sake of ol' days

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Posted by andreas from dtm2-t8-1.mcbone.net ( on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 at 7:33PM :

Punch - Gargoyle Man:
For the Sake of ol' days

Let's take that guy + the crew surounding him out !

They are a threat to mankind.

Your primitive babble against "Christians" wouldn't have saved Kennedy...

Posted on Tue, Dec. 31, 2002

Bush Warns That Iraq Threatens World Economy


CRAWFORD, Texas/BAGHDAD - President Bush warned a world partying into the New Year that Iraq had the power to unleash economic chaos if given the chance to mount an attack on the United States.

Bush said on Tuesday he still hoped to resolve the standoff with Baghdad peacefully, but made a fresh pitch to drum up support at home and abroad for possible war to force Iraq to come clean over any weapons of mass destruction.

Asked by reporters about the potential cost of war against Iraq, Bush countered: "An attack from (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein or a surrogate of Saddam Hussein would cripple our economy.

"Our economy is strong, it's resilient, we've got to continue to make it strong and resilient. This economy cannot afford to stand an attack," said Bush, holidaying at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Bush's warning raised the specter of an attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 and seemed designed to persuade Americans and a world heavily locked into the fortunes of the U.S. economy that his hardline stance on Iraq was in their interests.

U.S. officials have warned that Iraq could attack U.S. interests or supply weapons to extremist groups such as Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, blamed by Washington for the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Bush, who has said Iraq must comply with a tough new U.N. Security Council resolution or face war, reiterated that he saw holes in Baghdad's arms declaration to the United Nations.

Calling Iraq's response so far "discouraging," Bush said: "Saddam's declaration was short, and the international community recognized that -- that he wasn't forthcoming."

But he added: "We hope to resolve all the situations in which we find ourselves in a peaceful way. And so that's my commitment, to try to do so peacefully."


British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush's staunchest ally on Iraq, warned in a New Year message of dangerous times ahead that could include war against Iraq and a terror attack on Britain.

"I cannot recall a time when Britain was confronted, simultaneously, by such a range of difficult and in some cases dangerous problems," Blair said.

He said there was a "prospect of committing (British) troops to action if Saddam Hussein continues to flout international law and fails properly to disarm."

As U.N. arms inspectors press on with searches of suspect sites in Iraq, Bush is building up forces in the Gulf region and has urged other states to join what he calls a "coalition of the willing" if it comes to military action.

U.S. officials said the Bush administration was drawing up plans to pay for a possible military campaign in Iraq that could cost close to the $61 billion spent on the 1991 Gulf War.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Tuesday that Iraq was cooperating with U.N. inspections and he saw no argument for military action before inspectors reported back to the Security Council by January 27.

"I really do not see any basis for an action until then, particularly as (the inspectors) are able to carry out their work in an unimpeded manner," Annan said in an interview with Israel's Army Radio monitored in Jerusalem.

On the streets of Baghdad on New Year's Eve, Iraqis were hoping for more than a stay of execution from war.

"God willing, peace will prevail in Iraq in the New Year and the phantom of war will be lifted," said Samer al-Amiri, 52, sipping black tea in a cafe in the Iraqi capital.


Baghdad says it has no banned weapons and tensions over inspections were high on Tuesday despite Annan's insistence they were running smoothly.

U.N. inspectors swooped on at least eight suspect sites in central Iraq.

"They looked at personal documents and searched everything, including briefcases of the employees and drawers in an annoying way, and even notebooks of some of the ladies were looked into thoroughly," said Riyadh Khalil al-Hashimi, head of the engineering and designing firm Sa'ad General Company.

The official Iraqi News Agency said Iraq had invited chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix to visit Baghdad to "review cooperation" in January, before the inspectors report back to the Security Council.

A unanimous Security Council resolution passed in November gave Baghdad a final chance to reveal all details of its weapons programs, as required by resolutions going back to the 1991 Gulf War, or face "serious consequences."

The resolution opened the way for inspectors to return to Iraq for the first time in four years to resume a mission that began after a U.S. military coalition ousted Iraq from its occupation of Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War.

Oil prices retreated this week from recent highs after an OPEC delegate said the cartel was ready to raise output to ease supply concerns sparked by the threat of war in Iraq and Venezuela's 30-day oil strike.

The international benchmark Brent crude oil in London fell $1.00 to close at $28.66 per barrel on Tuesday, having risen 44 percent in 2002.

-- andreas
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