E-Mail Signup
Search  
HomeAboutMy ArizonaConstituent ServicesIssues & LegislationPress OfficeCalendarStudent & Teacher CenterContact

March 04, 2003

SEN. MCCAIN ON ABC "NIGHTLINE" TOWNHALL MEETING

NIGHTLINE WAR IN IRAQ, WHY NOW?
 
ABC - Nightline

ANNOUNCER

This is an ABC News Special Edition of "Nightline."

GEORGE W. BUSH, US PRESIDENT

The world has waited a long time for Mr. Saddam Hussein to disarm. The fundamental question is, when? This is a matter of weeks, not months. Now's the time.

TED KOPPEL, ABC NEWS

(Voice Over) The President has, from the very beginning, run a clock on his showdown with Iraq.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Time for us to hold the world to account and for Saddam to be held to account.

TED KOPPEL

(Voice Over) For the Bush Administration, the time has been measured in years of deceit and against a growing threat.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Saddam Hussein wants time. This is a man who is trying to stall for time. He has deceived the world for 12 years.

TED KOPPEL

(Voice Over) But for critics, protesters and many allies, the President is playing "beat the clock" by rushing to war.

DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER

The use of force is not justified at this time. Let us allow the inspectors the time they need for their mission to succeed.

GEORGE W. BUSH

The UN Security Council has got to make up its mind, soon, as to whether or not its word means anything. There's threat gathering in Iraq.

TED KOPPEL

(Voice Over) Now, as time ticks down, pressure is building up. On Washington, on the United Nations, and on Baghdad.

COLIN POWELL, US SECRETARY OF STATE

Iraq is still not complying and time is drawing to a close.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Time is running out on Saddam Hussein.

graphics: ABC NEWS: NIGHTLINE: Town Meeting: War In Iraq, Why Now?

ANNOUNCER

From ABC News, this is a "Nightline" Town Meeting: War in Iraq, Why Now? Reporting from St. John's Church, the Church of the Presidents, in Lafayette Square, in Washington, DC, Ted Koppel.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) There's a sardonic two-liner making the rounds here in Washington these days, how do we know that Saddam Hussein has biological and chemical weapons? We have the receipts. Nasty, but there's an element of truth to it. Back in the 1980s, when we were all a little more worried about the Iranians than we were about the Iraqis, the United States, Britain, France and Germany, extended all kinds of assistance to the government of Saddam Hussein, including the wherewithal to produce biochemical weapons. And when his forces actually used chemical weapons against the Iraqi Kurds in, back in 1988, there wasn't a great deal of outrage from the Reagan-Bush White House. Yes, Saddam presides over a brutal and corrupt dictatorship. But that's been the case for the better part of 25 years. All the reasons, in other words, for going to war against Saddam have existed for a long, long time.

TED KOPPEL (CONTINUED)

(Off Camera) One can easily make the case that he should have been rooted out of there some time ago, but why now? Well, 9/11 is one answer, not that Saddam's fingerprints are anywhere to be found on that particularly horrendous act of terrorism. But he is, unquestionably, a potential supporter and supplier of global terrorism. And as they say in the Middle East, sometimes to scare the monkey, you have to kill a chicken. Making an example of Saddam Hussein will send an unambiguous message to enemies of the United States, wherever they may be. And after 9/11, that course of action became a politically viable option. Only today, a bomb set off outside an airport, in the southern Philippines, killed 19 people, injuring at least 144. Among the dead, one American. Among the injured, three others. Was the incident related to the impending war against Iraq? Will there be more such incidents when the war begins? Or fewer? And how will we ever know?

TED KOPPEL (CONTINUED)

(Off Camera) We'll discuss all of those issues tonight, but the central topic is the war itself and the timing. Why now? Among the members of our audience tonight, the ambassadors of Germany, Lebanon, Greece and France, and several members of Congress. Joining me here on stage, Carl Levin, a Democratic senator from Michigan. John McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona. Joseph Wilson is the former US Ambassador to Iraq. James Woolsey is a former director of the CIA. Susan Thistelthwaite is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and president of the Chicago Theological Seminary. And Richard Land is an ordained Baptist minister and president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. We are here to talk. But for a moment, let's listen to these competing commercials.

clips of US political commercials

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) And so we begin. And I'd like to begin up here with our panelists first of all and then we'll be going to questions and comments from the floor. Senator Levin, why don't you get us started. Why now? Or if you prefer, why not now?

SENATOR CARL LEVIN,

DEMOCRAT, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE

I think we ought to stick with the United Nations. And if the United Nations is not ready to go now, that we ought to stay with the United Nations as being the soundest course for us to deal with a threat. To say that he is a threat is to start the discussion, not to end it. Just the way to say that North Korea is a threat, doesn't solve the problem or give us the answer to this problem. It states the problem. And the question is how best to deal with Saddam Hussein, the same way is, how best to deal with Iran, which we know supports terrorist organizations, is seeking nuclear weapons?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Let me, put it another way, Senator Levin, what would the inspectors have to do or find, or what would Saddam have to do that would convince you that the time is now?

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

I think we ought to be convincing the United Nations. I think that's the best place for us to be. We ought to be rallying the world community, so that Saddam sees at the other end of the barrel, a united world, not a divided world. Too often, I believe, we've looked at the UN as an impediment, as a roadblock, rather than as an opportunity to rally the world against Saddam. Too many things that we've done, too much of our rhetoric has been unilateral, has been divisive, derisive of our own allies at the UN, derisive of inspections. We said at the beginning that inspections were useless, just recently. The White House was told by Condi Rice that they are futile and that they are hopeless. I don't think that's the way to treat the inspections, which the UN Security Council are relying upon to try to either find something, if there's something to be found which most of us believe there is, or to deter Saddam Hussein. But the most important thing we ought to focus on is that we rally the world so that it is not just us, not just Britain, not just Australia, against Saddam. But that if the time comes, it is the world community against Saddam, not just the West.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Senator McCain, I'm not asking why we should go to war against Iraq. There is ample evidence that Saddam is a terrible man and that he has awful weapons and he's used them in the past and he might use them again in the future. But why now?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN,

REPUBLICAN, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE

We're now working on our 18th Security Council resolution. We have clearly laid out a resolution that Saddam Hussein is not in compliance with. If you want 19 or 20 or 25 more resolutions, the fact is that he has not complied with the requirements. He has stiffed the inspectors. We now, after all of these weeks of inspections, find that he is going to destroy 10 of at least 160 weapons that we know that he has. So, the answer is, that you reach a point in any situation where you either have to act or you don't act. And the United States of America, nor any good cause, should not be driven by the good will of Syria or China. We went into Bosnia without United Nations. We went into Kosovo to prevent Muslim citizens from being slaughtered without the United Nations. We have acted in a far more serious way on this issue than we have on other occasions. Before 1991, the same question was asked, why now? And the answer was, because we had a clear and present danger. We have that today.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) In 1991, Mr. Woolsey, we of course had an invasion by Iraq of Kuwait. That hasn't happened this time around. And perhaps, by contacting some of your former colleagues, you can give us some evidence that might be compelling to folks in this audience today. What is it that Saddam threatens that brings about the need for immediate action? I take all the points that your friend, Senator McCain, has made. But why now? Why can't we wait a few more weeks or even months?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR

Well, the time comes, I think, here in the late winter, early spring, where one really needs to decide whether this is going to be done this year or to wait through the summer heat and to put it off for a number of months. And I think the reason why it comes to a head is that it's quite clear Saddam has chemical and bacteriological weapons. Colin Powell made that case effectively before the United Nations Security Council. He had them in 1998. The inspectors said so. He says that he has destroyed them. And he forgot to keep records of just exactly who did it or how. And if you believe that, you know, there's a bridge in Brooklyn that, I think you can be sold.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Let me interrupt you for a moment here because I want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak quickly so that we all have a chance to interact together. Ambassador Wilson, go to the point that may be at the center of Mr. Woolsey's answer to my precise question. And that is, if we don't go now, we face the summer heat. If we face the summer heat, yes, I suppose the military has said they can do it. But you know better than anyone, it gets to be, like, 130, 140 degrees in the, if you're wearing those biochemical suits. Is it possible to fight? I suppose it's possible, but next to impossible. And by next fall, what happens to what little world support we have right now? Do you think it will have increased or will it have faded away? And what about all of our allies over there who have, indeed, committed themselves to support us now and who might get very nervous over the course of the next four or five months?

JOSEPH WILSON, FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ

Sure. First of all, one minor correction. I was actually, acting ambassador in Baghdad. I got my ambassadorial title later. So, I don't want to detract from Ambassador Glassly, who was. . .

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) You were the last guy in the seat.

JOSEPH WILSON

I was the last guy to meet with Saddam Hussein. That's the first line of my obituary, yes sir, absolutely. But, to the point of whether or not we can fight, our military leaders have told us we can fight throughout the summer. I believe them when they say that, that's doable. I see no particular reason why we need to rush to war. We have Saddam surrounded. We're watching everything he does. We're listening to everything he says. The inspections, there are many other steps that might be taken. Disarmament is the internationally-accepted goal. If Saddam is not going to disarm as a consequence to the intrusive inspections, we ought to keep the focus on disarmament and ratchet up the pressure to get him to disarm. That's your precise question. We can fight whatever war we want, whenever we want. The determination as to whether or not there has to be a war is Saddam's. The type of war and the timing of the war is clearly within our purview to fight.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) I'm gonna save our two moralists here for the beginning of the next segment because I want to start some of the questions here. Go ahead.

FEMALE ONE, AUDIENCE MEMBER

Thank you. I would like to ask those that are opposed to an immediate and quick action against Iraq, which American, citizens do you feel are expendable before you realize that quick and immediate action against Saddam Hussein is imperative?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Now, I'll tell you what, before I ask anyone on this side to answer that question, you're going to have to explain that a little bit. Because, you're presuming a bit too much, perhaps. But explain.

FEMALE ONE

Okay, and actually, maybe I should broaden it to any kind of city, whether it be the neighbors of Iraq or us here on American soil. The thing is, is that we've already seen the actions of us, or what happened, September 11th, when we knew it was coming, not knew it, we knew that there was evidence supporting the possible attack on American soil. Which city would you like us to send letters to saying, okay, San Francisco, we'll wait until you get attacked before we take action against Saddam Hussein because we know that he does have ties to terrorist organizations. We know that he has the weapons of mass destruction. And is willing to use them.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) So, as a matter of fact, Reverend Thistelthwaite, this comes to you, I did misunderstand your question. You're saying, we need to go to war because if we don't, what are we waiting for?

FEMALE ONE

Sitting on our hands.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) We're sitting on our hands.

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE,

CHICAGO THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

I think I'm going to answer with my professor hat on, rather than my minister hat. Your questions just assumes far too many leaps. You can't make that quick and causal connection. And fundamentally, you cannot kill every single person who may potentially be a terrorist. You know what you do when you kill a terrorist? You'll make another one. Somehow, we're going to have to find a way to deal with the causes of terrorism so we don't have to kill an infinite number of people and they don't have to kill an infinite number of us.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) All right, I'm going to put my insolent journalist hat on and ask you, in turn, what are you suggesting, that we don't meet force with force? That when 3,000 Americans are killed, we don't go after the terrorists and kill them, if need be?

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE

Personally, I'd rather arrest them than kill them.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) You gotta find them.

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE

Yeah, you do have to find them.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) And what if they fight back?

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE

I think it's extremely important to try to defend people who are innocent and are only being attacked because of somebody's ideology. But I'm asking you, when will the killing stop? Not only when will it start. That's what I'm most worried about. I think people like North Korea think "we're next." And so, I think that we do this and we will have an infinite list of enemies that we will have. . .

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Ambassador Wilson, you want to get in. Sir, go ahead.

JOSEPH WILSON

Sure. First of all, when the 3,000 Americans were killed, the four aircraft that went into the three sites and crashed in Pennsylvania, included no Iraqi citizens, to the best of my knowledge. And therefore, and there has never been any tie from 9/11 to Iraq. But secondly, of course, we did react. And I think it was appropriate. We reacted swiftly and we went right after both the al-Qaeda centers in Afghanistan and the people who were housing them, the Taliban, in a successful military action. To the point that you made about sitting on our hands, which is the same point that Senator Thompson made about appeasing, there's no sitting on your hands and there's no appeasing going on. There are intrusive inspections. There is every possibility, once you, put together the international will again, to ratchet up the pressure and keep the focus on disarmament, which is the threat that may be posed against America and America's interests overseas. Now, the weapons are chemical and biological, are tactical battlefield weapons and weapons of terror. But they do not have the same impact on society as nuclear weapons, the destruction of a city. And there is nothing that suggests that Saddam is any further along on the production of nuclear weapons than he was four or five years ago, when the inspectors left.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Ambassador Wilson, I'm going to need to restore the balance here just a little bit in a moment. But before we do that, we're going to a commercial break. We'll come to your question. We'll give the folks over here a chance to respond to what you just heard. Back in a moment.

graphics: NIGHTLINE: Town Meeting

ANNOUNCER

This is an ABC News "Nightline" Town Meeting, brought to you by . . .

commercial break

graphics: NIGHTLINE: Town Meeting

ANNOUNCER

This ABC News "Nightline" Town Meeting continues. Reporting from Washington, DC, Ted Koppel.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) We've just heard eloquent and ample testimony as to why we should not go to war. Now, I want to give the folks to my right here a chance to respond, and Reverend Land, we haven't heard from you. If you want to pick up on this one or if you want to wait until a little later, either way.

REVEREND RICHARD LAND,

SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

Well, I think that, as I've listened to the people on the other side, I'm reminded of a phrase that was used by my mentor and dearly- beloved college professor, Paul Ramsey, when I was an undergraduate at Princeton. He said that too often people in his communion and people, sort of in the mainline denominations, fall prey to what he calls "anticipatory reconciliation." And that is a belief that your enemy can always be reconciled, that he's basically a person who can see reason. And what have we done to offend him? What have we done to make him act this way? And, let's get together and if we can just talk, we can work this out. And as Paul Ramsey said, that's not the way grown-ups do foreign policy. Sometimes you're dealing with truly evil people. Martin Luther King Jr., when he was asked about Bonnhofer's moving from pacifism to agreeing to take part in the plot to assassinate Hitler, said, if your enemy has a conscience, then follow Gandhi and nonviolence. If your enemy has no conscience, like Hitler, then follow Bonnhofer.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Is that what you're saying about Saddam Hussein?

REVEREND RICHARD LAND

I think Saddam Hussein's a whole lot more like Hitler, or Stalin, his personal hero, than anyone else in the 20th century.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) All right. Let's go to another question. Go ahead.

FEMALE TWO, AUDIENCE MEMBER

Good evening, my name is, I'm a senior Journalism major from Howard University. And my question has to do with, why attack Iraq and not North Korea? And in the 2002 State of the Union Address, our President Bush addressed North Korea, Iran and Iraq as part of the "axis of evil." Since we're gonna attack Iraq based on the criteria that they're evil, then why not North Korea?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Senator McCain, that sounds like a natural on for an ex-military guy.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

Well, first of all, I think it's important to emphasize that this is the last resort, if we act militarily against Iraq. This isn't the first Security Council resolution they have violated, it's the 18th. And, as a supporter of the United Nations, I believe strongly that the credibility of the United Nations is at stake. The justice, the League of Nation's credibility was at stake when Italy invaded Abyssinia. North Korea is a danger. It is a crisis. We have not exhausted all options with North Korea. We should immediately be going to China and telling them it's not in their interest to have an nuclear-armed North Korea. We cannot allow Saddam Hussein to reach the stage that the North Korean has, that's the acquisition of nuclear weapons, which has been his stated goals. Otherwise, we will be facing a far more severe crisis than we are today. And just let me say, in all due respect, Ambassador, if you missed Colin Powell, a little vial of anthrax can do enormous damage to millions of people, including in the United States of America. Intrusive inspections have never worked. Every time that we have uncovered something, with literally without exception, was because of a defector, such as the son-in-law that Saddam Hussein decided to execute once he got him back in Iraq, or some other source. We can have intrusive inspections until the cows come home in a country the size of California. So, don't think, and also, there may not be direct ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. But is there anyone here, given his record, that believes that Saddam Hussein would not provide a terrorist organization with a weapon of mass destruction, if he had it, in order to destroy the United States of America?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Senator, with your permission, and we'll go to some of the folks who've got their hands up back there, if you'll send a microphone back there. Let me just add one thing in response to the young lady's question. I think you'll agree, if we went to war with North Korea, the estimate is that in the first couple of weeks, anywhere from three to five million people would die. It's a whole 'nother thing. I mean, forget about the morality of it, just look at the practicality of it.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

But they have missiles and nuclear weapons that could destroy Tokyo, that could kill a whole lot more. That's the stage we don't want Saddam Hussein to reach. We've faced that threat since 1953 when we had a cease-fire.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) I'll come over here in a moment. Go ahead, Mr. Woolsey.

JAMES WOOLSEY

I need to add one thing because the Ambassador said something a few minutes ago that is highly misleading and quite false, which is that biological weapons really are only for battlefield use. That has never been true. It's true to a certain extent for chemical weapons, although Saddam used them, and killed thousands of Kurds, men, women and children in villages. But biological weapons, since Lord Jeffrey Amherst used them against the Indians, infecting blankets with smallpox in this country, have always been intended to kill massive numbers of people. We've had biological weapons, anthrax used, we don't know by whom, in this country, a year ago last fall. And to say that a weapon such as afflatoxin, which the Iraqis have weaponized, the only country in the world that ever did that, and they have acknowledged it, which has only one use, which is to cause long-term liver cancer, particularly in children. To say that a weapon like that is only for battlefield use, Ambassador, is just outrageously false.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Let me just give Ambassador Wilson a quick chance to respond.

JOSEPH WILSON

First of all, let's not exaggerate. I don't want to minimize the importance of disarmament. And I have said, in everything that I have ever said, that disarmament ought to be the focus of our objective. And that if, in fact, we need to take military action for the purposes of disarming, then we should do it. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that you need to go in, invade, conquer and occupy Iraq tomorrow, simply because you've lost patience. Great nations don't go to war because they're impatient. And great nations don't go to war because foreign leaders are deceptive. That's why they call them foreign, because they are deceptive.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Let's move the mic around back there.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

Can I add one word on North Korea?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Very quickly. Go ahead, Senator.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

The lady makes an important point on North Korea. North Korea, first of all, was lumped together with Iraq and Iran by the President as part of the "axis of evil." He equated them. Secondly, it's a greater threat than Iraq. It's a greater threat because they've kicked out the inspectors from North Korea. We don't have any inspectors in North Korea. Secondly, they do have weapons of mass destruction. They've announced that they have a program to get uranium enriched so that they could get nuclear weapons. We know they have nuclear weapons. And they are an avowed threat to their neighbors. So, in a way, it's a much more serious problem. And yet, this Administration says it's not even a crisis.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Let's go to the, yes, ma'am.

FEMALE THREE, AUDIENCE MEMBER

My name is Jan, I'm a Congresswoman from the Ninth District in Illinois. And the button I'm wearing reflects the sentiments of most of the people in my district. It seems to me that the arguments underpinning this rush to war right now are three. And I think they are amiss. One is that Saddam Hussein has threatened us. He has not threatened the United States, in my view. I'd like a response to that. Also, this connection between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden and September 11th, if you put them in the same sentence often enough, you probably can convince the American people. But is it really true? And finally, this notion that, it's either war or appeasement, one or the other. And I think that's really a myth. That there are other ways, as the Ambassador, as the Senator has said. And I'd like to you to comment on that because I think these are the main arguments that are frustrating many of my constituents.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Reverend Land, go ahead.

REVEREND RICHARD LAND

Well, I'd like to respond by quoting a Presidential statement. "I want to explain why I've decided to use force in Iraq. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there's a big difference, he has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again. That is why I have ordered a strong, sustained series of air strikes against Iraq." The president was Clinton and it was in 1998.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Go ahead, sir, in the back.

MALE ONE, AUDIENCE MEMBER

Good evening, . . .

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Just come a little closer to the microphone, if you would.

MALE ONE

Yeah, good evening, I'm the Chairman of the Iraqi American Council. And since we are in a house of God in this church. It is a miracle that I'm standing here, because Saddam has mutilated my cousin, hanged my brother-in-law, killed 1.5 millions of my people. Today, the question to the panel I have, and to everybody here, how many holocausts that the human race has to endure before we understand, like the one Saddam, continuing holocaust on the Iraqi people for the last 34 years that has, as I said, claimed my cousin's life, 1.5 millions of my people. How many of these, how many victims that we have to go through to understand that the real subject is not weapons of mass destructions. That Saddam is the weapon of mass destruction, how many?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Who on this side would like to address that question?

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

I'd be happy to give it a try. The question isn't whether Saddam is evil. He is. He has destroyed people and so have the dictators in North Korea, who have starved over a million North Koreans to death. Stalin killed tens of millions of people. The question is, how do you feel with a threat? That is the issue. How do you best deal with a threat? And it seems to me, the answer here is, that where you have a threat of the type that Saddam poses, that the United Nations is the best way to deal with it. Because if you don't deal with it through the UN, the world community acting through the UN, you can uncork and unleash horrendous terrorist response. You can actually fuel terrorism. The lady before asked a question, "how many, of these would we tolerate? How many cities do we have to lose?" The answer is, if I thought for one moment, for one moment that dealing not through the UN, but without the UN, would make us more secure and would not unleash the kind of holocaust that you're talking about, in terms of terror, I would be for going it alone, without the UN authority. But I don't believe that. I think if we go it alone, with the UN authority, and the credibility, we will see unleashed, horrendous terrorist attacks on the United States, from a Islamic world which will be horrified by a Western military leader being the military person in charge of Baghdad. That could have very serious ramifications.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Which are you responding?

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE

All the language of evil.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Go ahead.

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE

How many people used the word "evil." You talk about Hitler. When you say somebody's absolute evil, you can justify anything you do against them. So, you've got two sides looking in a mirror. You're Satan, no, no, you're Satan. And I think it's important to recognize that it's more complex than that. And that you don't gain by mirroring somebody else's Satan. The other side is doing the same thing to us.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Let me just add one other question, layer one other question on this, before I ask you, Reverend Land, to respond. Amnesty International, I believe, says that somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 or 150 regimes, governments, around the world use torture. There are any number of countries which, if the standard were to be the brutalization of their own people, we'd have ample reason to go after them. Why Iraq, in that context?

REVEREND RICHARD LAND

Well, I think President Clinton made that point in the quote I gave a minute ago.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) President Clinton or...

REVEREND RICHARD LAND

President Clinton. It was President Clinton's quote that Saddam is a unique mixture of a person who has weapons of mass destruction and has used them against his neighbors and against his own people, has killed somewhere between a million and a million-half Iraqis. And I think that to say that when you call someone evil, that you're saying, you're evil and so then it's a mirror image, I think that's just nonsense. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Iraq. There was no moral equivalence between us and the Soviet Union. And there is no moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorists and an elected Israeli government. Are the Israelis perfect? No, but they're not terrorists and they don't pay off terrorists. I know evil when I see it. You know, what was it the Supreme Court Justice said, he said, I can't define pornography but I know it when I see it. I know evil when I see it. And Saddam Hussein is evil.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) All right, hold on to your passion here for a minute in the front row. 'Cause we have to take, a break. But when we come back, I'm gonna come to you folks right here.

commercial break

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) I want to get as many people from our audience involved in this as possible. And so I'd like to move around to several of you in a row. Go ahead, sir.

MALE TWO, AUDIENCE MEMBER

As a bit of a student history, I've noticed that our country has lied and deceived its people a number of different times, starting back with the Boston Tea Party, said the Indians did it. Texas, they said the Mexicans attacked. They said the Spanish sank the Maine, it was a lie. They said Lusitania was attacked, it had bombs on it, it was sunk. The Tonkin Bay resolution, which, Mr. McCain, I'm quite sure you remember that, that turned out to be a big, fat, total lie. We've had, an incubator incident with the Kuwaitis, which turned out to be a fabrication, Mr. CIA. Why should we believe anything from the United States government about what Saddam has or might possibly do, considering the history of lies and deceptions that we've had from our government?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Senator McCain?

TED KOPPEL (CONTINUED)

(Off Camera) Folks, I'll tell you what, if we could just keep the applause and all emotion, not out of your questions, but at least out of your demonstrations, we'll get a lot more done. Senator McCain?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

I'm proud of the record of the United States of America and our advocacy for freedom. As Colin Powell said so movingly, "we've sent thousands of your young people to fight and die all over the world. And all we've asked is for the ground to bury them in." And I'm proud of the record of the United States of America in freeing so many people from the grip of tyrants. I'd like to go back just a second to the Congresswoman from Illinois that asked, one, why so fast? 1991, Saddam Hussein agreed, as part of the cease-fire agreement, to do away with weapons of mass destruction. We're now on our 18th Security Council resolution which he's in violation of. I don't think it's any kind of a rush that we're involved in. The people of Iraq will rejoice if their liberation comes and they will be grateful to the United States of America, whether we lied on the Tonkin Gulf resolution or not. And I think it's very important to say again, we went into Kosovo without the United Nations, to stop the slaughter of Muslims. We went into Kosovo, I still have nightmares that we didn't save the people of Rwanda. None of those people had weapons of mass destruction, but they were slaughtering innocent people and the United States of America came to their rescue. I'm proud of that. And I think we can do that with the people of Iraq. But having weapons of mass destruction and a direct threat to the United States of America makes the reasoning compelling.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) The young lady in purple in the back, go ahead.

FEMALE FOUR, AUDIENCE MEMBER

Thanks. My name is Jennifer, and I would like to pose my question to the two senators. Back in October, the Congress voted to turn over the authority to wage war to the President. Now the President can wage war, unilaterally or with the support of the UN, and he does not have to go back to the Congress to do it. Since October, there's been a massive outpouring of anti-war sentiment. There's been huge protests. Millions of people in cities all across the United States are protesting war. 124 cities in the United States have passed anti- war resolutions. And the latest polls show that Americans overwhelmingly do not support a unilateral war. So, right now, if the President is to go to war and lead us to war right now, he's in a breech of democratic process because he's not representing the will of the American people. And my question, to the two senators is, as elected representatives that are accountable back to the people and back to your constituents, what do you plan to do to ensure that our democratic process is held intact? And what do you plan to do to make sure that the voices of the American people are heard and represented?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Senator Levin?

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

What I did back in October was to offer an alternative resolution, which authorized the President to use military if the UN authorized military force. But, if there was no UN authorization, then to come back to the Congress before he acted unilaterally, without the authority of the UN. That was my alternative. It got 25 votes at that time. My great fear of offering it again, frankly, is that I think it would lose again. And I am very, very fearful of doing anything which reinforces what I consider to be a unilateral instinct on the part of this Administration. This Administration has shown in many ways that it, intends to act on its own. Whether we talk about pulling out of treaties or whether or not we tell the UN, well, we really would like you to support this, but if you don't, we're going to go it our own way anyway. I consider that to be an approach which is not the right approach. I think we ought to deal with this through the UN, as I've emphasized here. And I believe that if we brought this matter to a vote again, that there would be the same result. And that would reinforce the President's decision to basically, go it alone, go with or without the UN. And I believe so passionately, that this calls for UN action, that we should deal through them. It'll reduce risks to us, to our nation, short term and long term. That the results will be far better if the UN is kept together and is rallied by the President. I believe that a re-vote of that resolution would lead to the same result and strengthen the President's unilateral instincts. He would use that vote, I believe, as another reason to proceed unilaterally.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) If that is so, Senator McCain, why not actually bring it to a vote?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

Carl is right. The result would not be different. We did have a debate. The issues haven't changed, except for the Iraqi noncompliance with the Security Council resolution 1441. And, I'm confident, I do not read the same polls you do. But I am confident that if the President has to take military action, the American people overwhelmingly will approve of it. And I think we will find that the weapons of mass destructions and the killing and the brutality of this regime will justify the President's actions.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Congressman Jackson.

JESSE JACKSON JR., US CONGRESSMAN

Thank you. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., Second District of Illinois. I really want to follow up on what the young lady said who was wearing the purple. My question is also of the two senators and anybody else who represents a congressional district who's present tonight. In October of 2002, the Administration sold Congress on the Iraq resolution as a means to show the United Nations that we were unified and that the United Nations needed a tough inspections resolution to get Saddam Hussein to allow the inspectors back in. It now appears that the Administration is using the unity resolution as the legal foundation for war in Iraq. Under article one, section eight, the "why now" question of this show should be debated on the floor of the Congress of the United States. And Congress, and congress alone, under article one, section eight, has the power to declare war. Not the President when he wants to. Mr. McCain, Senator Levin, I'd like your response to why Congress is not considering a war declaration, since 200,000 US troops are presently positioned in the Middle East, on their way to war.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Actually 250,000. But go ahead.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

The parameters of the debate were not as you described it. Perhaps that was a statement made primary to the debate, was whether the Senate of the United States, at least in the Senate, was whether the President would be authorized to take military action or not. In 1803, Thomas Jefferson sent the United States Navy to the Mediterranean to take on the Barbary pirates. He didn't have a declaration of war. He had a resolution of authorization from the Congress of the United States. There has been authorization after of authorization, which is perfectly in compliance with the Constitution of the United States.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) And in point of fact, Senator Levin, I don't remember the last time since World War II that there has been a declaration of war.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

There has not. And I think it's been weakened very seriously by the failure to vote on declarations of war. But my answer is the same as it was to the previous questioner. I think it's so important that if war comes, that it be the action of the international community acting through the UN. That I don't want to do anything, precipitate anything, support anything, in terms of a vote, which would reinforce a decision of the President, which apparently is to go it alone. I want to work against that go it alone approach. And I don't think offering the kind of resolution that you talk about would help that cause.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Two quick responses from up here. And then we're gonna come back out into the audience. Go ahead, Reverend.

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE

Speaking as a citizen, I want to know why we're pushing ahead without our allies. This is disastrous in the 21st century. I think we need to have our allies with us. I think we need to work through the UN. And as a citizen, I want to know why my Congress is not standing up for a world that is as networked as this one is. Unilateralism, to me, is going to pull a trigger from which we will never recover in the 21st century.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Mr. Woolsey.

JAMES WOOLSEY

First of all, the President's not acting unilaterally, he has allies. The question is whether he has more or fewer. But, with respect to the UN Security Council, exactly twice in the some 55 years since the UN was founded, has the Security Council authorized hostilities, Korea and the 1991 Gulf War. Depending on how you count, there have been something between a hundred and 200 wars in those 55 years, all over the world. In all of those, somebody went first without the Security Council authorizing it. It is simply not the case that Security Council authorization is necessary, particularly in a situation such as this, where the war, in 1991, was temporarily halted by a cease-fire which Saddam Hussein signed and is clearly and completely in violation of by his continued possession of chemical and bacteriological weapons, his work on nuclear weapons, and his possession of missiles of longer than 150 kilometers. The legal situation does not require Security Council authorization.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) We need to take another break. We'll be back in a moment.

graphics: NIGHTLINE: Town Meeting

ANNOUNCER

This is an ABC News "Nightline" Town Meeting, brought to you by . . .

commercial break

graphics: Why Now?

ANNOUNCER

War in Iraq, why now, an ABC news "Nightline" town meeting continues. Once again, Ted Koppel.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) And I'd like to go right back to our audience once again. Go ahead.

FEMALE FIVE, AUDIENCE MEMBER

Hi, my name's Abigail. I'm a student at American University. My question is actually addressed to the French and German ambassadors. If we do do this war unilaterally, what changes can we expect when we win, with reliance, re-alliances of French and German relations with America and Great Britain? Can we expect any great changes?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Now, I must tell you, I invited all the ambassadors here with the understanding they were our guests. They don't have to respond if they don't want to. If they would like to, and raise their hands, otherwise we will move on. Would you like to respond? Yes, sir.

JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE, FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO US

Thank you very much. First, let me say it's a privilege to be here tonight.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Let me take a wild guess, you're the French Ambassador.

JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE

I'm the Ambassador of France. Yes. I'm the Ambassador of France, as my accent shows. And I'm a great admirer of democracy in America and that's democracy in action. And I have one remark, why is it when France takes sides on one side, that there is so much French-bashing in the United States? I would like to see more respect in our dialogue between the United States and France. I think that we have arguments. And I heard many arguments tonight. My hope is that when all this will be over, our good old friendship will be there. And you can be sure that, on our side, there will be goodwill, there will be friendship, there will be cooperation. Thank you very much.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Reverend Land.

REVEREND RICHARD LAND

The short answer to your question is that we have very high expectations of the French, far higher than we do of many other countries. France is a country that is synonymous with liberty, equality, and fraternity. And we're still grateful for Lafayette and the French fleet during the American Revolutionary War.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Would you pass the microphone down to the German Ambassador, please.

REVEREND SUSAN THISTELTHWAITE

Mr. Ambassador, it is your best friends who will tell you the truth. Thank you.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

Let me make one comment.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Go ahead, Senator.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

Mr. Ambassador, I probably have been guilty, as well. But I hope that, in return for a better dialogue, that you, that Mr. Chirac will allow a better dialogue between those countries that don't agree with him in Europe, that he said he wished had remained silent. And, Mr. Chirac threatened with that not being allowed membership in the EU because of their disagreement with France. So I hope that that dialogue will extend to other countries, particularly those that suffered under the tyranny of the Soviet Union. Thank you.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) The Ambassador from Germany.

WOLFGANG ISCHINGER, GERMAN AMBASSADOR TO US

It's a pleasure to be here. And I would want to echo what my French colleague said. I think we are in admiration of the American style of fair debate. These are extremely serious matters. And I share the hope that our search, our participation in the search for the right answer, will not be misinterpreted as ill will. We are just like you, searching for the right answer. And let me add, if I may, a German point. It has been said here that war is the last resort. For a country like mine, that has gone to war repeatedly for what we know were the wrong reasons, that started wars with horrible results. I want to be sure, as the Ambassador of my country, that my country participates in a war only if we know that it's the very, very, very last resort. And that we are not wrong in going to war.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Mr. Woolsey.

JAMES WOOLSEY

I agree very much with the spirit of what both ambassadors said. I published a piece in "The Wall Street Journal" a week ago that talked about French and German heroes of the past and that we ought to respect one another's traditions and not criticize one another's countries or their people. But I would say this, I believe the policies of Chancellor Schroeder and President Chirac, today, are very much on a par with the policies of Britain and France in the mid- 1930s, when they turned away from blocking Italy and moving into Abyssinia. When they turned away from Hitler's violations in 1935 and '36, of the Versailles Treaty. And they said exactly what some are saying tonight, let's kick the ball down the road, let it go, see if might get better. It didn't. And the act of courage, was that that was being advocated by lonely people, like Churchill, in the mid- 1930s, not the popular view of, the others. I very much wish, Mr. Ambassador, that France today were upholding the standards of Lafayette rather than the standards of. . .

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Question in the back. Go ahead, sir.

MALE THREE, AUDIENCE MEMBER

Yes, I'm from Arlington, Virginia. And my question is, I'm very concerned, as an American, that nothing has done more to stoke the flames of anti-Americanism than this relentless drive for war. All over the world, not only among our traditional enemies, but we see anti-Americanism on the rise in Canada, in Britain, in Germany, in France, everywhere. And it seems to me that, wouldn't it make more sense that America would be safer and more secure if we were pursuing policies that made us loved and admired and not just feared and resented?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) The French Ambassador wanted to make a comment, too. Please, go ahead, sir.

JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE

Yes, thank you very much, sir. I just wanted to respond to Mr. Woolsey. We consider that war should remain the last resort. We don't exclude the use of force. But we say that now Saddam Hussein is in his box. The box is closed. The inspectors are in the box. And the inspections produce results. Right now, missiles are being destroyed. Right now, we are getting information on chemical weapons. So, let's give peace a chance. Thank you very much.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Would you pass the microphone up to this gentleman, please?

JOSEPH WILSON

Could I just add to that? It's not really. . .

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Go ahead, Ambassador.

JOSEPH WILSON

I would modify what the French Ambassador says. Give disarmament a chance. That is the objective that the international community has agreed upon. That is what the inspectors are trying to do. That is the starting point from which we can work. If Saddam tries to pose obstacles, and he no doubt will, we ratchet up the pressure. It is not the same to say that you have to go from intrusive inspection to invasion, conquest, and a ten-year occupation of Iraq in order to make your point on disarmament.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Ambassador, you know we're not going to be able to keep 250,000 troops in the region indefinitely. And without those 250,000 troops, none of what Saddam Hussein is doing today is anything he would've done.

JOSEPH WILSON

I'd certainly quote, after all, we kept several hundred-thousand troops in Korea and in Germany for an equally long period of time.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Is that what you're proposing?

JOSEPH WILSON

If it need be, no, I'm not actually proposing that. What I am suggesting is that you keep your focus on disarmament. And as necessary, you ratchet up the pressure. And if, in fact, it appears that the tactics that you're employing to disarm him are not working, then you employ other tactics. And if you, in fact, have to go in and do it eventually, so be it. But, to repeat what the French Ambassador and others have said, war, total war, the invasion, conquest, and occupation of a big foreign country, in a hostile part of the world, where you might well do more harm than good, ought truly to be the last option.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Do me a favor. I gave you the mic. I don't need you to read a statement. Just say what you're going to say.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

On the troops issue, if I could, Ted. . .

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Sure, Senator.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

We had more troops than that in Europe for a much longer period of time to contain the Soviet Union. We had 50,000 troops in Korea, 38,000 for a long time, 50 years. And it's true we don't want to have a quarter-million troops in the Gulf region forever. But it is not a reason to go to war unilaterally, that they are there, either. And the military assures us, and when I use the word "unilaterally" let me emphasize, I mean without the authority and the sanction of the UN Security Council. It's not necessary, legally, to get it. The question, is whether it is wise to get that. But it is not a reason to go to war because we have 250,000 troops. And our military assures us that we can keep them there for a foreseeable length of time. They've given us that assurance as recently as today.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) It's going to cost what? You would know better than I.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

They refuse to give us an estimate, by the way, on the cost.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) What do you think it's going to cost?

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

The war or the aftermath?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) No, what do you think it's going cost to keep 250,000 troops in the region, when in fact the Saudis can't wait to get us out. Most of the Gulf states would prefer that we not be there or that we leave as soon as possible. Where are they gonna stay and who's gonna pay for it?

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

It may be a lot cheaper than a very expensive and messy aftermath. We cannot get an estimate, even a range, from the Administration on how much a post-Saddam regime would cost. How long will our forces be there? How many will be there? We were told by the, Chief of Staff of the army the other day, it would take as many as 250,000 troops in Iraq, after Saddam. How long do you want to keep them there, is a fair question.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) That, parenthetically, was a number that was disputed by the deputy, or by the Assistant Secretary of Defense shortly thereafter.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

But, it's been sustained by the Chief of Staff by the army.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Senator McCain, let me just come to you. How, I mean, what would it cost to keep a couple of hundred thousand troops there and keep the pressure on?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

I would guess about a couple billion dollars a day. The fact is, we've had to, call up reservists. We're not going to keep all those thousands and thousands of reservists on active duty. We're not going to keep our guard people permanently there. We are certainly, certainly not going to keep troops indefinitely in Arab countries. Everybody knows that. Let me make one additional comment. We keep talking about polls and public opinion. Winston Churchill was a very lonely man during the 1930s. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, prior to World War II, did things that very few Americans would have supported. Harry Truman made a tough decision. If he'd have been driven by polls, we'd have never fought in Korea. George Bush, Sr. did not have a majority of public opinion initially in the Gulf War. Leaders have to lead from time to time. And I'm proud of the way that President Bush is leading this country.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Forgive me for stopping you, but we've got to take a short break.

commercial break

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) We have a couple of outstanding points that two of our panelists want to address. Reverend Land, why don't you go first?

REVEREND RICHARD LAND

Well, first of all, the UN inspectors are spent there, sent there to inspect the destruction of the weapons, which are voluntarily produced and destroyed in front of the inspectors. They were never sent there to go try to find the weapons and play hide and seek with Saddam in a country the size of California. As Secretary Powell made very clear, we're not sending a bunch of Inspector Clouseaus over there to try to find weapons. He's supposed to produce them and give evidence that he's destroyed them. If he doesn't, he's in material breech. And it's not unilateral. It's not a choice between unilateral and the UN. There's a thing called multilateral. And if we go, it'll be multilateral, including a majority of the countries of Europe.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

Could I make one more comment about, I don't know how much it costs. I really don't have any, I know it's very expensive. But I know there's a huge difference between having our troops deployed to a makeshift kind of a situation in an Arab country, than it is in the comfortable surroundings of a base in Europe. And we have called up thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of reservists. And we simply can't keep them on indefinitely. And it's just not proper or appropriate to do that.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Mr. Woolsey, you want to make a quick point.

JAMES WOOLSEY

If you look at the UN resolutions themselves, the model for the inspectors is what happened in South Africa. After deClerq and then Mandela came in, they disclosed their nuclear weapons program. Inspectors came in and verified what they had done. That is what the inspectors are supposed to do, to be essentially auditors of a voluntary disclosure. And if you believe that Saddam Hussein is going to change overnight and become Nelson Mandela, you'll believe anything.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Ambassador Wilson.

SENATOR CARL LEVIN

On the inspections, if I can just barge in there, we have given the UN inspectors at least some of the suspect site information that we have. And the purpose of that isn't just to check out what Saddam discloses, but it's to try to go to places that we're suspicious of, that he may have weapons of mass destruction.

JOSEPH WILSON

I have two comments, three comments, actually. One, don't forget the objective is disarmament. That is the objective that the international community has set for this exercise. It is true, Saddam is deceptive. He will lie. We will have to keep the pressure on him. The President has done that brilliantly so far. We've got 200,000 troops massed on his borders. We are listening and watching.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) But, address the point, if you would, Ambassador, because you're, sort of going around it. He was required, under the 1991 agreement, to reveal what he had, to destroy what he had. The purpose of the exercise is not to send the UN inspectors in there to play hunt and peck.

JOSEPH WILSON

The purpose of the UN resolutions, when they were written from '91 forward, and this last one, was to disarm Saddam Hussein. Yes, compliance would be wonderful. Saddam Hussein is not going to comply. It's going to be like pulling teeth. The question is, whether or not to enforce compliance, you have to contemplate at this stage, the sort of a violent, total war we're talking about. In order to disarm him, to get to the Senator's comment, in order to sort of ensure that you keep the pressure ratcheted up, I don't believe that you actually need the sorts of divisions that we have there. These are not disarmament divisions. These are regime change, conquest, and occupation divisions. These are the "march to Baghdad for the purposes of establishing an American viceroy in Iraq for the foreseeable future." And hopefully we will get to the whole question to the democratization of Iraq, which is a bigger bite than what we've talked about so far.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) Forgive me Reverend. I want it around a little, 'cause we're down to our last few minutes. Go ahead, sir.

MALE FOUR, AUDIENCE MEMBER

My name is Melvin, I'm the pastor of the Great and the Hope Baptist Church, downtown Washington, DC. In light of all of the attention, the focus, and the pressure, internationally by the media, by the American Administration, and by the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, Saddam Hussein and Iraq are diplomatically, politically, and militarily contained, detained, and restrained. So, why is it necessary now to launch a war, be it unilaterally, bilaterally, trilaterally or multilaterally, under the pseudo-pretext of liberation?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) I'm grateful to you because you brought us back finally, to the central issue, which is, why now? And I must confess, gentlemen, for all of the compelling arguments that you've made, the one that really, I don't think has been addressed compellingly, is, why now? What would happen, Senator McCain, if during the course of the next four or five months, the inspectors found more information? What would happen? Why wouldn't we be in a stronger position than five months from now, six months from now, when the weather turns to our advantage again, to go to war then?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

According to the information that we had in 1998, when the inspectors were no longer able to inspect, which was a direct violation of the cease-fire agreements at the end of the war, there were huge quantities of nerve gas, other chemical weapons, biological weapons, et cetera. Those have not been accounted for. At the present rate of what and where we're discovering or the, inspectors are finding out, or the Iraqis are, about 403 years, before we would get all of the materials that we know that we had in 1998. We passed a resolution through the United States, Nations Security Council, declaring that if they are not in compliance, then they will be held accountable. They are not in compliance. There is no one that believes that they are in compliance. . .

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) If you had some kind of a guarantee. . .

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

You are assuming that the progress of the inspections is satisfactory. We are alleging that the progress is not satisfactory.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) I take your point. What I'm asking you is, if you had some sense of assurance that six months from now, our friends from Germany, from Greece, from France, from wherever it is, from the EU countries, were to say to you, all right, we think you've given it enough time now and we're willing to come on board with you, wouldn't we be that much better off with that kind of support?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

I have no confidence that will ever happen with the French. Number one. Number two is, in all due respect, Ambassador, I have no confidence, particularly given the language that Mr. Chirac has, has used. But my second point is, there comes a time where credibility is at stake. If you don't enforce the resolutions enacted by the Security Council, then you lose credibility. And then, no one will comply any place in the world.

JAMES WOOLSEY

If Saddam uses biological weapons that have been genetically modified, in order to be resistant to vaccines for anthrax, or to antibiotics or to smallpox, and you find out, because you've waited, at some point, that it was this six-month period in which he was able to do that, who that is arguing for the delay will stand up and take responsibility and say, gee, you know, I'm really sorry?

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) That's a heck of a hypothetical point there.

JAMES WOOLSEY

I don't think it's hypothetical at all. And nor, nor do people who work on biological weapons believe that it is hypothetical. I would submit to you that genetically modified work is going on in Iraq right now. It's clear that we know that. And I think people who argue for delay, need to take responsibility for the consequences of the delay they're alleging.

TED KOPPEL

(Off Camera) I'll tell you what, we've gotta take a


back

United States Senate, 241 Russell Senate Ofc. Bldg. Washington, DC 20510, Main: (202) 224-2235, Fax: (202) 228-2862
Home | Privacy Policy | Email Senator McCain
Print Friendly