Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, February 5, 2003

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Hyde Comments on Powell Report on Iraq
“History has taught us that we cannot permit a murderous tyrant like Saddam Hussein to tear up his agreements and to freely arm himself with a destructive capacity for use against the United States and the international community”

(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee, commented on today’s presentation by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell before the U.N. Security Council:

Secretary Powell presented a compelling argument and detailed evidence that should persuade anyone capable of being persuaded that Saddam continues to develop weapons of mass destruction. I am convinced that war can be avoided only if Saddam Hussein acts immediately to destroy his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, weapons he has freely used in the past and which he agreed to eliminate after his defeat in the Gulf War in 1991. His continuing failure to comply with numerous mandates of the United Nations threatens to reduce the UN to a meaningless institution unless the Security Council acts to enforce its resolutions.

History has taught us that we cannot permit a murderous tyrant like Saddam Hussein to tear up his agreements and to freely arm himself with a destructive capacity for use against the United States and the international community.

Saddam Hussein would not squander his country’s resources on these weapons unless he intended to use them or give them to terrorists and others who have demonstrated a willingness to die in order to sow chaos and death. We can be certain that if terrorists acquire these weapons, they will use them, and we may find ourselves mourning the deaths of millions, not thousands.

Saddam has ignored repeated warnings from the United States and from the international community that he must disarm or face war. We must now demonstrate to those who would harm us that our warnings are not empty words and that we will act decisively to defend ourselves.