Jack Straw

March 08, 2003

The following is an excerpt of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's remarks to the U.N. Security Council:

In his remarks, Dominique de Villepin said that - and described a lot of diplomatic pressure by the nonaligned movement, by the European Union, by the Arab League and by many others. And I greatly welcome all of that diplomatic pressure. Dominique went on to say, "And the United States and United Kingdom forces lend support to that pressure." With respect to my good friend, I think it's the other way around. I really do. What has happened? All that pressure was there for every day of 12 years. In Dr. Blix's carefully chosen words, the "strong outside pressure" is - and let us be blunt about this - the presence of over 200,000 United States and United Kingdom young men and young women willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of this body, the United Nations.

And Dominique also said the choice before us was disarmament by peace or disarmament by war. Dominique, that's a false choice. I wish that it were that easy, because we wouldn't be having to have this discussion. We could all put up our hands for disarmament by peace and go home.

The paradox we face is that the only way we are going to achieve disarmament by peace of a rogue regime, which all of us know has been in defiance of this council for the past 12 years, the only way we can achieve their disarmament of their weapons of mass destruction, which this council has said poses a threat to international peace and security, is by backing our diplomacy with the credible threat of force. I wish we lived in a different world, where this was not necessary, but sadly, we [do not] live in that world.

And the choice - the choice, Dominique, is not ours as to how this disarmament takes place. The choice is Saddam Hussein's. It's his choice. ... Would that it were ours because it would be so easy. But sadly, it is not. And there is only one possible sensible conclusion that we can draw. We have to increase the pressure on Saddam Hussein. We have to put this man to the test. ...

And although there's been that canard around - that some of us were in the business of using force automatically - the truth is that it's not being used automatically, it should not be used automatically, it will not be used automatically. And nothing to which my government has ever put its name ever suggests that that would be the case. What we seek is compliance by Saddam Hussein of 1441.

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