Iraqnophobia

Iraqnophobia

Iraqnophobia

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Sept. 13 2002 8:02 AM

Iraqnophobia

Everybody leads with President Bush's warning to the United Nations yesterday that if it doesn't crack down on Saddam Hussein, the U.S. will, with or without its support. The papers say that Bush's comments, delivered before the U.N. General Assembly, are his most forceful yet in the move to oust the Iraqi leader.

"We will work with the U.N. Security Council for the necessary resolutions," Bush said. "But the purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced—the just demands of peace and security will be met—or action will be unavoidable." (Read Bush's speech here.)

The Washington Post, which offers the best recap of yesterday's events, calls Bush's speech one of the most anticipated of his presidency. While the WP describes the speech as Bush's "most forceful case yet" against Hussein, the paper also notes that Bush offered little new evidence to back up his assertions.

A report issued yesterday by the White House lists a familiar litany of Iraqi sins, the WP says, including human rights abuses, links to terror groups, and efforts to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Everybody notes that this generated little surprise among prominent Iraq experts, but no one quite captures the color like USA Today, which actually quotes an expert's reaction as, "Ho hum."

The New York Times notes that Bush in his speech never once threatened war, though it was his clear implication. He also never specifically mentioned weapons inspections in Iraq, an issue that has seemingly split administration officials. Furthermore, Bush offered no specific timeline for action, though USAT reports administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, are pressing the Security Council for a resolution on Iraq as soon as next week.

The Los Angeles Times fronts a good piece on the backroom deals and brokering that will likely go on during U.N. negotiations. According to the paper, the administration expects to hand over lots of cash, weapons, and favors in its attempts to recruit countries into the anti-Saddam campaign. The biggest focus is expected to be on the needs of Russia, China, and France—three prominent members of the Security Council who have balked at action against Iraq.

Everybody fronts news that former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski and two other executives were indicted yesterday for allegedly stealing more than $170 million from the company. One of the accusations against Kozlowski is that he had Tyco pick up half the tab for multimillion dollar 40th birthday party for his wife. The NYT resourcefully notes that his wife is a former waitress at a restaurant near the Tyco headquarters in New Hampshire. As predicted yesterday, Kozlowski was also sued by Tyco, who is demanding he return all the money that he made from the company since 1997—a package valued at $250 million.

The LAT also fronts the news that terrorism suspects will be staying in Guantanamo Bay for at least three more years. The makeshift prison in Cuba is undergoing renovation for long-term use, the base's commander tells the paper. Improvements include new medical facilities, roads, and other buildings, including a new cellblock capable of holding another 200 prisoners. Currently, 598 people are being detained at the base.

The NYT stuffs news that Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wants authorities to investigate possible links between the West Nile Virus and biological terrorism. The paper quotes a radio interview that Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave earlier this week, in which he questioned whether recent West Nile Virus flare-ups have been a coincidence. The NYT adds that a congressional committee investigated the subject two years ago but doesn't report the findings.

Everybody stuffs news that Vice President Dick Cheney will emerge from his secure location today to undergo a routine medical check-up. Last year, doctors implanted a pacemaker and defibrillator in Cheney's chest because of the vice president's history of serious heart problems. The WP notes that after today's two-hour exam, Cheney is scheduled to be a guest on the Rush Limbaugh Show.

Finally, the NYT's "National" page wraps up the saga over who will represent North Carolina in the Miss America pageant next weekend. A federal judge ruled yesterday the pageant did not have to invite Rebecca Revels, who says she was pressured to give up her crown after a former boyfriend hinted that he had topless photos of her. Misty Clymer, the runner-up, will represent the Tar Heel State.