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Lott doubts Iraqi president's intentions

By By William F. West / community editor
Oct. 18, 2002
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott is following President Bush's line of trying diplomacy to resolve the Iraqi situation, but he's not optimistic Saddam Hussein will readily allow weapons inspections.
Lott, R-Miss., said the Iraqi president will have to evaluate the commitment and the determination of Bush and the fact that the world changed on Sept. 11.
The Senate late last week voted to give Bush the green light to use military force if the Iraqi president fails to completely disarm weapons of mass destruction. The House easily passed the same resolution last week and Bush is trying to rally international support behind a tough anti-Iraqi resolution at the United Nations.
But the U.S. has apparently backed away from its demand that a new U.N. resolution must authorize force if Iraq fails to cooperate with weapons inspectors, The Associated Press reported. The U.S. is instead floating a compromise that would allow inspectors the chance to first test whether Iraq will cooperate.
Then, if Iraq refuses to disarm, the Bush administration would agree to return to the U.N. Security Council for more debate and possibly another resolution authorizing action.
Lott said Iraq must allow an unfettered inspection.