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Context of 'October 28, 2001: Bush Says UN Must Disarm Iraq or US Will Invade'

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The White House repeats its warning to the UN that the US will act if the UN fails to pass a stronger resolution. Speaking in New Mexico, George Bush says: “Either the United Nations will do its duty to disarm Saddam Hussein, or Saddam Hussein will disarm himself. In either case, if they refuse to act, in the name of peace, in the name of a secure tomorrow, in the name of freedom, the United States will lead a coalition and disarm Saddam Hussein.” (US President 11/4/2002) And Ari Fleischer, the White House Press Secretary, says, “The United Nations has debated this long enough. The time has come for people to raise their hands and cast their vote.” (White House 10/28/2002)

Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the US, meets privately for more than an hour with President Bush and National Security Adviser Rice in Crawford, Texas. (Rennie 8/28/2002) Press Secretary Ari Fleischer characterizes it as a warm meeting of old friends. Bandar, his wife Princess Haifa, and seven of their eight children stay for lunch. (Fox News 8/27/2002) Bandar, a long-time friend of the Bush family, donated $1 million to the George W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. (Mulvihill, Meyers, and Wells 12/11/2001) This relationship later becomes news when it is learned that Princess Haifa gave between $51,000 and $73,000 to two Saudi families in California who may have financed two of the 9/11 hijackers (see December 4, 1999). (Johnston and Risen 11/23/2002; MSNBC 11/27/2002)

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says during his daily press briefing, “Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly. This was the reason that the president felt so strongly that we needed to take military action to disarm Saddam Hussein, since he would not do it himself.” (White House 3/21/2003)


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