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Rice vows 'resolute' action against Iraq

Rice said the Bush administration would look at the use of military force
Rice said the Bush administration would look at the use of military force "in a more resolute manner, and not just a manner of tit-for-tat with him every day"  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice signaled Sunday that the Bush administration was prepared to respond to what it views as provocative military action by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"Well, the president has made very clear that he considers Saddam Hussein to be a threat to his neighbors, a threat to security in the region, in fact a threat to international security more broadly," Rice said on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." "And he has reserved the right to respond when that threat becomes one that he wishes no longer to tolerate."

Rice did not rule out military action.

"I think it's always best not to speculate about the grounds or the circumstances under which one would do that," she said. "But I can be certain of this, and the world can be certain of this: Saddam Hussein is on the radar screen for the administration."

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Twice in the past week, Iraq fired missiles at U.S. war planes patrolling the no-fly zones, and Bush last week said Hussein was still a "menace."

House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, said a military response to Iraq would be appropriate.

"I think we should. I think this no-fly zone has been a productive policy. It's dangerous for us, but we don't want our fliers in risk," he said on the same CNN program.

"And we have repeatedly warned Iraq that we're not going to put up with them attacking our planes or putting them in harm's way," the congressman said. "So, I fully back the administration in sending further messages to Saddam Hussein that we intend to keep this policy in place."

Rice said the administration had a broader policy of trying to effect change in Iraq, and she cited the use of what she called "smart sanctions."

Such sanctions, she said, would "go after the regime, not after the Iraqi people." She said the administration would look at the use of military force "in a more resolute manner, and not just a manner of tit-for-tat with him every day."

The Bush administration, Rice said, will "increase pressure" on Hussein.

The United States and its allies, principally Great Britain, have been patrolling parts of Iraq since the end of the Gulf War.






RELATED STORIES:
RELATED SITES:
• Iraqi National Congress
• Mission of Iraq to the United Nations
• U.S. Department of Defense
• U.S. Air Force
• Iraq Action Coalition

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