Union Tribune

October 16, 2002

Iraq needs complete housecleaning, U.S. arms official says


WASHINGTON The Bush administration's top arms control official said yesterday that the removal of Saddam Hussein and other top members of his regime is the only way to ensure that Iraq is stripped of its weapons of mass destruction.

Although the administration supports the United Nations effort to have inspectors return to Iraq, John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, told reporters that he held out little hope for that approach.

"If inspectors get back in, it's a certainty that Saddam will try to obstruct them. It's part of his plan . . . to stay in power," Bolton said.

"The reason we favor regime change is that Saddam's behavior has been so consistent for so long, I can't see how we can expect any change."

Bolton said there can be no real stability or confidence in the region until Hussein is ousted.

The housecleaning cannot stop at the Iraqi dictator, but must include all of the Baghdad regime's leadership, he said.

Bolton likened the policy to "de-Nazification" of Germany after World War II and said it would require "the removal of all the people who are an essential part of the regime."