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Iraq resolution gets Democratic support

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congress undoubtedly will pass a resolution backing President Bush's stance that Iraq must obey U.N. resolutions on weapons of mass destruction, a key Democratic senator said Sunday.

"I think we ought to adopt it and adopt it as quickly as possible so that we will have the maximum degree of influence on decisions that are going to be made in the United Nations," U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, told "Fox News Sunday."

"The United Nations will know that the United States is united behind the Thursday speech of President Bush."

Other Democratic senators also said they were willing to support a resolution, including Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. It could be passed before the October recess.

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Bush called for a congressional resolution within the next month following his speech Thursday to the U.N. General Assembly, urging the body to enforce its own edicts or risk becoming "irrelevant."

Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stopped short of backing U.S. military action against Iraq -- but left open the possibility -- until the United Nations has a chance to convince Iraq to obey its sanctions.

The resolution would be consistent with Bush's speech to the General Assembly, urging the body to require Iraq to obey 16 resolutions passed since the Persian Gulf War that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has largely ignored.

Asked whether the resolution should direct that Saddam respond to the U.N. edicts, or else, Graham replied, "If that is the question, the answer would clearly be yes."

Bush officials said the president has not decided what to do if Iraq continues to flaunt the U.N. resolutions.

"It should be clear to the United Nations that this is not something that can be dragged out," Kerry agreed, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"I think what Sen. Daschle and all of us are in favor of is putting before the Congress something that can get a 100-0 vote," he said.

Kerry said he believes the United Nations should be allowed to act before the United States considers possible military action against Iraq.

"The vote on whether or not to use force will come based on what Saddam Hussein does," Kerry said.

Referring to allied support in the Gulf War, Daschle told ABC's "This Week" that "if we're going to do this right ... we need to ensure that we build the coalition that this president's father built in 1990 and 1991."

It's crucial, Daschle said, that there be international support and bipartisan congressional agreement on the issues.



 
 
 
 


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