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Lieberman calls for targeting of Hussein

Lieberman says the U.S. goal should be
Lieberman says the U.S. goal should be "liberating the Iraqi people and the world from Saddam's tyranny."  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration must target Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in its war against terrorism, Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Monday. It was one of a series of steps he said are needed to undermine a "theological iron curtain" being put up in the Muslim world by fanatics.

Lieberman, who recently returned from a trip with other lawmakers to Afghanistan and neighboring countries in Central Asia, said during a speech at Georgetown University that the United States must assist Muslim nations.

"While we drain the swamp, we must also seed the garden," said Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate.

Lieberman said the U.S. goal of trying to contain Hussein since the Gulf War has failed and more concrete steps are needed. He hinted broadly at the need for military action.

"Our clear, unequivocal goal should be liberating the Iraqi people and the world from Saddam's tyranny as we should have done in 1991," the Connecticut Democrat said.

He said that could include more support for opposition groups within Iraq as well as exercising power "outside" that nation. The United States, he added, ought to "be prepared to act alone" toward that goal.

Asked about Lieberman's comments during an interview Monday on CNN, Secretary of State Colin Powell said the senator's "well-informed" comments would be taken into consideration.

"We have no illusions about the nature of the Iraqi regime. It's a state sponsor of terrorism. We've said so," Powell said. "We have constantly under review what might be done to bring about regime change."

However, the secretary said President Bush "has made no decisions as to how he'll move forward with respect to Iraq or other sources of terrorism in the world."

On another front, Lieberman called on Bush to send a "high-level envoy" to the India-Pakistan region to help the two countries resolve a dispute over Kashmir, a territory claimed by both.

Powell himself will be stopping in Pakistan and India this coming week. He said Monday the Bush administration is pushing both sides to pull back troops from their shared border "so that we have less tension at that border, less opportunity for some incident to spark a conflict between the two sides."




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