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Conclusion: The Lies Continue
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This report shines light on the apparatus used by Saddam Hussein and his cadres to deceive the Iraqi people and the international community. The oppressive and totalitarian nature of Saddam Hussein's regime enables his deception and deceit. This regime, which became expert at obfuscation during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, has now had more than a decade to perfect these practices.
The Iraqi regime's intent to continue these lies is evident from recent actions. Should the United States and its allies determine that military action is necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein, the January 8, 2003, statement by Tareq Aziz illustrates what could await the international community. In this statement, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and member of Saddam's inner circle invited friends of the dictator to serve as human shields. What Tareq Aziz does not tell them is that they will be defending Iraqi military equipment and a regime that tyrannizes its people.
All the while, the regime continues to profess poverty while generating significant amounts of money from the Oil-for-Food Program. During the period of January 4-10, 2003, Iraq exported 6.7 million barrels of oil, generating an estimated $174 million, according to the UN Oil-for-Food Program. The same program projects that for the period of December 2002 to June 2003, Iraq will generate $1.4 billion from its oil. The UN Security Council intended to allow the oil-for-food exchange to keep the Iraqi people from starving. As underscored in this report, while many Iraqi citizens face near starvation, Saddam Hussein continues to use oil wealth to build castles and weapons. All the while, the regime falsely blames the plight of the Iraqi people on UN sanctions.
This report puts into perspective other recent Iraqi actions, including their material breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1441. The resolution calls for a full, final, and complete disclosure of weapons of mass destruction and a verified disarmament process in Iraq. What the UN got was more lies and deception.
As Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Face the Nation on January 19, 2003: "It is [Iraq's] responsibility under 1441 to cooperate fully with the inspectors in the disarmament process. Dr. Blix says he has found no smoking gun, but he has also said that all he is getting from the Iraqis is passive cooperation. 'Catch us if you can. If you find something we might admit it. But we're working hard to deceive you, to hide things and make it harder for you to get to the truth.'"
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