4,426. 1/28/2003

"Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argued that the Bush Administration should take military action against Iraq, but not in the name of preempting Iraqi threats. Rather, Biden insisted, the war should be understood as an enforcement action to protect the standing of the [UN] Security Council–specifically, to uphold the cease-fire that the Council arranged after Desert Storm and that Saddam had violated. In a Senate speech on January 28, 2003, Biden said he would choose to act 'even if we do not get world support.' He reasoned as follows: 'Saddam is in material breach of the latest UN resolution. Yesterday's damning report by the UN inspectors makes clear again Saddam's contempt for the world and it has vindicated the President's decision last fall to go to the UN. The legitimacy of the Security Council is at stake, as well as the integrity of the UN. So if Saddam does not give up those weapons of mass destruction and the Security Council does not call for the use of force, I think we have little option but to act with a larger group of willing nations, if possible, and alone if we must.' "

 – War and Decision, Douglas Feith, 1/28/2003

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