Gutknecht strongly backs war in Iraq

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2002

U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn., expressed his support for initiating a war against Iraq, even unilaterally, during a telephone conference with Minnesota reporters Tuesday.

Gutknecht pointed out that there is growing evidence that Saddam Hussein has been violating the U.N. resolution in developing chemical and biological weapons, nuclear warheads, and long-range missiles. He also said the Iraqi leader is involved in international terrorist activities, directly or indirectly.

&uot;Ultimately, should we be forced to unilaterally enforce the U.N. resolutions, that’s one of the prices of being the world’s sole surviving superpower,&uot; Gutknecht said. &uot;Somebody has to make it clear that we will not wait for a smoking gun, especially when that smoking gun happens to be nuclear warheads.&uot;

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Gutknecht stressed the goal of the war would be to restore democracy in Iraq, not to acquire territory or power. He said the outcome of this war would not only affect the situation in Iraq, but also send a strong message about the United States to &uot;corrupt regimes.&uot;

&uot;No freedom-loving people would choose war over peace. But the price of peace sometimes can be extremely high,&uot; Gutknecht said. &uot;Sooner or later, we have to deal with somebody like Saddam Hussein.&uot;

&uot;The choice is always between war and peace. The choice is will we confront them now, or will we confront them later?&uot; he said.