Langevin Comment on Blix Report to U.N.

Jan 27, 2003
(Washington, D.C.)–Congressman Jim Langevin today commented that Hans Blix’s progress report to the United Nations warrants additional inspections by the weapons inspectors, increased international pressure for Iraq to fully cooperate and patience by the United States.  Langevin did, however, express concern over illegal importation of rocket engines and extensive ‘VX’ study by Iraq, and he urged greater, more active cooperation by the Iraqi government.

 “Until the United Nations’ Weapons Inspectors discover credible evidence that Iraq is manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, I would encourage the Administration to flex its diplomatic, not its military, muscle,” said Congressman Langevin.  “Presently, there are thousands of American soldiers, including many Rhode Islanders, heading towards the Persian Gulf to support a potential attack on Iraq.  We must wait for substantive evidence to be presented and allow for additional inspections rather than rushing our troops into harm’s way. If the President has such evidence, I hope he will share it with the American people, especially the U.S. service people and their families who wait and pray for their safe return.”

 “I find several aspects of Hans Blix's report very troubling, and it is clear that Saddam Hussein has not done enough to cooperate proactively with weapons inspectors and the international community.  However, I do not believe that time has run out for the inspections process.  We must exhaust every diplomatic alternative before war becomes an option.  This means allowing the weapons inspectors to continue their work, allowing the U.N. to perform its international duties, and then assessing whether or not Iraq poses an immediate threat to the security of the United States and its allies that would justify military action,” added Langevin.