In one place ? in one regime ? we find all these dangers, in their most lethal and aggressive forms … exactly the kind of aggressive threat the United Nations was born to confront.
Twelve years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation. And the regime’s forces were poised to continue their march to seize other countries and their resources. Had Saddam Hussein been appeased instead of stopped, he would have endangered the peace and stability of the world. Yet this aggression was stopped ? by the might of coalition forces, and the will of the United Nations.
To suspend hostilities and to spare himself, Iraq’s dictator accepted a series of commitments. The terms were clear: to him, and to all. And he agreed to prove he is complying with every one of those obligations.
He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations, and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge ? be his deceptions, and by his cruelties ? Saddam Hussein has made the case again himself.
In 1991, Security Council Resolution 688 demanded that the Iraqi regime cease at once the repression of its own people, including the systematic repression of minorities ? which, the Council said, “threaten(ed) international peace and security in the region.”
This demand goes ignored. Last year, the U.N. Commission on Human rights found that Iraq continues to commit “extremely grave violations” of human rights and that the regime’s repression is “all pervasive.” Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution, and torture by beating, burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation, and rape. Wives are tortured in front of their husbands; children in the presence of their parents ? all of these horrors concealed from the world by the apparatus of a totalitarian state.