McInnis promises we won’t be going it alone in Iraq |

McInnis promises we won’t be going it alone in Iraq

If the United States invades Iraq, the country will bring with it a larger coalition than in the first Persian Gulf war, said 3rd District Congressman Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction.

“We have all our allies out there,” said McInnis, after returning from NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Belgium on Monday.

McInnis said 18 countries have publicly supported the U.S. move to invade if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein doesn’t comply with United Nations resolutions that his country disarm. McInnis expects the number of countries that support the United States to grow to 30 in the days to come.

“The media hasn’t accurately reflected that,” McInnis said. “The United Kingdom, Spain and Italy support us, and those are three big players.”

McInnis voted last year for a resolution giving President George W. Bush the authority to commit combat troops for an invasion of Iraq.

In a brief interview from his Washington, D.C., office, McInnis touched on several issues relating to President Bush’s pending plans to invade and occupy Iraq.

“The timetable is up to the president, but I assume it will be sooner rather than later, unless Saddam complies,” said the five-term congressman.

One immediate solution to the Iraqi crisis is for Hussein to go into exile. McInnis said Hussein wouldn’t feel pressure to leave Iraq without increased U.S. military presence in the Middle East.

“Leaders who go into exile always deny they’ll do it until the last minute,” McInnis said. “He has a very short time to come clean. If I were him, I wouldn’t be sleeping easy.”

War critics claim that war with Iraq would only lead to more terrorist attacks against the United States from al-Qaida, militant Muslims and other groups based in the Middle East and other parts of the world. McInnis doesn’t buy the argument, and compared the terrorist scenario with the way the Glenwood Springs police would handle a criminal.

“The Glenwood Springs police wouldn’t decide not to arrest a burglar just because his brothers might get mad,” McInnis said. “We don’t do it that way.”

McInnis said if Hussein remains in power, it could lead to nuclear war in the Middle East.

“Hussein is going to use his weapons against Israel, and if Israel responds, the next nuclear war will be in the Middle East. We have the opportunity to nip this in the bud,” McInnis said.

City councils from the East Coast to the West Coast have been passing resolutions opposing war with Iraq.

The Glenwood Springs City Council discussed an anti-war resolution but did not pass it. Using Glenwood Springs as an example of a city that declined to take a stand on the war, McInnis said he isn’t an expert on the city’s street system, and City Council members are not experts on Iraq.

“Those city councils have probably not visited these countries to study the issues,” he said. “So I don’t put a lot of credence in these resolutions.”

McInnis also criticized the electronic virtual march on Washington, an anti-war protest that tied up telephone and fax lines at the White House and in the offices of the country’s 100 U.S. senators.

“That’s not a legitimate way to have a conversation,” he said.

Critics of the war have urged the United States to give the U.N. more time to inspect Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, and have also charged President Bush is in a hurry to wage war.

McInnis said people have the right to oppose the war, but said the president and congress are not rushing to war.

“There’s been a lot of serious talk and intense study going into it,” McInnis said.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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