Gulf War General Says U.S. Attack on Iraq Is Legal; Previous Unfulfilled U.N. Resolutions Authorize action.(NATION)

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Byline: Rowan Scarborough, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The military architect of the United States' first air war against Iraq says a new attack on Baghdad is justified by previous U.N. resolutions demanding an end to the country's weapons of mass destruction program.

In his first public comments on the Iraq war debate, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Buster Glosson said in an interview that President Bush already has international backing for military action in the form of U.N. resolutions. Those resolutions, accepted by Baghdad, state that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein must get rid of his weapons of mass destruction as a condition of the 1991 Persian Gulf war cease-fire.

"We should not forget the Gulf war ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty," Gen. Glosson said.

Some prominent retired generals have expressed grave reservations about an attack, fueling critics of the administration in Congress. But Gen. Glosson, a respected war strategist, sees ample justification for an assault on Iraq.

In fact, he said the Clinton administration should have used the same resolutions in 1998 to oust Saddam after his regime forced the exit of U.N. weapons inspectors. At the time, President Clinton ordered limited bombing of weapons facilities, command and control units and some of Saddam's top troops.

"The Clinton administration should have attacked in 1998 instead of just moving sand around in the desert," said Gen. Glosson, a combat fighter pilot in Vietnam known for his bold and innovative approach to war planning. "They should have designed an attack that forced Saddam to comply with the U.N. resolutions or be ousted."

He said British aircraft during the 1998 Desert Fox campaign spotted sprayer drones being stored on the ground in Tallil air base, south of Baghdad. The unmanned aircraft were designed to dispense chemical or biological weapons. He said there is no post-campaign assessment that the drones were ever destroyed.

Mr. Bush, along with Vice President Richard B. Cheney, have vowed to remove Saddam from power on the grounds that Baghdad continues to pursue weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms. The administration argues these destructive weapons could be turned on the American people and their allies. The president has launched a concerted public offensive to make his case and is scheduled Thursday to address the United Nations in New York. …