WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush scoffed Tuesday at the Iraqi parliament's recommendation that the latest United Nations arms-inspection resolution be rejected, calling it "nothing but a rubber stamp for Saddam Hussein."
"If Saddam Hussein does not comply to the detail of the resolution, we will lead a coalition to disarm him," Bush said as he toured the operations center of the District of Columbia Police Department and pushed anew for passage of legislation creating a new Department of Homeland Security.
The parliament voted hours after Saddam's son urged the resolution's acceptance if Arabs were included on the inspection team. Lawmakers said the final decision rests with Saddam.
Earlier, White House spokesman Sean McCormack called that vote "pure political theater.
If Saddam hopes to use the unanimous parliament vote as a ploy to extract concessions, McCormack said, he will fail. "There's nothing in this resolution that is negotiable," the spokesman said.
"I don't think there's anybody who believes the Iraqi parliament has a serious voice in what does or doesn't happen in Iraq," McCormack said. "There is only one voice that matters in this despotic regime and that is from Saddam Hussein. This is really, I think, pure political theater."
The U.N. resolution gave Iraq until Friday to accept terms and pledge to comply.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, meanwhile, said he doubted Saddam would agree to give up his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. He said Saddam has already started hiding his banned weapons at secret sites across Iraq, including underground. "They've gone so far underground that the only way they can be found is through defectors," Rumsfeld told business executives.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.