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Carter Says Bush Has Not Proven Case for Iraq War

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Bush administration has not convinced Americans or Europeans that a military attack on Iraq is necessary, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter said on Friday.

"Our government has not made a case for a pre-emptive military strike against Iraq, either at home or in Europe," the Democratic former president said in a statement.

"It is sobering to realize how much doubt and consternation has been raised about our motives for war in the absence of convincing proof of a genuine threat from Iraq."

Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, also said it would be "suicidal" for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to threaten any of his neighbors at a time when the United States was deploying its military forces in the Gulf in preparation for a possible war against Iraq.

The Bush administration has threatened to use military action to remove Saddam if he does not comply with United Nations efforts to ensure he has no weapons of mass destruction.

U.N. weapons inspectors, who returned to Iraq last November after a four-year hiatus, are scheduled to present a progress report on Iraq's compliance with U.N. resolutions on Feb. 14.

Carter said the United States and the world would be better off if the White House supported the strengthening of the inspection process in Iraq.

posted by West 10:04 PM

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