February, 1991

US Department of State Daily Briefing #20: Friday, 2/1/91

Tutwiler Source: State Department Spokesman Margaret Tutwiler Description: 12:00 Noon, Washington, DC Date: Feb 1, 19912/1/91 Category: Briefings Region: MidEast/North Africa, East Asia, Eurasia, South America, Subsaharan Africa Country: USSR (former), Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, South Africa, Philippines, Jordan, Iran Subject: Military Affairs, POW/MIA Issues, Regional/Civil Unrest, NATO, United Nations, State Department, Human Rights, Democratization (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

[Secretary's Congressional Testimonies]

MS. TUTWILER: I have one announcement I'd like to make. Secretary Baker will be testifying in open session before two Congressional committees next week on the President's budget. The first will be on Wednesday, February 6, the House Foreign Affairs Committee at 10:00 a.m., Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building; the second, on Thursday, February 7, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 10:00, Room 419 Dirksen. As you know, our custom is, there will be no State Department briefing on those two days.

[South Africa: Repeal of Apartheid Acts]

I have a statement I would like to read on South Africa. We welcome President de Klerk's historic announcement that his government will introduce legislation to repeal the Group Areas Act, the Land Acts, and the Population Registration Act. We also welcome his proposals to begin working toward unified non-racial local governments. This is further evidence of President de Klerk's courageous statesmanship. Once enacted, these dramatic and far-reaching measures will abolish the remaining legislative pillars of apartheid. They are the latest evidence that an irreversible process of change is underway and that substantial progress continues to be made toward dismantling the system of apartheid and establishing a non-racial democracy in South Africa. The focus for all parties must now shift to negotiations on a new political order. We are pleased that the de Klerk government, the ANC, and others have committed themselves to an all-party conference which is intended to advance this process further. We urge those organizations which have not yet accepted this call to do so. We are also pleased that during this week Mr. Mandela and Chief Buthelezi began an important process designed to lower the level of violence so the work of building a new non-racial and democratic South Africa can proceed in earnest. That's it. Jim. Q Are you familiar, or are you being kept up to speed on what is happening in Iran with all these various emissaries coming and going? A Kind of. Q What do you think is going on? A As you know, it's not exactly easy for us to know exactly what is going on. We are obviously aware that Ministers of the Governments of Iraq, France, Algeria, and Yemen have been in Tehran in recent days to confer with the Government of Iran. We understand from statements broadcast on Tehran Radio that Iran's Foreign Minister reiterated to the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister that Iran will remain neutral during the war, will hold the planes and their crews for the war's duration, and urged Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. I do not have any more thorough readout for you of the individual meetings or -- I can't even tell you if they're all separate meetings or a group meeting. Just that, yes, we are aware of it and obviously we will be trying to get more information concerning them. Q Are they -- these various emissaries and their countries -- keeping the United States current in any way? Are they telling you what's going on and giving you any idea of what the outcome might be? A Yes. It's my understanding that this has just been going on. I don't have a definitive answer for you. I would note that, for instance, the French Foreign Ministry has stated publicly that its Secretary General has no mandate to discuss a peace initiative during his visit to Tehran. Q Have you received a readout from the French on what the Iranians told the French regarding the planes, or perhaps any other subject? A Not that I have anything to give you, to be honest with you. I asked this this morning and there's a lot of confusion. So I can't tell you that we have a thorough readout yet. Q But you anticipate getting one from France, because it is, after all, a member of the coalition? A Correct, Bill. Q And I'm sure they'll want to keep us completely up to date? Q Can we go back to South Africa a moment? A Sure. Q Can we just finish up with this. (Inaudible) the bottom line. Do you think anything is cooking or not? A Do we think anything is cooking? Q Yeah. A I don't know if anything is cooking or not, but I know that our policy concerning, should someone come forward with some ceasefire proposal in a total hypothetical, you know that is something that we do not support. Q You don't support any ceasefire policy. Period? A We do not support, as you know, a pause for peace, as it is characterized. The other double word with that is a type of ceasefire. Our reasons for this have been stated, one of which would be, it would certainly -- if he chose to -- give Saddam Hussein an opportunity, under the auspices of "Let's all talk about this" to re-entrench, to re-group, to rebuild. As you know, many of the briefers at the Pentagon, or the military, are talking about some roads that are bombed. I just heard Pete (Williams) talking yesterday -- some bridges. You can build them right back. That has been our consistent policy concerning that ceasefire, pause-for-peace concept. Q But you do support a ceasefire if he begins to withdraw -- announces an indication to withdraw and begins to take concrete steps, as per the joint statement of Tuesday evening? A The joint statement of Tuesday evening, to my knowledge, did not mention the word "ceasefire." It talked about a cessation of hostilities would be possible if the following were done. Q What's the difference? A Immediate -- there's a gigantic difference of saying, "Let's have a pause for peace and talk about this" -- Q No, no. Between a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities? A There is a big difference in these concepts. I know you know it as well as I do. We are not interested, have not been, have not changed our policy, and are not today, in any such type of mechanism or process which would allow him to do the things that I just mentioned. Our statement of Tuesday night could not have been clearer: "Full implementation of all U.N. resolutions." That is quite different than saying, "Let's just have a little pause here and talk about this." Q In other words, you don't like the term "ceasefire" and will not use it to describe what the U.S. has offered in the joint resolution? A Correct. Q But how does a ceasefire differ from a cessation of hostilities? A Cessation of hostilities, as it was used -- I don't have the text in front of me -- would, as the statement said, be possible if the following things happened. A call for a ceasefire in a vacuum without his saying he's leaving Kuwait, his taking concrete steps, abiding by the 12 U.N. resolutions, is quite different. Q Margaret, the statement on Tuesday said a ceasefire -- a cessation of hostilities would be possible if there were a commitment to withdraw from Kuwait. It didn't talk about 12 U.N. resolutions. A It said "full implementation," Ralph, "of the U.N. resolutions." There are 12. Q Yeah, but that was not in the -- well, the text of the statement is there, it's On the Record, it's obvious what it said. A Correct. Q It did not say what you just said it said. It said what it said. (Laughter) We're asking the question about -- I mean, Bill's question is: What is the difference between a cessation of hostilities, as used in that statement, and a ceasefire as you use it today? There seems to be (inaudible) distinction. A I'm going to answer this one more time. There is quite a difference in an individual or a group of people saying, "Hey, let's have a ceasefire." That is quite a different concept, in my mind, than a statement that says: A cessation of hostilities provided -- it's in the exact same two sentences -- that he does the following. Those are two, in my mind, very different concepts. Q In your mind? A I think in most people's minds, that would be. There have been any number, as you know, of nations who have claimed that they were going to, at the United Nations, promote a ceasefire with nothing else said -- nothing said; zero said, no withdrawal from Kuwait, no implementation of the U.N. resolutions. That is not at all what our policy is or what we have said. Q Your policy still is today, is it not, that a commitment to withdraw from Kuwait, as stated in that document the other day, that is still the U.S. policy, is it not? A That policy, Ralph, is contained in two sentences, and those two sentences, as stated, has been our consistent policy; correct. Q Right. Those two statements speak also of concrete steps toward implementing fully? A Yeah, I said that. Q There's another thing that's kicking around, and I wondered if you saw a distinction between a cessation of hostilities once concrete steps to withdraw are taken -- the distinction between that -- and ceasing hostilities when withdrawal completely is concluded? You see, a lot of the interest raised by the statement was the notion that once Iraq says we'll pull out unequivocally and once they take concrete steps in that direction, the United States is prepared to hold its fire instead of waiting until all the troops are out. The difference, of course, would be that if you withhold your fire, Hussein keeps some war-making potential that he might not have if, in the course of withdrawing, you were still hitting him hard. That's one of the issues here. We think -- some of us think -- there is a difference in what you said with the Soviets that night and waiting for full withdrawal to stop hostilities. A practical difference. A I am aware that some of you think there is a difference. I know that you're aware that we do not think we said anything new, and we will continue to stand by that we did not say anything new. I am aware that there some in some places of the world who would like us to expand and enlarge the U.N. mandate. The President has addressed himself to that and said that is not what we are going to do; that our objectives are the ones that he laid out. Q So, in the current -- you're shifting it a little bit, but I have to go in your direction, I suppose. The United States is doing things now, militarily, to incapacitate him -- maybe it's accomplished it already -- Hussein's nuclear capabilities, his chemical warfare capabilities. A Biological? Q Right. Those are in the -- A Command and control. Q Now, are those in the mandate? A In the mandate -- Q The people that want you to keep doing that and think if you said -- A I'm well aware of that. Q -- and think what you said the other night means you won't go the full route; once he says, I'm ready to pull out, and he begins to pull out, you'll hold up and not complete the job. You say that job is an expansion of the mandate. I say you're doing it now. If anyone is expanding the mandate, which I don't think you are, you're the ones who are doing it. A I'm saying that the mandate is and the mission is the liberation of Kuwait. We are not, today, expanding or enlarging that mandate. I believe what your question is, in my mind, is: Are you going to shoot him in the back as he's leaving? Are you going to destroy Iraq? Are you going to do the following things? Those are not what the United States and the coalitions' mission is as mandated by the United Nations, Barry. Q It's not what you're doing, so I'm not asking about that. I'm asking about what you are doing. What you are doing -- A What we are doing is going about liberating Kuwait. Q Exactly, and in doing that, you are also devastating his war-making potential -- chemical, biological, nuclear, if it exists, and that's the point. The point is, if you see that as within the mandate of the U.N. resolutions, then you have to answer my question, whether there's a difference between keeping it up until he completely withdraws or stopping once he takes concrete steps to withdraw, because one would leave him with things he wouldn't have otherwise. Do you get it? A I get it, and I will refer you back to that as addressed in the statement of Tuesday night: A cessation of hostilities provided all of the things that are listed right there in the same two sentences. So if your question to me is, on a hypothetical, "If he says he is unequivocally" -- I believe is the adjective that was used -- "going to withdraw." If he takes immediate, concrete steps, if he abides by all U.N. resolutions, are you asking me: Would the coalition shoot Iraqi soldiers in the back as they are leaving? I have to tell you that I have not heard the President asked this direct a question. My answer would have to be, I can't imagine that the coalition would support such a policy. Q I don't know about shooting poor soldiers in the back. A What are you asking me? Q I didn't bring that up. You keep saying that that's what I'm asking you. A That's what you're asking me. Q First of all, you just introduced something that isn't in the two sentences. The two sentences do not say -- they do say "unequivocal commitment." They do say "concrete steps." They do not -- A "Immediate, concrete." Q Right. The sentences do not say "fully abide by the resolutions." They say "steps in the direction of fully abiding by." That is the whole point. If you miss it, or if I'm not putting it right, fine. But if you're not sort of dealing with it, I'll drop it. A (Inaudible) Q That's the point. The point is the two sentences do not require him to complete his adherence to the resolutions. A I just answered that. Q They say, if you move in that direction and we believe you're moving in that direction, we'll stop hitting you. I'm saying to you, that is the difference between what you've been doing until now. You've been after his nuclear, chemical, etc. A Let me try to explain it to you this way. Let's play numbers. When we began this, I believe the Pentagon was saying he had 560,000 Iraqi troops in Kuwait. I believe that the President, Marlin, the Secretary of State, everybody, has said we would have to see -- which I interpret as concrete steps -- a massive withdrawal. Now, if you want me to tell you, "Does that mean 249,000 troops or 363,000 troops, I don't believe that we have dissected it down to that number. But what I am clearly telling you is if there are 23,000 or two Iraqi troops left in Kuwait, would we shoot them as they're leaving? No. Q OK, so "concrete" means roughly about 225,000. A I made all of that up, Barry, to try another way to explain this. Come on! Q "Concrete" means massive. It does mean massive? A We've all said this. I also said -- and you were late here -- that I have a meeting at 12:30 with the Secretary that I'd really love to try to make. Q Can we do South Africa? A I'd love to. Q A question. How are sanctions affected by today's proposals? A How are sanctions affected? Q Yes. A Another way of addressing that is, what remains to be done? South Africa, as you know, has already satisfied three of the conditions contained in the CAA. In addition to the conditions just mentioned, repeal of the Groups Areas Act and the Population Registration Act, the only other condition that has not yet been met is the release of all prisoners persecuted for their political beliefs or detained unduly without trial. Over the last year -- just as a reminder to you all -- you know that over 300 political prisoners have been released, including, of course, the release of Mr. Mandela. However, that process is still underway and we will be following these developments closely. As you know, a similar process was used in Namibia recently. My understanding is the South African Government is using a very similar process of identifying and releasing political prisoners. The same type of process, as we've said, is underway there but it is not complete. Q So they're getting pretty close, then? A They've completed three and part of one, as you know, was the release of Mr. Mandela. So they have part of another one done. I would have to say yes. But, again, you know what the President's policy is: That we have legislation on this and he is not going to re-interpret that legislation. Q Can we go back to the Gulf again, for a second, Margaret? Can you tell us which nations the United States has asked for permission to allow overflights of bombers from Britain or elsewhere? In addition to that, can you also tell us whether the United States has asked France to do that? A No. Q You can't tell us? A I have no comment concerning the country you just named, France. And I have no comment on any other countries today that you may ask me about. As you know, the British themselves and their Defense Minister made an announcement concerning this subject. Q Margaret, two quick ones on the war. At someone's convenience, could we have a total now? Is 31 still the -- first of all, India's permitting some overflights. A The what? Q The total in the coalition -- A Oh. Q -- the number of countries. It may have shifted. If we can have an up-to-date number. A Oh, sure. O.K. Q And, secondly, I wish I'd brought it with me, but I don't have the senior official's name, but do you have a response there? Do you know about some senior Philippine official denouncing the United States behavior in the Gulf war, saying it's trying to be the world's policeman? A No. Q Did that come across your desk? A No. I hadn't seen that. I'm not aware of that. Q I should have had his -- A I'm sorry. I'm not aware of that. Q No. I should have his name. I don't. Q Margaret, do you differentiate between Iraq and the Saddam regime? A Excuse me? Q Do you differentiate between Iraq and Saddam regime? A This Administration has consistently said that we have no quarrel with the Iraqi people. Q I do understand this, but for the purpose of understanding your statement with regard to your saying that you don't aim at destroying Iraq. Maybe you are aiming at destroying Saddam's regime. A Our aim is the liberation of Kuwait. Q Margaret, if I could go back to this statement and another problem it's created. There are persistent reports out of Moscow and others, citing American officials of some kind of quid pro quo agreement or understanding reached between the Secretary and Bessmertnykh -- you know, support for the Gulf in return for toning down criticism of Soviet policy in the Baltics. Can you respond to that? A Yes. I don't know what unnamed officials. You never know we're doing this, but they obviously have no idea what they're talking about. These reports are absolutely, completely and totally untrue. There was no deal, and there will not be any deal, and I might point out, if you haven't seen on your wires this morning, that my counterpart at the Soviet Foreign Ministry is saying words to the exact effect, "It is simply without foundation." Q Margaret, could I also raise the issue again of whether or not this was the first time since 1976 that the U.S. and the Soviet Union have issued a joint statement on the Arab-Israeli peace process. Bessmertnykh, as you know, in two different locations -- here and in Moscow again on the record, not an unnamed official, the Soviet Foreign Minister -- said, "It is the first time since 1976." You told us the other day that you believed Helsinki qualified as a joint U.S.-Soviet statement on the Arab-Israeli peace process. Do you still stand by that? Do you think he's wrong? Have you contacted the Soviet Union to discuss the issue? A We have not contacted, to my knowledge -- I don't know if officials in the building have -- and, of course, we stand by what we said. And the statement obviously does speak of the Middle East, and it's by the two Presidents of the two nations. Q In the Helsinki statement. A The Helsinki statement, I believe, I said it was September 9, 1990. Q Right. A Yes. Q Margaret, do you have any comment on reports that Ambassador Matlock has endorsed a referendum in the Baltics on independence? That's been kicking around in some places. A That he's endorsed a referendum? Q Yes. A Not that I am aware of. I haven't seen anything about that. I know that our policy concerning a referenda in the Baltic states is that the United States believes that that is a matter for the peoples and governments of the Baltic states to decide on their own. We would support any steps, as has been our consistent policy, that would lead to a peaceful resolution of this current situation. Q Margaret, (inaudible) press reports from Amman today that despite the U.N. embargo on trade with Iraq, the U.N. Sanctions Committee gave Jordan special permission to import Iraqi oil. Does the United States believe Jordan has special permission to continue importing Iraqi oil -- A No, we do not. And our understanding is that the reports say that there is some type of document at the U.N. We are not aware of any such document. And although -- and we admit that Jordan has been heavily dependent on oil imports from Iraq. Such imports are a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 661, and the Sanctions Committee has never approved an exception for Jordan. Q Can I follow on that -- Q I'm sorry. Q Does that mean that -- is that by way of a kind of justification, if you will, of the United States attacks on the Jordanian convoys that are going along the road from Baghdad and perhaps other Iraqi cities to Amman, essentially pointing out to the Jordanians that the U.S. doesn't think you have permission to do this in the first place; therefore, don't be surprised if you come under attack? A Well, I would start with the substance, which is there is no document at the United Nations that has such a statute in it. And this does not fall under United Nations Resolution that I just said, 661. And as far as this highway, the Pentagon and here at the State Department yesterday, we addressed ourselves to that particular highway. Q And, Margaret, to your knowledge, has the United Nations given any exceptions, or whatever, for humanitarian purposes for any kind of assistance to Iraq during the course -- any kind of trade with Iraq, I'll put it that way. A Of oil? Q Oil or food or medicine, or anything for that matter. A It's my understanding, Ralph, that in a similar case in which another country requested permission to take oil from Iraq in payment of outstanding claims, the Sanctions Committee specifically disapproved the request as being in violation of the Security Council Resolution 661. Q Margaret, did you deal with the Iranian -- A I'm sorry, what? Q Do you know what country that was? A I don't know. I didn't say which country. I don't know. Q When you dealt with Iran previously on their humanitarian -- have you dealt with that at this briefing? A I'm not sure what -- Q Well, whether the United -- I didn't want to take you through it again. But has the United States verified Iran is providing humanitarian assistance, and is what they're providing consistent with the U.N. resolutions, if they're providing it. Iran has announced a major -- or disclosed a major humanitarian lift of food and such to Iraq. A I thought, Barry, to be honest with you, that it was a Red Cross operation out of Iran; that it was under the International Red Cross is my understanding of it. Q It may be true. I'm not sure. I thought Iran was going to help Iraq in a humanitarian way. Q Margaret, can you shed any light on the situation of Ambassador al-Mashat in Austria? A No. And I saw just before I came to the briefing, he is quoted on the wires in Vienna. These are his words, not mine, that he is absolutely, unequivocally not seeking asylum, and that he is there because his wife is very ill. Barry, back on your question, I was right. An ICRC convoy with medical supplies left Iran on January 31 for Baghdad. Prior to sending this shipment, the ICRC notified all interested missions in Geneva. Medical supplies are not covered by the United Nations embargo on Iraq, so notification to or approval by the Sanctions Committee was not required. Q Thank you. A That's International Red Cross. Q What is the U.S. position on the Iranian statements that they're going to be sending food as well? A I haven't seen those. I can't comment on something that I don't know about. This is what I am familiar with and know, which is under the International Red Cross, and it's medical supplies is my understanding. Q In the few minutes we have left, can you sharpen what the State Department put out yesterday about Israel's curfew? It's a little bit ambiguous. It said "curfews" -- meaning, of course, the West Bank and, I suppose, Gaza -- "curfews should be temporary." Are you saying that the curfew should be suspended; it's gone on long enough. Or is the State Department saying in a general way it should be temporary, but you're not telling Israel to stop now? I'm not clear what you're trying to say, because the curfew's been in effect for some weeks now. If you know. A To be honest with you, I don't have anything further than what we put out yesterday. I mean, I can try to elaborate on it for you, but I don't have anything to take the story further for you. Q Margaret, can you comment on reports from Greece that the United States has agreed in principle to supply Patriot missiles to that country? A No. Q Has the International Red Cross -- Q Margaret -- (inaudible) -- A I have no comment on it. What? Q Has the International Red Cross provided any information about American POWs in Iraq, to your knowledge? A I did not check this morning. As of yesterday they had not. Q Margaret, do you have any response to the Iraqis saying that the pilots are war criminals and, therefore, do not deserve to be treated as prisoners of war but deserve to be treated as war criminals because they allegedly machine-gunned Iraqi civilians on the street? A I think it's another manifestation of a barbaric nature to treat any people, especially Americans and coalition people who have been taken prisoners of war, in such a fashion. I heard a report last night -- I don't know if it's true or not; I cannot verify it -- that I found sickening. Q (Inaudible) -- report I'm referring to. A I don't know what report you're referring to. I know which one I'm referring to, but I don't know if it's true or not, but the idea that these individuals would not be treated under the Geneva Accords, which Iraq is a signatory to, would be given their basic rights as prisoners of war is outrageous. Q Is the U.S. still trying -- are you making efforts to get the Iraqis to allow the ICRC in to see these prisoners? General Schwarzkopf referred to that the other day in his briefing. A Absolutely. We have meetings -- is my understanding -- in Geneva with our Ambassador there all the time. We have said it here any number of times it is not something that we will give up on, that we will stop pursuing, we will stop pushing on. We have made it very, very clear, as I believe that the other coalition members who have prisoners of war there are doing the very same thing. Q Margaret, do you feel with this Iraqi statement that this is setting them up to stiff-arm the ICRC? They're just not going to let them see these prisoners? A I don't think this statement, Mary, sets them up any more than their actions which have spoken very clearly since hostilities began. I mean, they have not done anything. So I don't think this statement adds or detracts, to be honest with you. Why don't they act and do what every civilized nation in the world would do if they had prisoners of war in this type of situation? Q Has the U.S. heard anything further from Iran through direct or indirect channels about a readout of the interrogations of the Iraqi pilots who are in Iran? Anything further beyond the Iranian public statements which you cited earlier -- A No. Q -- or U.N. statements, or anything like that? A No. Q Margaret, can you confirm the Post story this morning that a study is underway at the State Department about the future of Iraq once the war is over, and sort of give us some indication of where that study stands? A I can confirm it, because I've confirmed it over the last several weeks. So there's nothing new in that. We have said all along for some time now that a study is going on here at the Department about post-crisis planning. We have obviously been thinking and planning for a post-crisis situation. We've said that many times before, and we've said it's been ongoing, and it's been going on for quite a while. As far as a number of the options that are mentioned in that specific report, no, I'm not going to comment on. Many of those options, as you know, Secretary Baker has addressed himself to in response to questions from you. Many of the options that were mentioned are obvious. And I would just tell you that those options and many other options are being studied and explored. A lot of brainstorming is going on here at the Department, but I don't have any announcements -- specific announcements to make today concerning any decisions that the Secretary may or may not have made. Q Wouldn't those decisions be made in consultation with the Gulf states particularly, but perhaps other members of the coalition as well? Or is there some U.S. decision that -- A The United States will, I think, Ralph, probably evolve its thinking on this and have its thinking that it does discuss with its own coalition partners. What my point is, is that the United States State Department thinking is in the process right now and has been for many weeks ongoing. So then I am sure -- I think you would agree with me -- we will have our ideas about this. I would imagine other coalition partners will have their ideas that their ministries are working on, and that their heads of state and their staffs are working on. And somewhere through all of that will come whatever is the post-crisis policy. Q I don't suppose there's any implication in that statement that the U.S. might actually publicize it -- publish its ideas before consulting with the other coalition members? A I think that the United States could well, any time it chooses to, answer questions. We have all along about, "What do you think about this?" We, as you know, have been extremely clear on the subject of linkage. Other members of the coalition had a different idea concerning that, as you will remember back. So I don't think it's unusual when the United States has finished its review and its thinking processes and its brainstorming to think this is what we think. Q Margaret, at this point, is the State Department thinking a cooperative venture with the White House, or are there dueling plans going on? A How this is proceeding, as it has been for many weeks, is, as you know, Mr. Gates at the National Security Council, as he does on all of these issues, is chairing an interagency process. The State Department will be feeding into that process the State Department thoughts and views. Q Margaret, turning for just a moment to Jordan and the importation of oil, whether it is legal or not legal under U.N. sanctions. Because you say that Jordan cannot be taking delivery of oil from Iraq, does that leave the United States free in the view of the State Department to attack convoys of oil trucks coming from Iraq to Jordan? A I'm not aware that the United States Government is attacking oil trucks. Q (Inaudible) -- no. A Let me finish. I understand. Q But that wasn't the question. A I understand. The Pentagon is the best to answer the question about these trucks. I do know that the Pentagon has said, and we said yesterday -- if you're referring to the trucks that were on this one highway, where some individuals in other governments had said that we were bombing refugees -- that we have said this is a very dangerous war zone. We have said it is our policy and intention to -- at some risk to our own pilots, General Schwarzkopf has said -- avoid civilian targets, avoid cultural centers, religious sites, etc. So I can't answer for you. The Pentagon would be best. Is the Pentagon literally targeting a gasoline truck that's on this highway? I don't know. Q But as a matter -- Q Margaret, he's asking for a legal construction. Q Pardon me. Pardon me. As a matter of policy, does the United States regard oil trucks, which would be carrying embargoed material in the view of the U.S. Government, as fair game on these open highways. It is a policy matter which then is translated eventually into a targeting matter. You guys do the policy; the Pentagon drops the bombs. What's the policy? A I have never asked if our policy is to target oil caravans that may be on this highway. Q They may be breaking the embargo. A I understand -- that may be breaking the embargo. You know that any number of us did everything that we could to make sure that the embargo against Iraq was effective, and I think most people say it was technically effective. Q It was. Now we're in a new phase and a new situation. A I will be happy to ask a specific question on if we are bombing oil trucks going up there, because -- Q No, no. Q That's not the question. A I understand. Because it breaks the embargo. Q Let us pose the question. Can we pose the question?. A I understand the question. Or is it legally on the embargo. Q Is it a legal construction, and is it policy? A I understand. Q You have a -- A I understand. Q -- construction of the U.N. resolution. You can't shift that to the Pentagon. The State Department -- I don't mean you -- the State Department are the folks that -- A I understand the question. Q -- that worked up the resolution very carefully. A We're five minutes over when I said I had to go to a meeting. Q Violations of sanctions may be attackable. A Anybody got anything else, or can I go, please? Thanks. (The briefing concluded at 12:35 p.m.)