President Bush cited allied progress in the Persian Gulf war and said there will be "no pause" in the effort to oust Iraq from Kuwait now that Saddam Hussein has "forced the world into war."
In a speech to the Reserve Officers Association Wednesday night, Bush said U.S.-led military initiatives were on schedule and promised victory."There can be no doubt: Operation Desert Storm is working," said the president. "There can be no pause now that Saddam has forced the world into war. We will stay the course and we will succeed all the way."
One week after allied warplanes began pounding Iraqi targets in Iraq and occupied Kuwait, Bush said Saddam brought the war on himself and that "no one should weep for this tyrant when he is
brought to justice. No one, anywhere in the world."
Earlier Wednesday, the House approved, 418-0, a resolution condemning Iraq for displaying injured prisoners of war for coerced statements before television cameras. Members also debated the growing cost of waging war and how the nation will pay the bill. House Republican leader Robert Michel of Illinois said a temporary income tax surcharge was a possibility.
House Speaker Thomas Foley, D-Wash., said there were no plans now to raise taxes. But he said "It would be a mistake to put this entire cost on the next generation."
Bush, listing allied achievements to date, asserted that their combined forces have "dealt a severe setback" to Iraq's nuclear capabilities and said allied aircraft now have air superiority.
In addition, he said, "We are knocking out many of their key airfields" and hitting early warning radars with "great success."
Military reports indicated Iraq's radar detection has decreased by 95 percent since the war began. While U.S.-led forces are said to have destroyed many radar installations, it was unclear if Saddam had closed the facilities to deceive the allies.
Also during the day, a spokesman said Bush will consider Israel's request for $13 billion more in aid, and he telephoned Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to express his "abhorrence of the brutal terrorism" Iraq has inflicted on the Jewish state.
Speaking at the annual dinner, Bush said with a sneer in his voice, "Saddam has sickened the world with his use of Scud missiles," a barrage of which have caused substantial injury and damage in Israel.
White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater said the Israeli request for aid was passed on by Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who is in Tel Aviv and has been asked to remain there indefinitely.
Israel has said it will need the additional economic aid over a five-year period as a result of the war and the cost of absorbing thousands of Soviet immigrants coming into the country. Israel receives $3 billion annually in U.S. assistance, the single-largest aid package for any country.
Israel's ambassador to the United States, Zalman Shoval, visited members of Congress Thursday and suggested that Israel will seek reparations from Iraq when the war is over.
In an appearance later at the National Press Club, Shoval called the Patriot missiles "very effective" and said he did not expect the U.S. crews sent to help operate them would be needed much longer.
"It won't be a very long time before the operation will be fully in the hands of Israeli forces," he said.
Asked if that extra aid would be a payoff to Israel for staying out of the war, Secretary of State James Baker said, "No, not at all. That's not the point here. We would consider any request that Israel makes."
Meanwhile Clayton Yeutter, Bush's choice to head the Republican Party, is coming under fire for asserting that Democrats will suffer politically if they opposed giving Bush authority to go to war.
Yeutter's comments "trivialize the deep misgivings which all Americans have about sending our sons and daughters into combat," said Sen. Robert Kerrey, D-Neb.
"These remarks attempt to politicize this war and to define victory in terms of electoral gain rather than policy achievements," Kerrey said on the Senate floor Wednesday.