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For Immediate Release
February 24, 2003
President's Remarks to Governors 2/24/03
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The war on terror is more than just chasing down shadowy terrorist networks. The war on terror is recognizing that weapons of mass destruction, in the hands of brutal dictators, also threatens the American people. I've come to the conclusion that the risk of doing nothing far exceeds the risk of working with the world to disarm Saddam Hussein.
I came to that conclusion because of the new realties we all face as American citizens who love freedom and who aren't going to change. Today we're going to submit a resolution to the U.N. Security Council that spells out what the world has witnessed the last months. The Iraqi regime is not disarming. The Iraqi regime is not disarming as required by last fall's unanimous vote of the Security Council.
Saddam Hussein's refusal to comply with the demands of the civilized world is a threat to peace, and it's a threat to stability. It's a threat to the security of our country. It's a threat to the security of peace leaving -- peace-loving people everywhere.
We're going to work with the members of the Security Council in the days ahead to make it clear to Saddam that the demands of the world and the United Nations will be enforced. It's an interesting moment for the Security Council and the United Nations. It's a moment to determine for this body, that we hope succeeds, to determine whether or not it is going to be relevant, as the world confronts the threats to the 21st century. Is it going to be a body that means what it says? We certainly hope it does.
But one way or the other, Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace and for the security of the American people, will be disarmed. (Applause.)
We face common challenges. I look forward to working with you all to meet those challenges. The country expects leaders to lead. And that's exactly what we all are going to do for the good of mankind, for the good of the American people.
Thank you very much.