For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 16, 2002
Statement by the President
Today I have signed into law H.J. Res. 114, a resolution "To
authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq." By
passing H.J. Res. 114, the Congress has demonstrated that the United
States speaks with one voice on the threat to international peace and
security posed by Iraq. It has also clearly communicated to the
international community, to the United Nations Security Council, and,
above all, to Iraq's tyrannical regime a powerful and important
message: the days of Iraq flouting the will of the world, brutalizing
its own people, and terrorizing its neighbors must -- and will -- end.
Iraq will either comply with all U.N. resolutions, rid itself of
weapons of mass destruction, and in its support for terrorists, or it
will be compelled to do so. I hope that Iraq will choose compliance
and peace, and I believe passage of this resolution makes that choice
The debate over this resolution in the Congress was in the finest
traditions of American democracy. There is no social or political
force greater than a free people united in a common and compelling
objective. It is for that reason that I sought an additional
resolution of support from the Congress to use force against Iraq,
should force become necessary. While I appreciate receiving that
support, my request for it did not, and my signing this resolution does
not, constitute any change in the long-standing positions of the
executive branch on either the President's constitutional authority to
use force to deter, prevent, or respond to aggression or other threats
to U.S. interests or on the constitutionality of the War Powers
Resolution. On the important question of the threat posed by Iraq,
however, the views and goals of the Congress, as expressed in H.J. Res.
114 and previous congressional resolutions and enactments, and those of
the President are the same.
Throughout the past months, I have had extensive consultations with
the Congress, and I look forward to con-tinuing close consultation in
the months ahead. In addition, in accordance with section 4 of H.J.
Res. 114, I intend to submit written reports to the Congress on matters
relevant to this resolution every 60 days. To the extent possible, I
intend to consolidate information in these reports with the information
concerning Iraq submitted to the Congress pursuant to previous, related
The United States is committed to a world in which the people of
all nations can live in freedom, peace, and security. Enactment of
H.J. Res. 114 is an important step on the road toward such a world.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 16, 2002.
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