For Immediate Release
January 21, 2003
Presidential Remarks to Reporters Following Meeting with Economists 1/21/03
Click here for full remarks
Q Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. The French are
saying they would block a U.N. resolution authorizing force on Iraq.
Are you frustrated by these comments? Can you still reach a
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Adam, first of all, it's important for the
American citizens and the citizens around the world to understand that
Saddam Hussein possesses some of the world's deadliest weapons. He
poses a serious threat to America and our friends and allies. The
world came together, including the French, to say he must disarm. He's
not disarming. As a matter of fact, it appears to be a rerun of a bad
movie. He is delaying, he is deceiving, he is asking for time. He's
playing hide-and-seek with inspectors.
One thing is for certain, he's not disarming. So the United States
of America, in the name of peace, will continue to insist he does
disarm, and we will keep the pressure on Saddam Hussein.
Q Mr. President, when do you intend to make a decision about
whether or not the inspection process is -- actually has any hope of
really disarming Saddam?
THE PRESIDENT: It's clear to me now that he is not disarming.
And, surely, our friends have learned lessons from the past. Surely we
have learned how this man deceives and delays. He's giving people the
run-around. And as many of my advisors said on TV this week, time is
running out. I believe in the name of peace he must disarm. And we
will lead a coalition of willing nations to disarm him. Make no
mistake about that, he will be disarmed.
Q When -- how do you decide when that moment comes that you
need to make a judgment?
THE PRESIDENT: I will let you know when the moment has come.
Q Mr. President, who is in that coalition of the willing
now? Are France, Germany out?
THE PRESIDENT: You will find out who is in the coalition of the
willing. It is very much like what happened prior to our getting a
resolution out of the United Nations. Many of the punditry -- of
course, not you -- (laughter) -- but other punditry were quick to
say, no one is going to follow the United States of America. And we
got a unanimous resolution out of the United Nations.
The United States has made it clear our intention, and our
intention is to work with the world for Saddam to disarm. He's been
given ample time to disarm. We have had ample time now to see that the
tricks of the past -- he's employing the tricks of the past today.
He's giving people the run-around. He wants to play hide-and-seek.
He's got a vast country.
He wants to focus the attention of the world on inspectors. This
is not about inspectors; this is about a disarmed Iraq. He has weapons
of mass destruction -- the world's deadliest weapons -- which pose a
direct threat to the United States, our citizens and our friends and
allies. He has been told to disarm for 11 long years. He's not
This business about, you know, more time -- you know, how much
time do we need to see clearly that he's not disarming? As I said,
this looks like a rerun of a bad movie and I'm not interested in
All right, thank you, all.
END 10:41 A.M. EST