For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 22, 2003
Presidential Remarks 1/22/03
Excerpt from President's Remarks in St. Louis 1/22/03
Click here for full transcript
The dictator of Iraq has got weapons of mass destruction. He has
used weapons of mass destruction. He can't stand America and what we
stand for. He can't stand our friends and allies.
He's a dangerous, dangerous man with dangerous, dangerous weapons.
And that's why the world came together at the United Nations Security
Council and said, Mr. Saddam Hussein must disarm. The message was as
clear as can possibly be delivered -- Mr. Saddam Hussein must disarm.
And the first step of that disarmament was for him to make a
declaration of his weapons -- 12,000 pages of deceit and deception were
placed at the U.N. Security Council. We know what it means to disarm;
we know what a disarmed regime does. We know how a disarmed regime
accounts for weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein is not
disarming, like the world has told him he must do.
He's a dangerous man, with dangerous weapons. He's a danger to
America, and our friends and allies. And that's why the world has said,
But Saddam Hussein has learned lessons from the past. See, the
first time he was told to disarm was 11 years ago. He is adept at
deception and delays and denying. He asked for more time so he can give
the so-called inspectors more runaround. He's interested in playing
hide and seek in a huge country. He's not interested in disarming.
I hope the world has learned the lessons from the past, just like
Saddam Hussein has learned the lessons from the past, but in a
different way. It's time for us to hold the world to account, and for
Saddam to be held to account.
We must not -- (applause.) We must not be fooled by the ways of the
past. After all, we just discovered undeclared chemical warheads in
Iraq. It's incredibly troubling and disturbing for a man -- that is
evidence of a man not disarming.
He wants to play a game. For the sake of peace, we must not let him
play a game. And so the resolutions of the Security Council will be
My hope is that Saddam Hussein will disarm voluntarily; that's my
hope. I take seriously the commitment of any troop into combat. I
desire peace. But in the name of peace, in the name of securing our
future, if Saddam Hussein will not disarm, the United States of America
and friends of freedom will disarm Saddam Hussein. (Applause.)
And should that path be forced upon us, there will be serious
consequences. There will be serious consequences for the dictator in
Iraq. And there will be serious consequences for any Iraqi general or
soldier who were to use weapons of mass destruction on our troops or on
innocent lives within Iraq. (Applause.)
Should any Iraqi officer or soldier receive an order from Saddam
Hussein, or his sons, or any of the killers who occupy the high levels
of their government, my advice is, don't follow that order. Because if
you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried
and persecuted as a war criminal. (Applause.) And there will be serious
consequences -- should we be forced into action, there will be serious
consequences for the Iraqi people -- and that's freedom, freedom from
oppression. (Applause.) Freedom from oppression, freedom from torture,
freedom from murder, freedom to realize your God-given talents.