For Immediate Release
March 19, 2003
Events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. Peaceful
efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed because we are not
dealing with peaceful men.
The Iraqi regime continues to conceal some of the most lethal
weapons ever devised. It has used weapons of mass destruction. It has
a history of reckless aggression and a deep hatred for America and our
friends. And it has aided terrorists, including al-Qaida. Using
chemical, biological, or one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the
help of Iraq, terrorists could kill thousands, or more.
The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or
invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it.
The UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding
Iraq in material breach and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not
fully and immediately disarm. Today, no nation claims that Iraq has
Some permanent members of the Security Council announced they would
veto any resolution that compels disarmament. The Security Council has
not lived up to its responsibilities - so we will rise to ours.
Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can
know every measure has been taken to avoid war - and every measure will
be taken to win it.
In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against
neighbors...no more poison factories...no more executions of
dissidents...no more torture chambers and rape rooms.
In desperation, Saddam Hussein and terrorist groups might try to
conduct terrorist operations.
We are acting to protect our homeland. Should enemies strike our
country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic,
and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail.
The greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence,
and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace.
Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the
violent. America and our allies accept that responsibility.