For Immediate Release
April 4, 2003
The U.S. and our allies pledged to act if Saddam did not disarm. The
regime in Iraq is now learning that we keep our word. No scheme of this
enemy, no crime of a dying regime will divert us from our mission. A
vice is closing, and the days of a brutal regime are coming to an end.
At this hour, Coalition forces are clearing southern cities and
towns of the dictator's death squads and enforcers. We have opened a
northern front against the enemy, and other divisions are advancing to
the outskirts of Baghdad.
Some servants of the regime have chosen to fill their final days
with acts of cowardice and murder. In combat, Saddam's thugs shield
themselves with women and children. They have killed Iraqi citizens
who welcome Coalition troops, and force other Iraqis into battle by
threatening to torture or kill their families.
They've executed prisoners of war. They've waged attacks under the
white flag of truce, and concealed combat forces in civilian
neighborhoods,schools, hospitals and mosques.
The Iraqi regime is attempting to maximize Iraqi civilian
casualties, and then exploiting the deaths they've caused for
propaganda. These are war criminals and they will be treated like war
In stark contrast, the citizens of Iraq are coming to know what
kind of people we have sent to liberate them. Coalition forces are
treating civilians with kindness, and showing proper respect to
soldiers who surrender.
Coalition victories are bringing food, water and medicine to the
Iraqi people. We're delivering emergency rations to the hungry, and
we're also bringing hope.
The Iraqi people deserve to live in peace under leaders they have
chosen. They deserve a government that respects the rights of every
citizen and ethnic group. They deserve a country that is united,
independent, and released from years of sanctions and sorrow.
Building a free and prosperous Iraq after the regime is gone will
be the work of the Iraqi people for years to come. And they will have
There is work ahead for our Coalition, and the course is set.
We're on the advance. Our destination is Baghdad, and we will accept
nothing less than complete and final victory.