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For Immediate Release
April 4, 2003

Global Message

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.

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    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 criminals.

    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 our help.

    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.