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For Immediate Release
November 5, 2002
Iraq Must Disarm Says President in South Dakota Speech
Click here to read entire transcript.
What's important for us as we work to secure the homeland is to remember the stakes have changed. After September the 11th, world changed. It changed for a lot of reasons. Perhaps the most profound reason on a foreign policy perspective, or from a homeland security perspective, is that we're no longer protected by two big oceans. Used to be if there was a threat overseas we could deal with it if we chose to do so, but we didn't have to worry about something happening here at home. It used to be oceans could protect us from conflict and from threats.
But that's changed, and it's important to have people in the Senate who are clear-eyed realists. It's important to have people who see the world the way it is, not the way we hope it is. And the world is a dangerous place, particularly with people like Saddam Hussein in power.
Saddam Hussein is a man who told the world he wouldn't have weapons of mass destruction, but he's got them. He's a man who a while ago who was close to having a nuclear weapon. Imagine if this madman had a nuclear weapon. It's a man who not only has chemical weapons, but he's used chemical weapons against some of his neighbors. He used chemical weapons, incredibly enough, against his own people. He can't stand America. He can't stand some of our closest friends.
And, not only that, he is -- would like nothing better than to hook-up with one of these shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, provide some weapons and training to them, let them come and do his dirty work, and we wouldn't be able to see his fingerprints on his action.
No, he's a threat. And that's why I went to the United Nations. I went to the United Nations because, I said to that august body, you need to hold this man to account. For 11 years, in resolution after resolution after resolution he's defied you. For the sake of keeping the peace, we want you to be effective. For the sake of keeping the world free, we want you to be an effective body. It's up to you, however. You can show the world whether you've got the backbone necessary to enforce your edicts or whether you're going to turn out to be just like the League of Nations, your choice to make.
And my message to Saddam Hussein is that, for the sake of peace, for the sake of freedom, you must disarm like you said you would do. But my message to you all and to the country is this: for the sake of our future freedoms, and for the sake of world peace, if the United Nations can't act, and if Saddam Hussein won't act, the United States will lead a coalition of nations to disarm Saddam Hussein. (Applause.)
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