The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2003

Global Message


  • America is an active member of institutions that come together for the purposes of peace, mutual security, and to stand together against those nations that threaten their neighbors.

  • UN Resolution 1441 is not about inspections. It recognizes Iraq has been in material breach of its obligations for the past 11 years and that Iraq must come into compliance and disarm.

  • The few results we've gotten from Iraq occurred only because the UN Security Council showed determination and seriousness.

  • Yet to this day, we have not seen the level of cooperation that was expected or hoped for. Inspectors are still being minded, watched, and bugged, and do not have the freedom of access around Iraq they need to do their job well.

  • We have not had a complete, accurate declaration. If Iraq was serious in this matter, they would give the world all the evidence needed that their weapons of mass destruction are gone. But questions remain about the unaccounted for anthrax, botulinum, VX, growth media, and 30,000 chemical and biological munitions.

  • These are not responsible actions by Iraq, but efforts to deceive, deny, divert, and to throw us off the path. More inspections and a longer inspection period will not move us away from the central problem we are facing: Iraq has failed to comply.

  • Iraq's continued noncompliance requires the Security Council to begin to think through the consequences of walking away from this problem, or the reality that we have to face this problem. The security of the region, the hopes for the people of Iraq themselves, and our security rests upon meeting our responsibilities and, if it comes to it, invoking the serious consequences called for in 1441.
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