For Immediate Release
February 28, 2003
Key Points from the President's Remarks on Iraq and the Middle
The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be
ignored or wished away. We hope the Iraqi regime will meet the demands
of the UN and disarm, fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are
prepared to disarm Iraq by force.
Acting against this danger will also contribute greatly to the
long term safety and stability of the Middle East and the world.
The first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people
themselves. Their lives and freedom matter little to Saddam Hussein,
but matter greatly to us. If we must use force, the United States and
our allies stand ready to help the citizens of a liberated Iraq.
Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many
nations, including our own: We will remain in Iraq as long as
necessary, and not a day more. The nation of Iraq - with its proud
heritage, abundant resources, and skilled, educated people - is fully
capable of achieving democracy and living in freedom.
Success in Iraq will deprive terrorist networks of a wealthy
patron that pays for terrorist training, and other regimes will be
given clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated.
The United States and other countries continue to work on a
roadmap for peace. Success in Iraq could begin a new stage for Middle
East peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic
A Palestinian state must be reformed and peaceful and abandon
forever the use of terror.
For its part, the new government of Israel - as security
improves - will be expected to support the creation of a Palestinian
state and work toward a final status agreement, and settlement activity
And the Arab states will be expected to meet their
responsibilities to oppose terrorism, support the emergence of a
peaceful and democratic Palestine, and state clearly that they will
live in peace with Israel.
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