For Immediate Release
March 7, 2003
This has been an important week on two fronts in the war on terror:
We captured the mastermind of the September 11th attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
We have arrived at an important moment in confronting the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons of terror.
Friday, the UN Security Council will receive an update from the chief weapons inspector. The world needs him to answer a single question: Has the Iraqi regime fully and unconditionally disarmed, or has it not?
Iraq's dictator has made a public show of destroying a few missiles. Yet our intelligence shows that even as he is destroying these, he has ordered the continued production of the very same type of missiles.
Iraqi operatives continue to hide biological and chemical agents to avoid detection by inspectors, and we know from multiple intelligence sources that Iraqi weapons scientists continue to be threatened with harm should they cooperate with UN inspectors.
If the Iraqi regime were disarming, we would know it because we would see it. Token gestures are not acceptable. The only acceptable outcome is the one already defined by a unanimous vote of the Security Council: total disarmament.
Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of terror, and provides funding, training, and safe haven to terrorists who would willingly use weapons of mass destruction. If the world fails to confront the threat posed by the Iraqi regime, free nations would assume immense and unacceptable risks.
In the event of conflict, America accepts our responsibility to protect innocent lives in every way possible. We will bring food and medicine to the Iraqi people, and will help that nation to build a just government after decades of brutal dictatorship. The form and leadership of that government is for the Iraqi people to choose.
Across the world, and in every part of America, people of good will are hoping and praying for peace. Our goal is peace - for our Nation, for our friends and allies, and for the people of the Middle East. The cause of peace will be advanced only when the terrorists lose a wealthy patron and protector when Saddam Hussein is fully and finally disarmed.