|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
March 21, 2003
American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger.
In this conflict, America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality. Saddam Hussein has placed Iraqi troops and equipment in civilian areas, and is attempting to use innocent men, women and children as shields for his military - a final atrocity against his people.
American and coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm. We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, their great civilization, and the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of the country to its own people.
Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure. The people of the US and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.
Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. This will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.
The dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.