|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
March 31, 2003
In the last week, the world has seen the nature of the young men and women who fight on behalf of our coalition. They are showing kindness and respect to the Iraqi people and are going to extraordinary lengths to spare the lives of the innocent.
Our forces are delivering food and water to grateful Iraqi citizens. The contrast could not be greater between the honorable conduct of our liberating force and the criminal acts of the enemy.
The world has also seen firsthand the cruel nature of a dying regime. In areas still under its control, Saddam's regime continues its rule by terror. Prisoners of war have been brutalized and executed. Iraqis who refuse to fight for the regime are being murdered. Some in the Iraqi military have pretended to surrender, then opened fire on coalition forces that showed them mercy.
We have prevented Saddam Hussein from launching missiles from key sites in western Iraq. We are now fighting the most desperate units of the dictator's army. The fighting is fierce and we do not know its duration, yet we know the outcome of this battle: The Iraqi regime will be disarmed and removed from power. Iraq will be free.
Given the nature of this regime, we expect such war crimes, but we will not excuse them. War criminals will be hunted relentlessly and judged severely.
Every atrocity confirms the justice and urgency of our cause. Against this enemy, we will accept no outcome but complete and final victory. To meet this objective, we must give our armed services the support and resources they require.
We have asked Congress for a nearly $75 billion wartime supplementalappropriations bill to provide supplies for our troops, new high-tech munitions to replace the ones we have used in the war, and assistance for the reconstruction of Iraq and for the protection of the American homeland in this time of high alert.
The people who serve in the military are giving their best to this country. We have the responsibility to give them our full support as they fight for the liberty of an oppressed people, for the security of the United States, and for the peace of the world.