For Immediate Release
July 25, 2003
From the Vice President's Remarks on the Continuing War on Terror, 7/24/2003
Our worldwide campaign against terror began September 11th, 2001. We lost more people that morning than at Pearl Harbor. Terrorists desire to kill as many Americans as possible. This enemy holds no territory, defends no population, is unconstrained by rules of warfare, and respects no law of morality. Such an enemy cannot be deterred, contained, appeased, or negotiated with. It can only be destroyed, and that's the business at hand.
For decades, terrorists have waged war against this country. Now, we are waging war against them.
We will not permit outlaw states and terror groups to join forces to threaten Americans.
A hateful ideology defiles a great religion in many parts of the world. Terrorists have conducted attacks since September 11th in Bali, Mombassa, Casablanca, and Riyadh.
In Iraq, we took our essential step in the war on terror. The United States and our allies rid the Iraqi people of a murderous dictator, and rid the world of a menace to peace.
His regime killed thousands of people with chemical weapons. Against this background, to disregard the intelligence community's warnings would have been irresponsible in the extreme.
If we had not acted, Saddam Hussein and his sons would still be in power; torture chambers would still be in operation; the prison cells for children would still be filled; the mass graves would be undiscovered; the terror network would still enjoy the support of the regime; Iraq would still be making payments to the families of suicide bombers attacking Israel; and Saddam Hussein would still control vast wealth to spend on his chemical, biological, and nuclear ambitions.
Nineteen nations have provided more than 13,000 troops to help stabilize Iraq. We are renovating schools, restoring basic services, training Iraqi police forces and will soon establish a new civilian defense force. A governing council of Iraqis, recognized by the United Nations, is now operating, naming ministers, and drawing up a budget for the country. Drafting a constitution will eventually prepare the way for elections.
We still have many tasks to complete in Iraq, and many dangers remain, but our mission is essential for our security and for the peace of the world. We will help the Iraqi people to build a free, sovereign, and democratic nation. That free nation will stand as an example to the entire Middle East. And a more peaceful, stable Middle East will contribute directly to the security of America and our friends.