|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
December 14, 2003
From President Bush's Remarks, 12/14/03
United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive in a swift raid conducted without casualties, and now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions.
The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. It marks the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name.
For the Baathist holdouts largely responsible for the current violence, there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held.
For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever.
To the Iraqi people, President Bush said: "You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again. All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side. The goals of our coalition are the same as your goals -- sovereignty for your country, dignity for your great culture, and for every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life."
In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.
Today, on behalf of America, President Bush thanked the members of our Armed Forces and congratulated them. They have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people.
President Bush also has a message for the American people: "...The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq. We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East."