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In Bush's Assessment, 'Now Comes the Hard Part'

November 09, 2002|From Associated Press

Following are excerpts of President Bush's remarks after the U.N. Security Council vote:


With the resolution just passed, the United Nations Security Council has met important responsibilities, upheld its principles and given clear and fair notice that Saddam Hussein must fully disclose and destroy his weapons of mass destruction.

He must submit to any and all methods to verify his compliance. His cooperation must be prompt and unconditional, or he will face the severest consequences.

The world has now come together to say that the outlaw regime in Iraq will not be permitted to build or possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

That is the judgment of the United States Congress. That is the judgment of the United Nations Security Council. Now that world must insist that that judgment be enforced.

Iraq's obligation to disarm is not new, or even recent. To end the Persian Gulf War and ensure its own survival, Iraq's regime agreed to disarm in April of 1991. For over a decade, the Iraqi regime has treated its own pledge with contempt.

As today's resolution states, Iraq is already in material breach of past U.N. demands. Iraq has aggressively pursued weapons of mass destruction, even while inspectors were inside the country. Iraq has undermined the effectiveness of weapons inspectors with ploys, delays and threats, making their work impossible and leading to four years of no inspections....

Inspectors do not have the power to disarm an unwilling regime. They can only confirm that a government has decided to disarm itself. History has shown that when Iraq's leaders stall inspections and impede the progress, it means they have something to hide.

The resolution approved today presents the Iraqi regime with a test, a final test. Iraq must now, without delay or negotiations, fully disarm, welcome full inspections and fundamentally change the approach it has taken for more than a decade.

The regime must allow immediate and unrestricted access to every site, every document and every person identified by inspectors.

Iraq can be certain that the old game of cheat and retreat, tolerated at other times, will no longer be tolerated.

Any act of delay or defiance will be an additional breach of Iraq's international obligations and a clear signal that the Iraqi regime has once again abandoned the path of voluntary compliance....

If we are to avert war, all nations must continue to pressure Saddam Hussein to accept this resolution and to comply with its obligations, and his obligation.

America will be making only one determination:

Is Iraq meeting the terms of the Security Council resolution or not?

The United States has agreed to discuss any material breach with the Security Council, but without jeopardizing our freedom of action to defend our country.

If Iraq fails to fully comply, the United States and other nations will disarm Saddam Hussein....

Americans recognize what is at stake. In fighting a war on terror, we are determined to oppose every source of catastrophic harm that threatens our country, our friends and our allies.

We are actively pursuing dangerous terror networks across the world. And we oppose a uniquely dangerous regime -- a regime that has harbored terrorists and could supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, a regime that has built such terrible weapons and has used them to kill thousands, a brutal regime with a history of both reckless ambition and reckless miscalculation....

In confronting this threat, America seeks the support of the world. If action becomes necessary, we will act in the interests of the world. And America expects Iraqi compliance with all U.N. resolutions. The time has come for the Iraqi people to escape oppression, find freedom and live in hope....

Now comes the hard part. The Security Council must maintain its unity and sense of purpose, so that the Iraqi regime cannot revert to the strategies of obstruction and deception it used so successfully in the past. The outcome of the current crisis is already determined: The full disarmament of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq will occur. The only question for the Iraqi regime is to decide how.

The United States prefers that Iraq meet its obligations voluntarily, yet we are prepared for the alternative. In either case, the just demands of the world will be met.

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