Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The World

'We Will Act ... and We Will Prevail'

October 08, 2002|From Associated Press

Excerpts of President Bush's address in Cincinnati:

*

Good evening. Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace, and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions--its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror.

*

Members of the Congress of both political parties and members of the United Nations Security Council agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world.

*

Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is already significant and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today--and we do--does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?

*

Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles ... in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work. We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas.

*

Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliances with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.

*

If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression.

*

The time for denying, deceiving and delaying has come to an end. Saddam Hussein must disarm himself--or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.

*

I hope this will not require military action, but it may. And military conflict could be difficult. An Iraqi regime faced with its own demise may attempt cruel and desperate measures. If Saddam Hussein orders such measures, his generals would be well-advised to refuse those orders. If they do not refuse, they must understand that all war criminals will be pursued and punished.... We will plan carefully, we will act with the full power of the United States military, we will act with allies at our side and we will prevail.

*

Failure to act would embolden other tyrants, allow terrorists access to new weapons and new resources, and make blackmail a permanent feature of world events. The United Nations would betray the purpose of its founding and prove irrelevant to the problems of our time. And through its inaction, the United States would resign itself to a future of fear.

That is not the America I know. That is not the America I serve. We refuse to live in fear. This nation--in world war and in Cold War--has never permitted the brutal and lawless to set history's course.

*

Later this week the United States Congress will vote on this matter. I have asked Congress to authorize the use of America's military, if it proves necessary, to enforce U.N. Security Council demands. Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable. The resolution will tell the United Nations and all nations that America speaks with one voice and is determined to make the demands of the civilized world mean something.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|