For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 5, 2002
President: Iraqi Regime Danger to America is "Grave and Growing"
Radio Address by the President to the Nation
PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week leaders of the Congress agreed on a
strong bipartisan resolution authorizing the use of force if necessary
to disarm Saddam Hussein and to defend the peace. Now both the House
and the Senate will have an important debate and an historic vote.
Speaker Hastert and Leader Gephardt and Leader Lott did tremendous work
in building bipartisan support on this vital issue.
danger to America from the Iraqi regime is grave and growing. The
regime is guilty of beginning two wars. It has a horrible history of
striking without warning. In defiance of pledges to the United Nations,
Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding
the facilities used to make more of those weapons. Saddam Hussein has
used these weapons of death against innocent Iraqi people, and we have
every reason to believe he will use them again.
has longstanding ties to terrorist groups, which are capable of and
willing to deliver weapons of mass death. And Iraq is ruled by perhaps
the world's most brutal dictator who has already committed genocide
with chemical weapons, ordered the torture of children, and instituted
the systematic rape of the wives and daughters of his political
cannot leave the future of peace and the security of America in the
hands of this cruel and dangerous man. This dictator must be disarmed.
And all the United Nations resolutions against his brutality and
support for terrorism must be enforced.
United States does not desire military conflict, because we know the
awful nature of war. Our country values life, and we will never seek
war unless it is essential to security and justice. We hope that Iraq
complies with the world's demands. If, however, the Iraqi regime
persists in its defiance, the use of force may become unavoidable.
Delay, indecision, and inaction are not options for America, because
they could lead to massive and sudden horror.
Should force be required to bring Saddam to account, the United States
will work with other nations to help the Iraqi people rebuild and form
a just government. We have no quarrel with the Iraqi people. They are
the daily victims of Saddam Hussein's oppression, and they will be the
first to benefit when the world's demands are met.
American security, the safety of our friends, and the values of our
country lead us to confront this gathering threat. By supporting the
resolution now before them, members of Congress will send a clear
message to Saddam: His only choice is to fully comply with the demands
of the world. And the time for that choice is limited. Supporting this
resolution will also show the resolve of the United States, and will
help spur the United Nations to act.
urge Americans to call their members of Congress to make sure your
voice is heard. The decision before Congress cannot be more
consequential. I'm confident that members of both political parties
will choose wisely.
Thank you for listening.