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15 марта 2003 г.
President Discusses Iraq in Radio Address
President's Radio Address
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This weekend marks a bitter
anniversary for the people of Iraq. Fifteen years ago, Saddam
Hussein's regime ordered a chemical weapons attack on a village in Iraq
called Halabja. With that single order, the regime killed thousands of
Iraq's Kurdish citizens. Whole families died while trying to flee
clouds of nerve and mustard agents descending from the sky. Many who
managed to survive still suffer from cancer, blindness, respiratory
diseases, miscarriages, and severe birth defects among their children.
The chemical attack on Halabja -- just one of 40 targeted at
Iraq's own people -- provided a glimpse of the crimes Saddam Hussein
is willing to commit, and the kind of threat he now presents to the
entire world. He is among history's cruelest dictators, and he is
arming himself with the world's most terrible weapons.
Recognizing this threat, the United Nations Security Council
demanded that Saddam Hussein give up all his weapons of mass
destruction as a condition for ending the Gulf War 12 years ago. The
Security Council has repeated this demand numerous times and warned
that Iraq faces serious consequences if it fails to comply. Iraq has
responded with defiance, delay and deception.
The United States, Great Britain and Spain continue to work with
fellow members of the U.N. Security Council to confront this common
danger. We have seen far too many instances in the past decade --
from Bosnia, to Rwanda, to Kosovo -- where the failure of the
Security Council to act decisively has led to tragedy. And we must
recognize that some threats are so grave -- and their potential
consequences so terrible -- that they must be removed, even if it
requires military force.
As diplomatic efforts continue, we must never lose sight of the
basic facts about the regime of Baghdad.
We know from recent history that Saddam Hussein is a reckless
dictator who has twice invaded his neighbors without provocation --
wars that led to death and suffering on a massive scale. We know from
human rights groups that dissidents in Iraq are tortured, imprisoned
and sometimes just disappear; their hands, feet and tongues are cut
off; their eyes are gouged out; and female relatives are raped in their
As the Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, said
this week, "We have a moral obligation to intervene where evil is in
control. Today, that place is Iraq."
We know from prior weapons inspections that Saddam has failed to
account for vast quantities of biological and chemical agents,
including mustard agent, botulinum toxin and sarin, capable of killing
millions of people. We know the Iraqi regime finances and sponsors
terror. And we know the regime has plans to place innocent people
around military installations to act as human shields.
There is little reason to hope that Saddam Hussein will disarm. If
force is required to disarm him, the American people can know that our
armed forces have been given every tool and every resource to achieve
victory. The people of Iraq can know that every effort will be made to
spare innocent life, and to help Iraq recover from three decades of
totalitarian rule. And plans are in place to provide Iraqis with
massive amounts of food, as well as medicine and other essential
supplies, in the event of hostilities.
Crucial days lie ahead for the free nations of the world.
Governments are now showing whether their stated commitments to liberty
and security are words alone -- or convictions they're prepared to
act upon. And for the government of the United States and the
coalition we lead, there is no doubt: we will confront a growing
danger, to protect ourselves, to remove a patron and protector of
terror, and to keep the peace of the world.
Thank you for listening.