For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 5, 2003
Operation Iraqi Freedom
President's Radio Address
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. American and coalition forces are
steadily advancing against the regime of Saddam Hussein. With each new
village they liberate, our forces are learning more about the
atrocities of that regime, and the deep fear the dictator has instilled
in the Iraqi people. Yet no crime of this dying regime will divert us
from our mission. We will not stop until Iraq is free.
This week, coalition forces have been clearing southern cities and
towns of Saddam's death squads and enforcers. Our Special Forces and
Army paratroopers, working with Kurdish militia, have opened a northern
front against the enemy. In the town of Najaf, members of our 101st
Airborne Division have been welcomed as liberators. At An-Nasiriyah,
Marines continue to eliminate the enemy while other Army and Marine
units have closed in on Baghdad. From the skies above, coalition
aircraft and cruise missiles are removing hundreds of military targets
from the map.
As the vise tightens on the Iraqi regime, some of our enemies have
chosen to fill their final days with acts of cowardice and murder. In
combat, Saddam's thugs shield themselves with women and children. They
have killed Iraqi citizens who welcome coalition troops, and they have
forced other Iraqis into battle by threatening to torture or kill their
families. They have executed prisoners of war, waged attacks under the
white flag of truce, and concealed combat forces in civilian
neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and mosques. In this war, the Iraqi
regime is terrorizing its own citizens, doing everything possible to
maximize Iraqi civilian casualties, and then to exploit the deaths they
have caused for propaganda. These are war criminals, and they'll be
treated as war criminals.
In stark contrast, the citizens of Iraq are coming to know what
kind of people we have sent to liberate them. American forces and our
allies are treating innocent civilians with kindness and showing proper
respect to the soldiers who surrender. The people of the United States
are proud of the honorable conduct of our military. And I am proud to
lead such brave and decent Americans.
In recent days, we have also brought food and water and medicine to
the Iraqi people. We're delivering emergency rations to the hungry.
Right now, cargo ships are bound for Iraq, carrying wheat from
Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas -- enough to feed 4.5 million Iraqis for
one month. Additional food, supplied by the World Food Program, is
moving by truck convoy across the Turkish border into northern Iraq.
We are bringing aid to the long suffering people of Iraq, and we
are bringing something more: we are bringing hope. One Iraqi, when
the coalition troops arrived, described the emotions of his village:
They were waiting for you, he said, and all the people believe that
America and Britain have come to liberate them, not to conquer.
Village by village, city by city, liberation is coming. The people
of Iraq have my pledge: Our fighting forces will press on until their
oppressors are gone and their whole country is free.
By our actions in this war, we serve a great and just cause. Free
nations will not sit and wait, leaving enemies free to plot another
September the 11th -- this time, perhaps, with chemical, biological,
or nuclear terror. We'll remove weapons of mass destruction from the
hands of mass murderers. And by defending our own security, we are
ridding the people of Iraq from one of the cruelest regimes on earth.
The United States and our allies pledged to act if the dictator did not
disarm. The regime in Iraq is now learning that we keep our word.
Thank you for listening.