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Two Bush Statements On Iraq & War On Terror


For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 3, 2002

Remarks by the President in Terrell for Senate and Louisiana Republican Party Luncheon
The Fairmont Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana


1:10 P.M. CST

EXTRACT FROM STATEMENT

...

No, there's a lot of issues we'll be working on, but there's no bigger issue than to win this war against the terrorists. I talked about the homeland security bill I signed, and you just need to know there's a lot of good folks working overtime to protect the American homeland. But the best way to secure the homeland is to chase the killers down, one at a time, and bring them to justice. (Applause.) And that's what we're going to do.

It's a different kind of war. In the old days, you could destroy tanks and ships and airplanes, and say you're making progress. This is a different kind of enemy. It's an enemy that hides in caves and sends youngsters to their suicidal deaths. These people do not value innocent life. In America, we say every life is precious, everybody has value, everybody counts. Our enemy we face today murders in the name of a great religion, and they could care less who dies. They're nothing but cold-blooded killers, and we're going to treat them that way.

It doesn't matter how long it takes, it doesn't matter how deep the cave, the United States of America and our friends and allies will hunt them down, one by one, in the name of freedom. (Applause.)

I cannot imagine what was going through their mind when they hit America. They must have thought we were so soft, so weak, so fragile that after 9/11, 2001, we might file a lawsuit or two. (Laughter.) But they're learning something about America that I know, that when it comes to our freedoms, when it comes to the values we hold dear, this United States of America is plenty tough. And that's the way we got to be in this new are of the 21st century.

And we're making progress. You just need to know we're making good progress. After all, this great nation and our friends liberated a country from one of the most barbaric regimes in the history of mankind, by routing the Taliban. We went into Afghanistan not to conquer anybody, but to liberate people. And now, thanks to our great country and our great soldiers and our wonderful friends, young girls -- many young girls go to school for the first time in a country that has been liberated by the American people. (Applause.)

And we've got more work to do there. And we'll stay there until we rout them out. See, they think they can kind of hide in the countryside there in Afghanistan, and they may be able to hide for a day or two. They may be able to hide for a year. But it doesn't matter how long. See, that's what you just have to know. It just doesn't matter how long, we're going to stay on the hunt. These people are scattered in 60 different countries. They're scattered around, and slowly but surely, we're dismantling their terrorist network.

Slowly but surely. The guy who led the USS -- the bombing, mastermind the bombing on the USS Cole, he was the al Qaeda general for the Gulf states. He's not a problem anymore. (Laughter and applause.) One by one, we're bringing them to justice. That's what we've been called to do. History has put this big spotlight on us, and we're not going to let future generations of Americans down.

And that's why I was so proud to sign this defense appropriation authorization bill. The big increases in defense spending sent a clear message to the world, we're in this deal for the long pull. And we've also got to recognize here in America times have changed. See, when a lot of us were growing up, we could feel pretty secure by the fact that we had two oceans surrounding us and protecting us from dangers that might be gathering abroad. September 11th, 2001, completely changed the strategic calculations of this country. The battlefield is here. And, therefore, it's incumbent on the President and the Congress to work together to anticipate gathering dangers before they become acute, before the situation becomes so dire that drastic measures might be needed.

It's very important for us to recognize threats when we see them, and deal with them appropriately. After all, the threat gathering in a distant land turns out to be a threat directly on the American people. We've got to be wise about how we view the world and make sure that the new arrangements, the new alliances aren't allowed to develop. An alliance, for example, where a nation that has weapons of mass destruction uses a shadowy terrorist network as a forward army, perhaps encouraging them to attack America without leaving any fingerprints. You've got to worry about disrupting training facilities.

And that's why I started talking about Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Not only starting a debate in the halls of the United States Congress, which overwhelmingly supported any means necessary to deal with the threat to the United States, but also took the debate to the United Nations, and a couple of weeks ago to NATO.

It's important for our fellow Americans to understand that, when we're talking about Saddam Hussein, we're talking about a man who said he has had no weapons of mass destruction, yet we believe has weapons of mass destruction -- a man who has not only had weapons of mass destruction, but he's used weapons of mass destruction. He used weapons of mass destruction on his neighbors and he used weapons of mass destruction on his own citizens. He's a man who has professed hate to America, as well as our friends and allies. He's a man who has got terrorist ties, a man who helps train terrorists. He's a threat and he's a danger.

I went to the United Nations because I felt like, in a world that required cooperation in this new war of the 21st century, that it was important the United Nations show some backbone, that the United Nations be something other than an empty debating society, that when they issue a resolution, they mean it. And on a 15-0 vote, the United Nations recognized the threat of Saddam Hussein and demanded that he disarm.

I then went to our close allies in NATO and said the same thing. I said, this man's a threat; he's a threat to us, he's a threat to you. He, too, must disarm. And now, as you've seen in your newspapers, inspectors are inside of Iraq. Inspectors are there not to play hide-and-seek with Mr. Saddam Hussein. Inspectors are there to verify the will of the world. And the will of the world says clearly, disarm. Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace, must disarm. And if he refuses to disarm, if he tries to deceive his way out of disarmament, this nation -- along with other willing nations -- will disarm Saddam Hussein. (Applause.)

I say that -- I say that because I believe in peace. I believe this is how you achieve peace, by being strong and resolute, by fighting terror and all forms of terror, by not allowing those who hate to try to dictate to those of us who love freedom. See, I believe out of the evil done to America is going to come some incredible good. Part of the good done to this -- part of the evil done to this country is going to help lead the world to peace.

Oh, I know some don't believe that, but I do. I believe that if we remain steadfast and strong, if we remain true to our values, we'll achieve peace -- not only peace for ourselves, but because we believe every life is precious, everybody matters, everybody has worth. We can achieve peace in parts of the world where they've quit on peace, where people have given up hope.

*****************

Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 3, 2002

Remarks by the President in Louisiana Welcome
State Fairgrounds of Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana

9:54 A.M. CST

EXTRACT FROM STATEMENT

...

But September the 11th brought home a new reality, and it's important for all our citizens to understand that reality. See, a lot of us, when we were raised, never really worried about the homeland. We all believed that two oceans would forever separate us from harm's way, and that if there was a threat gathering overseas, we could pick and choose whether or not we wanted to be involved in dealing with that threat. September the 11th delivered a chilling message to our country, and that is oceans no longer protect us. And therefore, it is my obligation to make sure that we address gathering threats overseas before they could do harm to the American people.

And that's why -- that's why I elevated the issue of Iraq. That's why I took our message of peace and freedom to countries around the world. I want them to understand the nature of the man who runs Iraq is the nature of a man who doesn't tell the truth. He says he won't have weapons of mass destruction; he's got them. He's not only got them, he's used them. And he's not only used them in his neighborhood, he's used them on his own people. That's the nature of the man with whom we deal.

For 11 long years, he has deceived and denied. So I went to the United Nations -- I said, when is enough enough? They voted 15 to nothing to say, now enough is enough. (Applause.) The members of the Security Council had a chance and they accepted the challenge to make sure that this United Nations became an effective body when it comes to keeping the peace, not an empty debating society.

Then I went to NATO -- strong allies in NATO -- and overwhelmingly, the message was, enough is enough. And now there's inspectors inside this country. But I want to tell you, the issue is not the inspectors. The issue is whether or not Mr. Saddam Hussein will disarm like he said he would. We're not interested in hide and seek inside Iraq. The fundamental question is, in the name of peace, in the name of security, not only for America and the American people, in the name of security for our friends in the neighborhood, in the name of freedom, will this man disarm? The choice is his. And if he does not disarm, the United States of America will lead a coalition and disarm him, in the name of peace. (Applause.)

We have an obligation to our children and our children's children to do everything we can to make sure the homeland is secure. And we'll meet the obligation. We'll meet that obligation together.

You know, the amazing thing about America is that I can predict -- boldly predict and certainly predict, that out of the evil done to our country will come incredible good. Because of the nature of our country, I can say that. By being tough and strong and united in the face of danger, we can bring peace to the world. I believe that. (Applause.) I believe that, by doing what we need to do to secure the world from terrorist attack, to rid tyrants of weapons of mass destruction, to make sure that somebody like Saddam Hussein doesn't serve as a training base or a provider of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist networks -- by doing our job, that the world will be more peaceful. By standing strong for what we believe, by remembering that freedom is not America's gift to the world, but God's gift to each and every human being -- (applause) -- that we can achieve peace. I want you to tell your kids and your grandkids that amidst all the speculation about war and military, that our drive and our vision is for a peaceful world in which everybody can realize their potential and live in peace.

And here at home we have a chance to achieve some incredible good out of the evil done to our country. September the 11th shook our soul. I think it has helped awaken a spirit in the country, a spirit that understands that serving something greater than ourself in life is part of the American creed that the American spirit is bigger than just any selfish ambition.

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