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Radio Address of the President to the Nation 8/3/3

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 8, 2003

Radio Address of the President to the Nation


THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This has been an important week on two fronts of our war against terror. First, American and Pakistani authorities captured the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks against our country, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. This is a landmark achievement in disrupting the al Qaeda network, and we believe it will help us prevent future acts of terror. We are currently working with over 90 countries and have dealt with over 3,000 terrorists, who have been detained, arrested, or otherwise will not be a problem for the United States.

Second, the Chief United Nations Weapons Inspector reported yesterday to the Security Council on his efforts to verify Saddam Hussein's compliance with Resolution 1441. This resolution requires Iraq to fully and unconditionally disarm itself of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons materials, as well as the prohibited missiles that could be used to deliver them. Unfortunately, it is clear that Saddam Hussein is still violating the demands of the United Nations by refusing to disarm.

Iraqi's dictator has made a public show of producing and destroying a few prohibited missiles. Yet, our intelligence shows that even as he is destroying these few missiles, he has ordered the continued production of the very same type of missiles. Iraqi operatives continue to play a shell game with inspectors, moving suspected prohibited materials to different locations every 12 to 24 hours. And Iraqi weapons scientists continue to be threatened with harm should they cooperate in interviews with U.N. inspectors.

These are not the actions of a regime that is disarming. These are the actions of a regime engaged in a willful charade. If the Iraqi regime were disarming, we would know it -- because we would see it; Iraq's weapons would be presented to inspectors and destroyed. Inspection teams do not need more time, or more personnel -- all they need is what they have never received, the full cooperation of the Iraqi regime. The only acceptable outcome is the outcome already demanded by a unanimous vote of the Security Council: total disarmament.

Saddam Hussein has a long history of reckless aggression and terrible crimes. He possesses weapons of terror. He provides funding and training and safe haven to terrorists who would willingly deliver weapons of mass destruction against America and other peace-loving countries.

The attacks of September the 11, 2001 showed what the enemies of America did with four airplanes. We will not wait to see what terrorists or terror states could do with weapons of mass destruction. We are determined to confront threats wherever they arise. And, as a last resort, we must be willing to use military force. We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force.

Across the world, and in every part of America, people of goodwill are hoping and praying for peace. Our goal is peace -- for our own nation, for our friends, for our allies and for all the peoples of the Middle East. People of goodwill must also recognize that allowing a dangerous dictator to defy the world and build an arsenal for conquest and mass murder is not peace at all; it is pretense. The cause of peace will be advanced only when the terrorists lose a wealthy patron and protector, and when the dictator is fully and finally disarmed.

Thank you for listening.

END

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