of the Union Address:
President Bush Speaks Out on Terrorism and Iraq
This Nation can lead the world in sparing innocent people from a
plague of nature. And this Nation is leading the world in confronting
and defeating the man-made evil of international terrorism.
Korean soldiers watch U.S. President George W. Bush’s State
of the Union speech on a television monitor at Seoul railway
station, January 29, 2003. In his speech, Bush warned Pyongyang
that the world would not be held to ransom by its nuclear
threat. A South Korean presidential envoy was set to return
from North Korea on Wednesday without sitting down with
the communist state’s leader Kim Jong-il.
Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
days when the American people do not hear news about the war on
terror. There is never a day when I do not learn of another threat,
or receive reports of operations in progress, or give an order
in this global war against a scattered network of killers. The
war goes on, and we are winning.
To date we
have arrested, or otherwise dealt with, many key commanders of
al-Qaida. They include a man who directed logistics and funding
for the September 11th attacks … the chief of al-Qaida operations
in the Persian Gulf who planned the bombings of our embassies
in East Africa and the USS Cole … an al-Qaida operations
chief from Southeast Asia … a former director of al-Qaida’s
training camps in Afghanistan … a key al-Qaida operative
in Europe … and a major al-Qaida leader in Yemen. All told,
more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many
countries. And many others have met a different fate. They are
no longer a problem for the United States and our friends and
We are working
closely with other nations to prevent further attacks. America
and coalition countries have uncovered and stopped terrorist conspiracies
targeting the American embassy in Yemen … the American embassy
in Singapore … a Saudi military base … and ships in
the straits of Hormuz, and the straits of Gibraltar. We have broken
al-Qaida cells in Hamburg, and Milan, and Madrid, and London,
and Paris – as well as Buffalo, New York.
We have the
terrorists on the run, and we are keeping them on the run. One
by one, the terrorists are learning the meaning of American justice.
As we fight
this war, we will remember where it began – here, in our
own country. This government is taking unprecedented measures
to protect our people and defend our homeland. We have intensified
security at the borders and ports of entry … posted more
than 50,000 newly trained federal screeners in airports …
begun inoculating troops and first responders against smallpox
… and are deploying the Nation’s first early warning
network of sensors to detect biological attack. And this year,
for the first time, we are beginning to field a defense to protect
this Nation against ballistic missiles.
must act before the dangers are upon us."
I thank the
Congress for supporting these measures. I ask you tonight to add
to our future security with a major research and production effort
to guard our people against bio-terrorism, called Project Bioshield.
The budget I send you will propose almost six billion dollars
to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against
agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague. We must
assume that our enemies would use these diseases as weapons, and
we must act before the dangers are upon us.
September 11th, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies
have worked more closely than ever to track and disrupt the terrorists.
The FBI is improving its ability to analyze intelligence, and
transforming itself to meet new threats. And tonight, I am instructing
the leaders of the FBI, Central Intelligence, Homeland Security,
and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration
Center, to merge and analyze all threat information in a single
location. Our government must have the very best information possible,
and we will use it to make sure the right people are in the right
places to protect our citizens.
Our war against
terror is a contest of will, in which perseverance is power. In
the ruins of two towers, at the western wall of the Pentagon,
on a field in Pennsylvania, this Nation made a pledge, and we
renew that pledge tonight: Whatever the duration of this struggle,
and whatever the difficulties, we will not permit the triumph
of violence in the affairs of men – free people will set
the course of history.
gravest danger in the war on terror … the gravest danger
facing America and the world … is outlaw regimes that seek
and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. These regimes
could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, and mass murder.
They could also give or sell those weapons to their terrorist
allies, who would use them without the least hesitation.
This threat is
new; America’s duty is familiar. Throughout the 20th century,
small groups of men seized control of great nations … built
armies and arsenals … and set out to dominate the weak and
intimidate the world. In each case, their ambitions of cruelty and
murder had no limit. In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism,
and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by the
strength of great alliances, and by the might of the United States
of America. Now, in this century, the ideology of power and domination
has appeared again, and seeks to gain the ultimate weapons of terror.
Once again, this Nation and our friends are all that stand between
a world at peace, and a world of chaos and constant alarm. Once
again, we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the
hopes of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility.
ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism, and communism were defeated
by the will of free peoples…"
making a broad and determined effort to confront these dangers.
We have called on the United Nations to fulfill its charter, and
stand by its demand that Iraq disarm. We are strongly supporting
the International Atomic Energy Agency in its mission to track
and control nuclear materials around the world. We are working
with other governments to secure nuclear materials in the former
Soviet Union, and to strengthen global treaties banning the production
and shipment of missile technologies and weapons of mass destruction.
In all of
these efforts, however, America’s purpose is more than to
follow a process – it is to achieve a result: the end of
terrible threats to the civilized world. All free nations have
a stake in preventing sudden and catastrophic attack. We are asking
them to join us, and many are doing so. Yet the course of this
Nation does not depend on the decisions of others. Whatever action
is required, whenever action is necessary, I will defend the freedom
and security of the American people.
threats require different strategies. In Iran, we continue to
see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of
mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see Iranian citizens
risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty,
human rights, and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a
right to choose their own government, and determine their own
destiny – and the United States supports their aspirations
to live in freedom.
and the world will not be blackmailed."
On the Korean
peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear
and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied
on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear
weapons. We now know that the regime was deceiving the world,
and developing those weapons all along. And today the North Korean
regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions.
America and the world will not be blackmailed. America is working
with the countries of the region – South Korea, Japan, China,
and Russia – to find a peaceful solution, and to show the
North Korean government that nuclear weapons will bring only isolation,
economic stagnation, and continued hardship. The North Korean
regime will find respect in the world, and revival for its people,
only when it turns away from its nuclear ambitions.
and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean peninsula,
and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq. A brutal
dictator, with a history of reckless aggression … with ties
to terrorism… with great potential wealth … will not
be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United
ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty
in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed
to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12
years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical,
biological, and nuclear weapons even while inspectors were in
his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit
of these weapons – not economic sanctions, not isolation
from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his
military facilities. Almost three months ago, the United Nations
Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm.
He has shown instead his utter contempt for the United Nations,
and for the opinion of the world.
The 108 UN
weapons inspectors were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for
hidden materials across a country the size of California. The
job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq’s regime is
disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding
its banned weapons … lay those weapons out for the world
to see … and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this
Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons
materials sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax
– enough doses to kill several million people. He has not
accounted for that material. He has given no evidence that he
has destroyed it.
The United Nations
concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce
more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin – enough to subject
millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He has not accounted
for that material. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed
to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure."
officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce
as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and VX nerve agent. In
such quantities, these chemical agents also could kill untold
thousands. He has not accounted for these materials. He has given
no evidence that he has destroyed them.
indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions
capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned
up 16 of them, despite Iraq’s recent declaration denying
their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining
29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He has given no evidence
that he has destroyed them.
Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several
mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce
germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to place to evade
inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities.
He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein
had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design
for a nuclear weapon, and was working on five different methods
of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned
that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of
uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he
has attempted to purchase high strength aluminum tubes suitable
for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly
explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary, he is deceiving. From
intelligence sources, we know, for instance, that thousands of
Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials
from the UN inspectors – sanitizing inspection sites, and
monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany
the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses. Iraq is blocking
U-2 surveillance flights requested by the United Nations. Iraqi
intelligence officers are posing as the scientists inspectors
are supposed to interview. Real scientists have been coached by
Iraqi officials on what to say. And intelligence sources indicate
that Saddam Hussein has ordered that scientists who cooperate
with UN inspectors in disarming Iraq will be killed, along with
Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members
year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous
sums, taken great risks, to build and keep weapons of mass destruction
– but why? The only possible explanation, the only possible
use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate,
or attack. With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and
biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions
of conquest in the Middle East, and create deadly havoc in the
region. And this Congress and the American people must recognize
another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications,
and statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam Hussein
aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida. Secretly,
and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons
to terrorists, or help them develop their own.
11, 2001, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be
contained. But chemical agents and lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist
networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with
other weapons, and other plans – this time armed by Saddam
Hussein. It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped
into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever
known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that day
terrorist networks are not easily contained."
said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when
have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely
putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted
to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all
recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and
restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an
who is assembling the world’s most dangerous weapons, has
already used them on whole villages – leaving thousands
of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees
tell us how forced confessions are obtained – by torturing
children while their parents are made to watch. International
human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the
torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons,
dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting
out tongues, and rape.
of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country –
your enemy is ruling your country."
If this is
not evil, then evil has no meaning. And tonight I have a message
for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not
surrounding your country – your enemy is ruling your country.
And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the
day of your liberation.
has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept
a serious and mounting threat to our country, our friends, and
our allies. The United States will ask the UN Security Council
to convene on February 5th to consider the facts of Iraq’s
ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will
present information and intelligence about Iraq’s illegal
weapons programs; its attempts to hide those weapons from inspectors;
and its links to terrorist groups. We will consult, but let there
be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm,
for the safety of our people, and for the peace of the world,
we will lead a coalition to disarm him.
also have a message for the men and women who will keep the peace,
members of the American Armed Forces: Many of you are assembling
in and near the Middle East, and some crucial hours may lie ahead.
In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on you. Your
training has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You believe
in America, and America believes in you.
into battle is the most profound decision a president can make.
The technologies of war have changed. The risks and suffering
of war have not. For the brave Americans who bear the risk, no
victory is free from sorrow. This Nation fights reluctantly, because
we know the cost, and we dread the days of mourning that always
We seek peace.
We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future
lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all. If
war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just
means – sparing, in every way we can, the innocent. And
if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and
might of the United States military – and we will prevail.
And as we and our coalition partners are doing in Afghanistan,
we will bring to the Iraqi people food, and medicines, and supplies
abroad and at home, have arrived in a single season. In two years,
America has gone from a sense of invulnerability to an awareness
of peril … from bitter division in small matters to calm
unity in great causes. And we go forward with confidence, because
this call of history has come to the right country.
are a resolute people, who have risen to every test of our time.
Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world,
and to ourselves.
a strong Nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We
exercise power without conquest, and sacrifice for the liberty
a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person
and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America’s
gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.
liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world,
it is God’s gift to humanity."
have faith in ourselves – but not in ourselves alone. We
do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust
in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of
life, and all of history.
May He guide
us now, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.