For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary September 28, 2002
Radio Address by the President to the Nation
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. On Thursday, I met with Democratic and Republican members of Congress to discuss the threat posed by the Iraqi regime. The security of our country is the commitment of both political parties, and the responsibility of both the President and the Congress. We are united in our determination to confront this urgent threat to America.
We're moving toward a strong resolution authorizing the use of force, if necessary, to defend our national security interests against the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. And by passing this resolution we will send a clear message to the world community and to the Iraqi regime the demands of the United Nations Security Council must be followed: the Iraqi dictator must be disarmed. These requirements will be met, or they will be enforced.
The danger to our country is grave and it is growing. The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.
Iraq has already used weapons of mass death against another country and against its own citizens. The Iraqi regime practices the rape of women as a method of intimidation, and the torture of dissenters and their children. And for more than a decade, that regime has answered Security Council resolutions with defiance and bad faith and deception.
We know that the Iraqi regime is led by a dangerous and brutal man. We know he is actively seeking the destructive technologies to match his hatred. And we know that he must be stopped. The dangers we face will only worsen from month to month and year to year. To ignore these threats is to encourage them -- and when they have fully materialized, it may be too late to protect ourselves and our allies. By then, the Iraqi dictator will have had the means to terrorize and dominate the region, and each passing day could be the one on which the Iraqi regime gives anthrax or VX nerve gas or someday a nuclear weapon to a terrorist group.
We refuse to live in this future of fear. We are determined to build a future of security and peace for ourselves and for the world. The members of Congress from both political parties with whom I met this week are committed to American leadership for the good of all nations. The resolution we are producing will be an instrument of that leadership.
I appreciate the spirit in which members of Congress are considering this vital issue. We're making progress, we are nearing agreement, and soon we will speak with one voice.