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12/11/02 - DISARM SADDAM - 2002-12-12

As one of the conditions of ending the Gulf War in 1991, the United Nations required the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to destroy its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. U.N. inspectors were sent to ensure compliance. But in 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with inspectors. Now with U.N. Security Council Resolution one-four-four-one, Saddam Hussein has been told the game is over. Disarming the Iraqi regime, said President George W. Bush, “is a central commitment of the war on terror.” U.N. inspectors have returned to Iraq. But as President Bush said, “It is not enough for Iraq to merely open doors for inspectors. Compliance means bringing all requested information and evidence out into full view, to show that Iraq has abandoned the deceptions of the last decade.”

A unanimous United Nations Security Council has required Iraq to divulge all aspects of its prohibited nuclear, chemical, biological and missile weapons programs. In response, Iraq on December 7, submitted a report of more than twelve-thousand pages. This declaration, said President Bush, “must be credible and accurate and complete, or the Iraqi dictator will have demonstrated to the world once again that he has chosen not to change his behavior....The United States,” said Mr. Bush, “will be making only one judgement: Has Saddam Hussein changed his behavior of the last eleven years and decided to cooperate willingly and comply completely, or has he not?”

As President Bush said, “Saddam Hussein will fully disarm himself of weapons of mass destruction, and if he does not, America will lead a coalition to disarm him.” War is the last option for confronting threats. But as President Bush put it, “the temporary peace of denial and looking away from danger would only be a prelude to a broader war and great horror.... By showing our resolve today, we are building a future of peace.”