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10/21/03 - A MESSAGE TO TERRORISTS - 2003-10-21

The U.S.-led coalition has sent a message: If you harbor a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you’re just as guilty as the terrorist. The extremist Taleban regime learned the hard way. Today, the Taleban are no longer in power and Afghanistan is no longer a haven for al-Qaida terrorists.

Next, says President George W. Bush, the coalition dealt with one of the major state sponsors of terrorism, Iraq:

“The regime of Saddam Hussein possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, sponsored terrorist groups, and inflicted terror on its own people. Nearly every nation recognized and denounced this threat for over a decade. Finally, the U-N Security Council, in resolution fourteen-forty-one, demanded that Saddam Hussein disarm, prove his disarmament to the world, or face serious consequences. The choice was up to the dictator, and he chose poorly.”

Six months ago, Saddam Hussein was removed from power. “It is undeniable,” says President Bush, “that Saddam Hussein was a deceiver and a danger”:

“Who can possibly think that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power? Surely not the dissidents who would be in his prisons or end up in his mass graves. Surely not the men and women who would fill Saddam’s torture chambers or rape rooms. Surely not the families of victims he murdered with poison gas. Surely not anyone who cares about human rights and democracy and stability in the Middle East. There is only one decent and humane reaction to the fall of Saddam Hussein -- good riddance."

Saddam Hussein holdouts and foreign terrorists are trying to undermine Iraq’s progress. The terrorists think their attacks on Iraqis, United Nations personnel, and coalition forces will weaken the coalition’s resolve. That will not happen. Iraqi schools are being rebuilt, hospitals have reopened, and water and electricity are being restored. The coalition’s goal is a stable and democratic Iraq. As President Bush put it, “No band of murderers and gangsters will stop that work.”