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President Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours,
and Wake Up, America

The Gross Hall

8:01 P.M. EST

  THE PRESIDENT: My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991, which I think was one of the biggest mistakes of my father.

Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United States...er, I mean, United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to overlook...er, I mean, oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.

The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again -- because we are not dealing with peaceful men, whose manner I love to follow.

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt at least for me and some of my friends that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. Of course, we posess them, however, we do not conceal many of them. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction, as we did somewhere in the past, against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.

The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East as some of ours do. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.

The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other.

The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat as long as I know. But we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.

The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security. That duty falls to me, as Commander-in-Chief, by the oath I have sworn, by the oath I will keep.

Recognizing the threat to our country, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly last year to support the use of force against Iraq. America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. We believe in the missing...er, I mean, mission of the United Nations. One reason the U.N. was founded after the second world war was to confront aggressive dictators or accidentally elected presidents by miscounting, actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace.

In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act, in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687 -- both still in effect -- the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of my will.

Last September, I went to the U.N. General Assembly and urged the nations of the world to unite and bring an end to this danger. On November 8th, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations, and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm. Speaking of Resolution 1441, I want to remind Steven Spielberg that it is 1441, not 1941.

Today, no nation can possibly claim with solid evidences that Iraq has disarmed, or that Iraq has not disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power. For the last four-and-a-half months, the United States and our allies have worked within the Security Council to enforce that Council's long-standing demands. Yet, some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve and arrogance to meet it. Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this threat to peace, and a coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of mine. The United Nations Security Council has not been allowed to live up to its responsibilities, so I will rise to mine.

In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq, so that disarmament can proceed peacefully. He has thus far refused. All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. For their own safety, all foreign nationals -- including journalists and inspectors -- should leave Iraq immediately.

Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them. If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will take over the apparatus of terror and we will force you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous, free and American. In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors except the ones you hate, no more poison factories except the ones which product you use against the ones you hate of, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. There will be T-birds and Mustangs, M-shaped arches and Colonel Sanders, jelly beans and pretzels all over instead. There will be Wintels inside everything. The tyrant will soon be gone. Another one called the "American Global Standards" will come. The day of your relative liberation is near.

It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraqi military to act with honor and protect your country by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to give up weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attacked and destroyed. I urge every member of the Iraqi military and non-intelligent servants, if war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life, although this sounds like none of my business.

And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to me and the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders," like many of our soldiers are saying out there.

Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, some American people who can not read, who are not online, who do not watch television -- Parlez-vous Français? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? -- may guess that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it. We will fulfill our stated ambitions and kill tens or hundreds or thousands of innocent people in his country, or any other. Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the past. Weapons of mass destruction do cost very much indeed. War and elections have no certainty, except the certainty of sacrifice.

Yet, the only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and might of our crusade...er, I mean, military, and we are prepared to do so. If Saddam Hussein attempts to cling to power, he will remain a deadly foe until the end. In desperation, he and terrorists groups might try to conduct terrorist operations against the American people and our friends including Japan. These attacks are not inevitable. They are, however, possible, even probable like nuclear bombs dropped in a row, poison gas attacks by some cult group. a critical accident at a uranium processing facility where the workers have not ever heard of criticality before. And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail. A fraction of terrorist threats to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.

Our government is on heightened watch against these dangers. Just as we are preparing to ensure victory in Iraq, we are taking further actions to protect our homeland. In recent days, American authorities have expelled from the country certain individuals with ties to Iraqi intelligence services. Among other measures, I have directed additional security of our airports, and increased Coast Guard patrols of major seaports. The Department of Homeland Security is working closely with the nation's governors to increase armed security at critical facilities across America.

Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail. No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country. We are a peaceful people except for certain individuals -- yet we're not a fragile people, and we will not be intimidated by thugs and killers, but by the President, neo-conservatives and neighbors who stop and stare calling you a traitor. If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them, will face fearful consequences. So will we and the world eventually.

We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year, or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now while we are the strongest, where it arises, before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities under my Administration.

The cause of peace requires all free nations to recognize new and undeniable realities. In the 20th century, some chose to appease murderous dictators, whose threats were allowed to grow into genocide and global war. In this century, when evil men -- or evil men who blindly believe they have just causes -- plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth.

Unlike us, terrorists and terror states do not reveal these threats with fair notice, in formal declarations -- and responding to such enemies only after they have struck first, or responding to such enemies before the world agrees, is not self-defense, it is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein and everybody as it always has required.

As we enforce the just demands of the world in an unjust manner, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country. Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty. And when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation, which can be self-governing enough to neglect U.N. Security Council and invade other countries at any time in the name of a god who said, "All who take up the sword shall perish by the sword."

The United States, with other countries, will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight as we have learned in Viet Nam, but it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land. And the greatest power of freedom is to overcome U.N. Security Council, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace.

That is the future I choose. Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent. And tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.

Good night, may the god of mine continue to bless America, and eventually, may he reign all over the world. The hell with fucking Insha'allah and U.N. Security Council.

END 8:15 P.M. EST

For a comparatively formal official version of this speech, see here.

 To sane American friends from a Japanese Otaku:
Our parents and grandparents must have been flabbergasted and infatuated when they first saw "Dumbo" after World War II. They could hardly believe that it had been made in 1941 when they thought they had been fighting a war with evil imperialists for just causes. Today, I am very glad and a little sad to hear that "Spirited Away" won Oscar, best animated feature. For these sixty-two years, what in the world have you spent your money and talents for? Forget about preemptive blah blah. Beat "Spirited Away" by turning the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace. It was YOU that taught us another way to free people, wasn't it? I love American culture, its diversity and dynamism, but I hate the way your current president George W. Bush thinks, if he ever does.

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