Good morning. This week leaders of the Congress agreed on a strong bipartisan
resolution authorizing the use of force if necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein
and to defend the peace. Now both the House and the Senate will have an important
debate and an historic vote. Speaker Hastert and Leader Gephardt and Leader
Lott did tremendous work in building bipartisan support on this vital issue.
The danger to America from the Iraqi regime is grave and growing. The regime
is guilty of beginning two wars. It has a horrible history of striking without
warning. In defiance of pledges to the United Nations, Iraq has stockpiled biological
and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of
those weapons. Saddam Hussein has used these weapons of death against innocent
Iraqi people, and we have every reason to believe he will use them again.
Iraq has longstanding ties to terrorist groups, which are capable of and willing
to deliver weapons of mass death. And Iraq is ruled by perhaps the world's most
brutal dictator who has already committed genocide with chemical weapons, ordered
the torture of children, and instituted the systematic rape of the wives and
daughters of his political opponents.
We cannot leave the future of peace and the security of America in the hands
of this cruel and dangerous man. This dictator must be disarmed. And all the
United Nations resolutions against his brutality and support for terrorism must
The United States does not desire military conflict, because we know the awful
nature of war. Our country values life, and we will never seek war unless it
is essential to security and justice. We hope that Iraq complies with the world's
demands. If, however, the Iraqi regime persists in its defiance, the use of
force may become unavoidable. Delay, indecision, and inaction are not options
for America, because they could lead to massive and sudden horror.
Should force be required to bring Saddam to account, the United States will
work with other nations to help the Iraqi people rebuild and form a just government.
We have no quarrel with the Iraqi people. They are the daily victims of Saddam
Hussein's oppression, and they will be the first to benefit when the world's
demands are met.
American security, the safety of our friends, and the values of our country
lead us to confront this gathering threat. By supporting the resolution now
before them, members of Congress will send a clear message to Saddam: His only
choice is to fully comply with the demands of the world. And the time for that
choice is limited. Supporting this resolution will also show the resolve of
the United States, and will help spur the United Nations to act.
I urge Americans to call their members of Congress to make sure your voice is
heard. The decision before Congress cannot be more consequential. I'm confident
that members of both political parties will choose wisely.