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
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.