Saddam Regime Toppled Because of Its Threat to America, Bush Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2004 In the changed world after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Saddam Hussein's threat to the United States and the world couldn't be ignored any longer, President Bush said today in Minneapolis.
"One of the lessons of Sept. 11 is that when we see threats, we must deal with them before they fully materialize," Bush told attendees at a community college convention. "I saw a threat in Iraq."
Noting both the U.S. Congress and the United Nations agreed with him, Bush pointed out that Saddam had attacked his neighbors and used weapons of mass destruction on his own people. The former dictator also paid assassins "to go kill Jewish people," he added, consorted with other terrorists, and ignored the United Nations for a decade. Saddam refused "to listen to the demands of the free world," Bush said.
The president said he wasn't willing to endanger American security by trusting a madman and hoping for the best. "I will always make the decision to keep America secure," Bush told the Minnesota audience.
Today, Saddam is gone and America and its allies are working to make Iraq secure and free, the president said. That, Bush acknowledged, is hard work.
The efforts in Iraq will pay off, the president said, because "a free society in the midst of a region of the world where there's hatred and intolerance will be a historic moment for change for the better." Iraq, the president said, represents "a historic opportunity to spread peace and freedom."