Bush Vows U.S. and Friends Will Disarm Saddam Hussein
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2003 If Saddam Hussein will not disarm, "the United States of America and friends of freedom will disarm Saddam Hussein," President Bush vowed today in St. Louis, Mo.
The Iraqi dictator is "a dangerous, dangerous man with dangerous, dangerous weapons," the president said. "He's a danger to America and our friends and allies, and that's why the world has said 'disarm.'"
Bush said he desires peace and hopes Hussein will disarm voluntarily. He also said he takes seriously "the commitment of any troop into combat."
But if war becomes necessary, he stressed, Hussein would face "serious consequences," as would "any Iraqi general or soldier who were to use weapons of mass destruction on U.S. troops or on innocent lives within Iraq."
"Should any Iraqi officer or soldier receive an order from Saddam Hussein or his son or any of the killers who occupy the high levels of their government, my advice is don't follow that order," the president said, "because if you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried and (prosecuted) as a war criminal."
The Iraqi people, Bush noted, would also face serious consequences -- "freedom from oppression, freedom from torture, freedom from murder, freedom to realize your God-given talents."
The Iraqi leader responded to the U.N. Security Council's call for a declaration of Iraq's weapons program with "12,000 pages of deceit and deception" built on Saddam has learned lessons from the past, Bush said.
"The first time he was told to disarm was 11 years ago," the president said. "He is adept at deception, delays and denying. He asked for more time so he can give the so-called inspectors more runaround. He's interested in playing hide and seek in a huge country."
Noting that U.N. inspectors have uncovered undeclared chemical warheads in Iraq, he said the world must not be fooled by the ways of the past. It's time for Saddam to be held to account, he said.
"This great, mighty nation, this kind, generous, compassionate nation," he concluded, "will lead the world to peace so that not only our children, but children in the far reaches of the globe can grow up in a peaceful society."