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Confronting Iraq Crucial to Winning War on Terror, Cheney Says

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2003 – The terrorists who struck the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, are still at work trying to strike again, Vice President Richard Cheney said today.

"Make no mistake. America is at war, and the front lines are our centers of transportation, of commerce and entertainment," Cheney said during a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"The gravity of the threat we face was underscored in recent days when British police arrested seven suspected terrorists in London and discovered a small quantity of ricin, one of the world's deadliest poisons, for which no cure exists," he said.

U.S. officials are working to stop terrorists from joining with outlaw regimes that have developed weapons of mass destruction. "That is why confronting the threat posed by Iraq is not a distraction from the war on terror; it is absolutely crucial to winning the war on terror," Cheney said.

"As the president has said," he continued, "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide biological or chemical weapons to a terrorist group or individual terrorist, which is why the war on terror will not be won until Iraq is completely and verifiably deprived of weapons of mass destruction."

The al Qaeda terrorist network operates in more than 50 countries and has murdered Americans in Bali, Kuwait, Yemen and Jordan, Cheney said. The terrorists are determined to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and its allies.

"Against such enemies, America and the civilized world have only one option," he stressed. "Wherever terrorists operate, we must find them. Wherever they dwell, we will hunt them down. We will stop them in their plotting and their training, and we will remain vigilant at all times."

U.S. officials are also confronting the threat posed by North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program.

"North Korea's relations with the entire international community depend on their taking prompt and verifiable action to completely dismantle their nuclear weapons program," Cheney concluded."

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Remarks by the Vice President to the United States Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2003

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