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'Steep Hill to Climb in Iraq,' Bush Says

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2002 – "There's a steep hill to climb in Iraq," U.S. President George W. Bush said Sept. 27 in Denver, Colo., but the nation is ready for the climb.

In a broad-ranging speech on the economy, tax cuts and creating jobs, Bush repeated his vow to take on Saddam Hussein if the United Nations fails to hold the Iraqi dictator to account. He said Saddam has "thumbed his nose" at the international organization.

For the sake of freedom, Bush said, the United Nations must act and Saddam must disarm. There's no room for negotiation.

"There's nothing to discuss," he said. "He either gets rid of his weapons, ... or the United States will lead a coalition to disarm this man. ... We must make sure this madman never has the capacity to hurt us with a nuclear weapon, or to use the stockpile of (biological or chemical weapons) he possesses."

Bush noted that a deep desire for peace is behind the rhetoric of war. "I believe that by remaining strong and diligent, we can achieve peace not only for America but peace around the world."

The United States is responding to the evil done Sept. 11, 2001, he said, adding that he's optimistic about the future. "I'm an optimistic guy because I believe America can achieve anything it sets its mind to," Bush said. He said he feels that way because he understands "America is the greatest nation full of the finest people on the face of our Earth."

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Remarks by the President, Denver, Colo., Sept. 27, 2002

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