State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003
Following are paragraphs pertaining to Iraq from the prepared
text of President Bush's State of the Union address.
Our Nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean
peninsula, and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in
Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression
with ties to terrorism with great potential wealth will not be
permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United
Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the
last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare
himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction.
For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that
agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons
even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has
restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons not economic
sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even
cruise missile strikes on his military facilities. Almost three
months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam
Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead his
utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of
The 108 UN weapons inspectors were not sent to conduct a
scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of
California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq s
regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it
is hiding its banned weapons lay those weapons out for the world
to see and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has
The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had
biological weapons materials sufficient to produce over 25,000
liters of anthrax enough doses to kill several million people.
He has not accounted for that material. He has given no evidence
that he has destroyed it.
The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials
sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin
enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory
failure. He has not accounted for that material. He has given no
evidence that he has destroyed it.
Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the
materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard, and
VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents also
could kill untold thousands. He has not accounted for these
materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of
30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents.
Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them, despite Iraq s recent
declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not
accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited
munitions. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late
1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are
designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from
place to place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not
disclosed these facilities. He has given no evidence that he has
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s
that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development
program, had a design for a nuclear weapon, and was working on
five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The
British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently
sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our
intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase
high strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons
production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these
activities. He clearly has much to hide.
The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary, he is
deceiving. From intelligence sources, we know, for instance,
that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding
documents and materials from the UN inspectors sanitizing
inspection sites, and monitoring the inspectors themselves.
Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate
witnesses. Iraq is blocking U-2 surveillance flights requested
by the United Nations. Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as
the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real
scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say.
And intelligence sources indicate that Saddam Hussein has
ordered that scientists who cooperate with UN inspectors in
disarming Iraq will be killed, along with their families.
Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths,
spent enormous sums, taken great risks, to build and keep
weapons of mass destruction but why? The only possible
explanation, the only possible use he could have for those
weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack. With nuclear
arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons,
Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the
Middle East, and create deadly havoc in the region. And this
Congress and the American people must recognize another threat.
Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and
statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam Hussein
aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida.
Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his
hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.
Before September 11, 2001, many in the world believed that
Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents and
lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily
contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and
other plans this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take
just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country
to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will
do everything in our power to make sure that day never comes.
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent.
Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their
intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If
this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all
actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.
Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a
strategy, and it is not an option.
This dictator, who is assembling the world's most dangerous
weapons, has already used them on whole villages leaving
thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi
refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained by
torturing children while their parents are made to watch.
International human rights groups have catalogued other methods
used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning
with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with
electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape.
If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. And tonight I
have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your
enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your
country. And the day he and his regime are removed from power
will be the day of your liberation.
The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will
not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, our
friends, and our allies. The United States will ask the UN
Security Council to convene on February 5th to consider the
facts of Iraq s ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of
State Powell will present information and intelligence about
Iraq s illegal weapons programs; its attempts to hide those
weapons from inspectors; and its links to terrorist groups. We
will consult, but let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam
Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people, and
for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm
Tonight I also have a message for the men and women who will
keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many of
you are assembling in and near the Middle East, and some crucial
hours may lie ahead. In those hours, the success of our cause
will depend on you. Your training has prepared you. Your honor
will guide you. You believe in America, and America believes in
Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a
president can make. The technologies of war have changed. The
risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans who
bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This Nation
fights reluctantly, because we know the cost, and we dread the
days of mourning that always come.
We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be
defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no
peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just
cause and by just means sparing, in every way we can, the
innocent. And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the
full force and might of the United States military and we will
prevail. And as we and our coalition partners are doing in
Afghanistan, we will bring to the Iraqi people food, and
medicines, and supplies and freedom.
Many challenges, abroad and at home, have arrived in a single
season. In two years, America has gone from a sense of
invulnerability to an awareness of peril from bitter division in
small matters to calm unity in great causes. And we go forward
with confidence, because this call of history has come to the
Americans are a resolute people, who have risen to every test of
our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country,
to the world, and to ourselves.
America is a strong Nation, and honorable in the use of our
strength. We exercise power without conquest, and sacrifice for
the liberty of strangers.
Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right
of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we
prize is not America s gift to the world, it is God s gift to
We Americans have faith in ourselves but not in ourselves alone.
We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can
trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind
all of life, and all of history.
May He guide us now, and may God continue to bless the United
States of America.