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On March 18, 2003, US President Bush explained to the US Public, why, despite considerable international opposition, the US would go to war against Iraq. Bush gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein 48 hours to resign and leave Iraq, but everyone understood that Saddam would do no such thing. The text of the speech is below.
Bush: 'Leave Iraq within 48 hours'
(CNN) -- Here is a transcript of President George W. Bush's Monday night
My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision.
For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient
Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more
Our good faith has not been returned. The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a
Over the years, U.N. weapons inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials,
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the
The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a
The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this
Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger
The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in
America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we
One reason the U.N. was founded after the Second World War was to confront
In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act in the early 1990s. Under
Last September, I went to the U.N. General Assembly and urged the nations of the
Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not
For the last four and a half months, the United States and our allies have
Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this
The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so
He has thus far refused.
All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein
For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and
Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a
As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine
In free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no
The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.
It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the
I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services: If war
And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this
Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the
Yet the only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full
If Saddam Hussein attempts to cling to power, he will remain a deadly foe until
In desperation, he and terrorist groups might try to conduct terrorist
And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of
In recent days, American authorities have expelled from the country certain
Among other measures, I have directed additional security at our airports and
Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our
No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country. We
If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them will face
We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one
The cause of peace requires all free nations to recognize new and undeniable
In this century, when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a
And responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self
As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest
The United States with other countries will work to advance liberty and peace in
Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent,
Good night, and may God continue to bless America.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000041.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.
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