From The New York Times of Sep. 12, 2002:
This is the part of Bush's speech in which he justifies a possible war on Iraq
Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, distinguished delegates and ladies and gentlemen.
And our greatest fear is that terrorists will find a shortcut to their mad ambitions when an outlaw regime supplies them with the
technologies to kill on a massive scale.
In one place, in one regime, we find all these dangers in their most lethal and aggressive forms - exactly the kind of aggressive threat the
United Nations was born to confront.
Twelve years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation and the regime's forces were poised to continue their march to seize other
countries and their resources. Had Saddam Hussein been appeased instead of stopped, he would have endangered the peace and stability of
Yet this aggression was stopped by the might of coalition forces and the will of the United Nations.
To suspend hostilities, to spare himself, Iraq's dictator accepted a series of commitments.
The terms were clear - to him and to all. And he agreed to prove he is complying with every one of those obligations. He has proven
instead only his contempt for the United Nations and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge, by his deceptions and by his cruelties,
Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.
In 1991, Security Council Resolution 688 demanded that the Iraqi regime cease at once the repression of its own people, including the
systematic repression of minorities, which the council said threatened international peace and security in the region. This demand goes
Last year the U.N. Commission on Human Rights found that Iraq continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights and that
the regime's repression is all-pervasive. Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary
arrest and imprisonment, summary execution and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation and rape. Wives are
tortured in front of their husbands, children in the presence of their parents - and all of these horrors concealed from the world by the
apparatus of a totalitarian state.
In 1991 the U.N. Security Council, through Resolutions 686 and 687, demanded that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands.
Iraq's regime agreed. It broke this promise.
Last year the secretary general's high-level coordinator for this issue reported that Kuwaiti, Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian,
Egyptian, Bahraini and Omani nationals remain unaccounted for - more than 600 people. One American pilot is among them.
In 1991 the U.N. Security Council, through Resolution 687, demanded that Iraq renounce all involvement with terrorism and permit no
terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke this promise.
In violation of Security Council Resolution 1373, Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against
Iran, Israel and Western governments. Iraqi dissidents abroad are targeted for murder.
In 1993 Iraq attempted to assassinate the emir of Kuwait and a former American president.
Iraq's government openly praised the attacks of Sept. 11, and Al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq.
In 1991 the Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and to prove to
the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections. Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge.
From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons. After a senior official in its weapons program defected and exposed
this lie, the regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud
warheads, aerial bombs and aircraft spray tanks.
U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared and has failed to account for more
than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities
that were used for the production of biological weapons.
United Nations inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime
is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.
And in 1995, after four years of deception, Iraq finally admitted it had a crash nuclear weapons program prior to the gulf war.
We know now were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993.
Today Iraq continues to withhold important information about its nuclear program, weapons design, procurement logs, experiment data and
accounting of nuclear materials and documentation of foreign assistance.
Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made
several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.
Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year.
And Iraq's state-controlled media has reported numerous meetings between Saddam Hussein and his nuclear scientists, leaving little doubt
about his continued appetite for these weapons.
Iraq also possesses a force of Scud-type missiles with ranges beyond the 150 kilometers permitted by the U.N. Work at testing and
production facilities shows that Iraq is building more long-range missiles that can inflict mass death throughout the region.
In 1990, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the world imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. Those sanctions were maintained after the war to
compel the regime's compliance with Security Council resolutions.
In time, Iraq was allowed to use oil revenues to buy food. Saddam Hussein has subverted this program, working around the sanctions to
buy missile technology and military materials. He blames the suffering of Iraq's people on the United Nations, even as he uses his oil wealth
to build lavish palaces for himself and to buy arms for his country.
By refusing to comply with his own agreements, he bears full guilt for the hunger and misery of innocent Iraqi citizens.
In 1991 Iraq promised U.N. inspectors immediate and unrestricted access to verify Iraq's commitment to rid itself of weapons of mass
destruction and long-range missiles. Iraq broke this promise, spending seven years deceiving, evading and harassing U.N. inspectors before
ceasing cooperation entirely.
Just months after the 1991 cease-fire, the Security Council twice renewed its demand that the Iraqi regime cooperate fully with inspectors,
condemning Iraq's serious violations of its obligations.
The Security Council again renewed that demand in 1994 and twice more in 1996, deploring Iraq's clear violations of its obligations. The
Security Council renewed its demand three more times in 1997 citing flagrant violations, and three more times in 1998, calling Iraq's
behavior totally unacceptable. And in 1999, the demand was renewed yet again.
As we meet today, it's been almost four years since the last U.N. inspector set foot in Iraq - four years for the Iraqi regime to plan and to
build and to test, behind the cloak of secrecy.
We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he
stopped when they left?
The history, the logic and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger.
To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime's good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the
world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.
Delegates to the General Assembly, we have been more than patient. We've tried sanctions. We've tried the carrot of oil for food and the
stick of coalition military strikes.
But Saddam Hussein has defied all these efforts and continues to develop weapons of mass destruction. The first time we may be
completely certain he has nuclear weapons is when, God forbid, he uses one.
We owe it to all our citizens to do everything in our power to prevent that day from coming.
The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations and a threat to peace.
Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance.