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Last Updated:  Thursday, 27 February, 2003, 11:43 GMT
Bush speech: Excerpts
President George W Bush has set out his vision for Iraq at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. Here are excerpts from his speech.

George Bush
Bush not only set out his vision for Iraq but also the Middle East
"We meet here during a crucial period in the history of our nation, and of the civilised world. Part of that history was written by others; the rest will be written by us...

"We learned a lesson: The dangers of our time must be confronted actively and forcefully, before we see them again in our skies and in our cities...

"In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilised world - and we will not allow it...

"This same tyrant has close ties to terrorist organisations, and could supply them with the terrible means to strike this country - and America will not permit it...

"The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat. Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world...

"We hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm, fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force...

Regional 'freedom'

"The current Iraqi regime has shown the power of tyranny to spread discord and violence in the Middle East. A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions...
A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions... "
George W Bush

"Bringing stability and unity to a free Iraq will not be easy. Yet that is no excuse to leave the Iraqi regime's torture chambers and poison labs in operation...

"We will seek to protect Iraq's natural resources from sabotage by a dying regime, and ensure that those resources are used for the benefit of the owners...

'Iraqi voice'

"The United States has no intention of determining the precise form of Iraq's new government. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people...

"We will ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another. All Iraqis must have a voice in the new government, and all citizens must have their rights protected...

"Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more...

"There was a time when many said that the cultures of Japan and Germany were incapable of sustaining democratic values. Well, they were wrong. Some say the same of Iraq today. They are mistaken...

"There are hopeful signs of a desire for freedom in the Middle East. Arab intellectuals have called on Arab governments to address the "freedom gap" so their peoples can fully share in the progress of our times...

"It is presumptuous and insulting to suggest that a whole region of the world - or the one-fifth of humanity that is Muslim - is somehow untouched by the most basic aspirations of life...

'Palestinian state'

"Success in Iraq could also begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic Palestinian state...

"The passing of Saddam Hussein's regime will deprive terrorist networks of a wealthy patron that pays for terrorist training, and offers rewards to families of suicide bombers...

"Without this outside support for terrorism, Palestinians who are working for reform and long for democracy will be in a better position to choose new leaders. True leaders who strive for peace...

"For its part, the new government of Israel - as the terror threat is removed and security improves - will be expected to support the creation of a viable Palestinian state and to work as quickly as possible toward a final status agreement...

"If the council responds to Iraq's defiance with more excuses and delays, if all its authority proves to be empty, the UN will be severely weakened as a source of stability and order."


WATCH AND LISTEN
US President George W Bush
"The dangers of our time must be confronted actively and forcefully"


The BBC's Ian Pannell
"He said America would not come to conquer Iraq, but to liberate"



SEE ALSO:
Blair ponders Iraq rebellion
27 Feb 03 |  Politics


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