The following is the text of a September 4 letter that Bush gave
to those members of Congress -- including House Speaker
Dennis Hastert -- who attended Wednesday's meeting at the
White House about Iraq.
Dear Mr. Speaker:
America and the civilized world face a critical decision in the
months ahead. The decision is how to disarm an outlaw regime
that continues to posses and develop weapons of mass destruction,
despite its own promises over the last decade and despite the
condemnation of the world. Since September 11, we have been
tragically reminded that we are vulnerable to evil people. And
this vulnerability increases dramatically when evil people have
access to weapons of mass destruction.
I know Members of Congress agree that Saddam Hussein's regime
is still a threat to peace, as it was when you passed the Iraq
Liberation Act of 1998. I also know members of the United
Nations are angry that this regime continues to thumb its nose at
the world, defying at least 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions
adopted between 1990 and 1999 that require Iraq to disarm and
give up weapons of mass destruction, to stop threatening its
neighbors and to stop oppressing the Iraqi people. America
intends to lead the way to make certain that the Saddam Hussein
regime is not able to threaten anyone in the world with the
world's most devastating weapons.
I am in the process of deciding how to proceed. This is an
important decision that must be made with great thought and
care. Therefore, I welcome and encourage discussion and debate.
The Congress will hold hearings on Iraq this month, and I have
asked members of my Administration to participate fully.
Doing nothing in the face of a grave threat to the world is not an
option. At an appropriate time and after consultations with the
leadership, I will seek congressional support for U.S. action to do
whatever is necessary to deal with the threat posed by Saddam
Hussein's regime. The Congress can play an important role in
building a national consensus for action.
The international community must also be involved. I have asked
Prime Minister Blair to visit America this week to discuss Iraq. I
will also reach out to President Chirac of France, President Putin
of Russia, President Jiang of China, and other world leaders. I
will have these discussions in advance of next week's meeting of
the United Nations General Assembly in New York. At that
meeting, I will discuss the challenge that the current Iraqi regime
represents to the United Nations and the entire international
community. My Administration remains committed to the regime
change policy enshrined in the Iraq Liberation Act. The world
must address how the Iraqi people can be liberated from the
bondage in which the regime holds them and realize a better
future for their children.
We must not allow an outlaw regime that incites and uses terror
at home and abroad to threaten the world by developing the
ultimate weapons of terror. The months ahead will be important
ones and the civilized world must come together to deal with the
threat posed by the Iraqi regime.
George. W. Bush
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