President George W. Bush
The Rose Garden, The White House

Washington, DC

November 8, 2002

Text of United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1441

Good morning. With the resolution just passed, the United Nations Security Council has met important responsibilities, upheld its principles and given clear and fair notice that Saddam Hussein must fully disclose and destroy his weapons of mass destruction. He must submit to any and all methods to verify his compliance. His cooperation must be prompt and unconditional, or he will face the severest consequences.

Multiple sources with varied access and reliability have told ISG [the Iraq Survey Group] that Iraq did not have a large, ongoing centrally controlled CW [chemical weapons] program after 1991. … Iraq’s large-scale capability to develop, produce, and fill new CW munitions was reduced—if not entirely destroyed—during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Fox [Clinton’s 1998 airstrikes], 13 years of UN sanctions and UN inspections.”
Kay Report

The world has now come together to say that the outlaw regime in Iraq will not be permitted to build or possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

On March 7, ElBaradei gave his final report to the Security Council before his inspectors were removed from Iraq on March 18. His conclusion was that “the IAEA had found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.” He also said the documents that gave rise to the allegation that Iraq had tried to buy African uranium were forged.

That is the judgment of the United States Congress, that is the judgment of the United Nations Security Council. Now the world must insist that that judgment be enforced. Iraq’s obligation to disarm is not new, or even recent. To end the Persian Gulf War and ensure its own survival, Iraq’s regime agreed to disarm in April of 1991. For over a decade the Iraqi regime has treated its own pledge with contempt.

Summary: The failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has prompted much handwringing over the problems with prewar intelligence. Too little attention has been paid, however, to the flip slide of the picture: that the much-maligned UN-enforced sanctions regime actually worked. Contrary to what critics have said, we now know that containment helped destroy Saddam Hussein’s war machine and his capacity to produce weapons.
Foreign Affairs


As today’s resolution states, Iraq is already in material breach of past U.N. demands. Iraq has aggressively pursued weapons of mass destruction, even while inspectors were inside the country. Iraq has undermined the effectiveness of weapons inspectors with ploys, delays, and threats — making their work impossible and leading to four years of no inspections at all.

The IAEA, as well as UNMOVIC inspectors, feel discredited and humiliated after their bruising encounters with the UK and US. One UN diplomat said: ‘They’re bitter, but perhaps now they may have some solace as the truth seems to be coming out. It’s obvious that we could have done this without a war — but the evidence shows war would have happened regardless of what the inspectors could have done as that was the wish of Bush and Blair. Everyone, it seems, was working for peace — except them.’
Sunday Herald

The world has learned from this experience an essential lesson, inspections will not result in a disarmed Iraq unless the Iraqi regime fully cooperates. Inspectors do not have the power to disarm an unwilling regime. They can only confirm that a government has decided to disarm itself. History has shown that when Iraq’s leaders stall inspections and impede the progress, it means they have something to hide.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
– Downing Street Minutes

The resolution approved today presents the Iraqi regime with a test — a final test. Iraq must now, without delay or negotiations, fully disarm; welcome full inspections, welcome full inspections, and fundamentally change the approach it has taken for more than a decade.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
– Downing Street Minutes

The regime must allow immediate and unrestricted access to every site, every document, and every person identified by inspectors. Iraq can be certain that the old game of cheat-and-retreat tolerated at other times will no longer be tolerated.

The document said the only way the allies could justify military action was to place Saddam Hussein in a position where he ignored or rejected a United Nations ultimatum ordering him to co-operate with the weapons inspectors. But it warned this would be difficult.

“It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject,” the document says. But if he accepted it and did not attack the allies, they would be “most unlikely” to obtain the legal justification they needed.
– Downing Street Briefing Paper:Sunday Times

Any act of delay or defiance will be an additional breach of Iraq’s international obligations, and a clear signal that the Iraqi regime has once again abandoned the path of voluntary compliance.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.

This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.
Sunday Times

With the passage of this resolution, the world must not lapse into unproductive debates over whether specific instances of Iraqi noncompliance are serious. Any Iraqi noncompliance is serious, because such bad faith will show that Iraq has no intention of disarming. If we’re to avert war, all nations must continue to pressure Saddam Hussein to accept this resolution and to comply with its obligations and his obligations.

Iraq, the President said, still had the power to prevent war by “declaring and destroying all its weapons of mass destruction”—but if Iraq did not declare and destroy those weapons, the President warned, the United States would “go into battle, as a last resort.”

It is safe to say that, at the time, it surprised almost no one when the Iraqis answered the President’s demand by repeating their claim that in fact there were no weapons of mass destruction. As we now know, the Iraqis had in fact destroyed these weapons, probably years before George W. Bush’s ultimatum: “the Iraqis”—in the words of chief US weapons inspector David Kay—”were telling the truth.”
Free New Mexican

America will be making only one determination: is Iraq meeting the terms of the Security Council resolution or not? The United States has agreed to discuss any material breach with the Security Council, but without jeopardizing our freedom of action to defend our country. If Iraq fails to fully comply, the United States and other nations will disarm Saddam Hussein.

“In the absence of solid legal grounds for war, [the United States and Britain] tried to bomb Saddam Hussein into providing their casus belli. [W]hen that didn’t work, they just stepped up the bombing rate, in effect starting the conflict without telling anyone.” They “simply launched [the war] anyway, beneath the cloak of the no-fly zone.”

Now, as details are surfacing about how Bush and Blair appear to have fabricated excuses to justify their shared decision to go attack Iraq, the “story of the secret air war [is] dovetail[ing] neatly with the other evidence from the leaked [British-government] documents, further demonstrating why, even after the [recent] general election [in the United Kingdom], Blair’s efforts to dispel the allegations about the background to war and get the country to ‘move on’ seem doomed to fail.”
SF Gate

I’ve already met with the head of the U.N. Inspections Program and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has responsibility for nuclear matters. I’ve assured them that the United States will fully support their efforts, including a request for information that can help identify illegal activities and materials in Iraq.

Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded with the concurrence of outside experts that these documents which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transaction between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic. We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded. However, we will continue to follow up any additional evidence if it emerges relevant to efforts by Iraq to illicitly import nuclear materials.
Mohamed El Baradei’s Report

I encourage every member of the United Nations to strongly support the inspection teams. And now the inspectors have an important responsibility to make full use of the tools we have given them in this resolution.

One, there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as being reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.

Second, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990.

Three, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminum tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment. Moreover, even had Iraq pursued such a plan, it would have encountered practical difficulties in manufacturing centrifuge out of the aluminum tubes in question.

Fourth, although we are still reviewing issues related to magnets and magnet-production, there is no indication to date that Iraq imported magnets for use in centrifuge enrichment program.
Mohamed El Baradei’s Report

All patriotic Iraqis should embrace this resolution as an opportunity for Iraq to avoid war and end its isolation. Saddam Hussein cannot hide his weapons of mass destruction from international inspectors without the cooperation of hundreds and thousands of Iraqis — those who work in the weapons program and those who are responsible for concealing the weapons. We call on those Iraqis to convey whatever information they have to inspectors, the United States, or other countries, in whatever manner they can. By helping the process of disarmament, they help their country.

Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraq’s ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date.

Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program.

Although Saddam clearly assigned a high value to the nuclear progress and talent that had been developed up to the 1991 war, the program ended and the intellectual capital decayed in the succeeding years.
Charles Duelfer’s Report

Americans recognize what is at stake. In fighting a war on terror, we are determined to oppose every source of catastrophic harm that threatens our country, our friends, and our allies. We are actively pursuing dangerous terror networks across the world. And we oppose a uniquely dangerous regime — a regime that has harbored terrorists and can supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction; a regime that has built such terrible weapons and has used them to kill thousands; a brutal regime with a history of both reckless ambition and reckless miscalculation.

The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq.

The United States of America will not live at the mercy of any group or regime that has the motive and seeks the power to murder Americans on a massive scale. The threat to America also threatens peace and security in the Middle East and far beyond. If Iraq’s dictator is permitted to acquire nuclear weapons, he could resume his pattern of intimidation and conquest and dictate the future of a vital region.

Tony Blair’s first dossier on the justification for war against Iraq was almost entirely put together from information freely available on the internet, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

The crucial document purported to contain 55 pages of high-grade intelligence on the threat posed by Saddam, but was in fact largely based on unclassified CIA documents, Pentagon press releases and the published reports of American think-tanks.

In confronting this threat, America seeks the support of the world. If action becomes necessary, we will act in the interests of the world. And America expects Iraqi compliance with all U.N. resolutions.

“For Iraq, “regime change” does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraqi WMD […].”
– Peter Ricketts, Blair political advisor- letter to Jack Straw March 22, 2002.

The time has come for the Iraqi people to escape oppression, find freedom and live in hope.

I want to thank the Secretary of State Colin Powell for his leadership, his good work and his determination over the past two months. He’s worked tirelessly and successfully for a resolution that recognizes important concerns of our Security Council partners and makes Iraq’s responsibilities clear.

Last week, Newsweek reported that the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein’s government told the CIA, British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in 1995 that Iraq destroyed its chemical and biological weapons after the Gulf War.

Hussein Kamel was Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law. For ten years, he ran Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs.

He is one of the Bush and Blair administration’s top sources on Iraq’s weapons programs in the early 1990s. In debriefings with UN and intelligence officials, Kamel laid out the personnel, sites and progress of each WMD program.

Most recently, British Prime Minister Tony Blair cited Kamel in his statement to the House of Commons one day before the largest backbench rebellion in over a century.

Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell used information obtained from Kamel to try to drum up Security Council support for war in his presentation on Feb. 5th.
Democracy Now

I also thank our Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte and his team at our U.N. mission in New York for their hard work and outstanding service to our country. Secretary of State Powell’s team has done a fine job. The American people are grateful to the Security Council for passing this historic resolution.

British spies listened in to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s office in the run up to the Iraq war, former UK cabinet minister Clare Short says.

Members of the Council acted with courage and took a principled stand. The United Nations has shown the kind of international leadership promised by its charter and required by our times. Now comes the hard part. The Security Council must maintain its unity and sense of purpose so that the Iraq regime cannot revert to the strategies of obstruction and deception it used so successfully in the past.

The outcome of the current crisis is already determined: the full disarmament of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq will occur. The only question for the Iraqi regime is to decide how. The United States prefers that Iraq meet its obligations voluntarily, yet we are prepared for the alternative. In either case, the just demands of the world will be met.

On March 16, Cheney appeared again on “Meet the Press” and reiterated his views of the previous August about Hussein’s nuclear program. “We know he’s been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” The war began three days later.

Thank you, all.

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