Administration of George W. Bush, 2003 / Feb. 10
for the sake of future generations of Ameri- and to lead the world to peace, and we
cans, American troops will act in the honor- will meet both challenges with courage and
able traditions of our military and in the with confidence.
highest moral traditions of our country. There’s an old saying, ‘‘Let us not pray
We will try in every way we can to spare for tasks equal to our strength. Let us pray
innocent life. The people of Iraq are not for strength equal to our tasks.’’ And that
our enemies. The true enemy of the Iraqi is our prayer today, for the strength in
people, Saddam Hussein, has a different every task we face.
strategy. In violation of the Geneva Con- I want to thank each of you for your
ventions, Saddam Hussein is positioning his prayers. I want to thank you for your faith-
military forces within civilian populations in fulness. I want to thank you for your good
order to shield his military and blame coali- work. And I want to thank you for loving
tion forces for civilian casualties that he your country.
has caused. Saddam Hussein regards the May God bless you all, and may God
Iraqi people as human shields, entirely ex- bless America.
pendable when their suffering serves his
America views the Iraqi people as human NOTE: The President spoke at 11:07 a.m. in
beings who have suffered long enough the Presidential Ballroom at the Opryland
under this tyrant. And the Iraqi people can Hotel. In his remarks, he referred to Glenn
be certain of this: The United States is R. Plummer, executive committee chairman,
committed to helping them build a better National Religious Broadcasters; Anthony T.
future. If conflict occurs, we’ll bring Iraq Evans, founder and president, The Urban Al-
food and medicine and supplies and, most ternative; former Senator Phil Gramm of
importantly, freedom. As I said in my State Texas; entertainers Ray Stevens, Michael W.
of the Union, liberty is not America’s gift Smith, and Sara Paulson Brummett; and
to the world. Liberty is God’s gift to every President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The Of-
human being in the world. fice of the Press Secretary also released a
America has great challenges, challenges Spanish language transcript of these remarks.
at home and challenges abroad. We’re The Executive order of December 12, 2002,
called to extend the promise of this country on equal protection of the laws for faith-
into the lives of every citizen who lives based and community organizations was pub-
here. We’re called to defend our Nation lished at 67 FR 77141.
Remarks Following Discussions With Prime Minister John Howard of
Australia and an Exchange With Reporters
February 10, 2003
President Bush. I’m going to make some speak quite frequently. I believe he’s a man
welcoming comments. The Prime Minister of clear vision. He sees the threats that
is going to say some things. We’ll then take the free world faces as we go into the 21st
some questions—two from the American century. I’m proud to work with him on
side and two from the Australian side. behalf of a peaceful world and a freer soci-
Prime Minister Howard is a close, per- ety. He’s a man grounded in good values,
sonal friend of mine, a person whose judg- and I respect him a lot, and I’m glad he’s
ment I count on, a person with whom I back here in the Oval Office.
Feb. 10 / Administration of George W. Bush, 2003
Welcome. to argue that Saddam Hussein is not—is
Prime Minister Howard. Well, thank you not cooperating?
very much, Mr. President. I’m delighted President Bush. Iraq needs to disarm.
to be back in the United States. We’ve And the reason why we even need to fly
talked naturally about Iraq and other re- U–2 flights is because they’re not dis-
lated matters. I want to say that from the arming. We know what a disarmed country
very beginning, the President has shown looks like, and Iraq doesn’t look like that.
very strong leadership on a difficult issue. This is a man who is trying to stall for
He’s been prepared to go out and argue time, trying to play a diplomatic game. He’s
a very strong case. It’s not been an issue been successful at it for 12 years. But no,
that’s been free of criticism for any of those the question is, will he disarm?
who’ve advocated a particular point of view. I notice somebody said the other day,
Australia’s position concerning Iraq is ‘‘Well, we need more inspectors.’’ Well, a
very clear. We believe a world in which disarmed—a country which is disarming
weapons of mass destruction are in the really needs one or two inspectors to verify
hands of rogue states, with the potential the fact that they’re disarming. We’re not
threat of them falling into the hands of playing hide-and-seek. That’s what he wants
terrorists, is not a world that Australia, if to continue to play. And so, you know,
we can possibly avoid it, wants to be part Saddam’s got to disarm. If he doesn’t, we’ll
of. And that is the fundamental reason why disarm him.
Australia has taken the position she has.
And it’s the fundamental reason why we
believe the goals that the United States set Australia and the Coalition
of disarming Iraq are proper goals, and
they are goals that the entire world should Q. Sir, can I ask an Australian question?
pursue. We all hope that there might— President Bush. Please.
despite the apparent unlikelihood, we all Q. Could you tell us whether you count
hope that there might be a peaceful solu- Australia as part of the coalition of the will-
tion. The one real chance of a peaceful ing?
solution is the whole world saying the same President Bush. Yes, I do. You know,
thing to Iraq. And that’s why we believe what that means is up to John to decide.
the closest possible cooperation and unity But I certainly count him as somebody who
of—objective and unity of advocacy is very understands that the world changed on
important. September the 11th, 2001. Ironically
President Bush. Thanks, John. Don’t enough, John Howard was in America that
worry, malfunctioning light. There it is. day, in Washington, DC, the day the enemy
Patsy [Patricia Wilson, Reuters] and then hit.
Ron [Ron Fournier, Associated Press]. In our country it used to be that oceans
Were you from Australia? could protect us. At least we thought so.
Q. Yes. Do I get two questions? One There was wars on other continents, but
from each side? [Laughter] we were safe. And so we could decide
President Bush. Knowing Ron’s habit, whether or not we addressed the threat
you probably will, I guess. on our own time. If there was a threat
gathering from afar, we could say, ‘‘Well,
let’s see; it may be in our interest to get
Iraqi Regime Concessions involved, or it may not be.’’ We had the
Q. Iraq has agreed to allow U–2 flights luxury. September the 11th, that changed.
and also private interviews with some sci- America is now a battleground in the war
entists. Does this make it harder for you on terror.
Administration of George W. Bush, 2003 / Feb. 10
Secondly, the Secretary of State made late stage, what’s your personal message to
it very clear that there are connections be- them?
tween Saddam Hussein and terrorist net- President Bush. My personal message is
works. And therefore, it is incumbent upon that I want to keep the peace and make
all of us who love freedom to understand the world more peaceful. I understand why
the new world in which we live. John How- people don’t like to commit the military
ard understands that. to action. I can understand that. I’m the
Ron. person in this country that hugs the moth-
ers and the widows if their son or husband
France-U.S. Relations/NATO Unity dies. I know people would like to avoid
Q. In addition to being among the some armed conflict, and so would I. But the
people who are calling for inspections, the risks of doing nothing far outweigh the risks
French today blocked NATO from helping of whatever it takes to disarm Saddam Hus-
Turkey. And President Chirac said nothing sein.
today justifies a war. I’ve thought long and hard about this
President Bush. Yes. issue. My job is to protect the American
people from further harm. I believe that
Q. Given what Americans and the
Saddam Hussein is a threat to the Amer-
French went through in the last century,
ican people. I also know he’s a threat to
are you upset by their attitude now?
our friends and allies.
President Bush. No, I wouldn’t—‘‘upset’’
The second thing—my message is, and
isn’t the proper word. I am disappointed
I started speaking about this today, I also
that France would block NATO from help-
have got great compassion and concern for
ing a country like Turkey prepare. I don’t
the Iraqi people. These are people who
understand that decision. It affects the Alli-
have been tortured and brutalized, people
ance in a negative way.
who have been raped because they may
Q. You think it does?
disagree with Saddam Hussein. He’s a bru-
President Bush. I think it affects the Alli-
tal dictator. In this country and in Australia,
ance in a negative way, when you’re not
people believe that everybody has got
able to make a statement of mutual de-
worth, everybody counts, that everybody is
fense. I had a good talk with Jacques
equal in the eyes of the Almighty. So the
Chirac recently. I assured him that, you
issue is not only peace, the issue is freedom
know, that we would continue to try to
work with France as best we can. France
I made it clear in my State of the
has been a long-time friend of the United
Union—and the people of Australia must
States. We’ve got a lot in common. But
understand this—I don’t believe liberty is
I think the decision on NATO is short-
America’s gift to the world. I believe it
sighted in my judgment. Hopefully, they’ll
is God’s gift to humanity.
Thank you all.
Reasons for Action Against Iraqi Regime NOTE: The President spoke at 5:46 p.m. in
Q. Mr. President, there are many Aus- the Oval Office at the White House. In his
tralians—there are many Australians and remarks, he referred to President Saddam
others who are still not convinced that they Hussein of Iraq and President Jacques
should be going with you to war. At this Chirac of France.
Feb. 11 / Administration of George W. Bush, 2003
Message on the Observance of Eid al-Adha
January 27, 2003
I send greetings to Muslims in the important opportunities. The United States
United States and around the world as you remains committed to promoting justice,
celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday. tolerance, and understanding through-out
The Qur’an teaches that the sacred feast the world, and we will continue to work
of Eid al-Adha is a time for Muslims to together with our Muslim friends and peo-
join family and friends in thanking the Al- ple of all faiths to build a future of peace,
mighty for His many blessings and to re- freedom, and opportunity for all.
flect on the great sacrifice and devotion Laura joins me in sending our best wish-
of Abraham. During this festive celebration, es for a joyous celebration.
peace-loving people around the world, in-
cluding millions of American Muslims, GEORGE W. BUSH
honor Abraham’s example by sharing love
and demonstrating compassion for those in NOTE: This message was released by the Of-
need. fice of the Press Secretary on February 11.
This year’s celebration comes at a time An original was not available for verification
when our world faces great challenges and of the content of this message.
Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Congressional Leaders
February 11, 2003
Judicial Nominee Miguel A. Estrada playing politics with his nomination. And
It’s my pleasure to welcome members it’s shameful politics. This man is highly
of both political parties from the House qualified, and I expect him to be nomi-
of Representatives to discuss how we can nated. And I expect him to get fairer treat-
ment than he’s getting from those who are
continue to make progress in welfare re-
really playing against the spirit of the
form. The welfare law of 1996 made a sig-
United States Senate. And so I call upon
nificant difference in the lives of a lot of
fair play in the Senate, for the sake of
our fellow citizens. Our job now is to build a good, sound judiciary.
on that progress, and I want to thank the Thank you.
Members for being here. I look forward
to a good and fruitful discussion. NOTE: The President spoke at 4:38 p.m. in
I nominated a good man named Miguel the Cabinet Room at the White House. In
Estrada for the Circuit Court here in his remarks, he referred to Miguel A.
Washington, DC. Miguel Estrada is highly Estrada, nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge
qualified, extremely intelligent. He has the for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Of-
votes necessary to be confirmed. Yet a fice of the Press Secretary also released a
handful of Democrats in the Senate are Spanish language transcript of these remarks.