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The Ultimatum
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Here's the text of Bush's speech. I'll say this for him, he has good speech writers. I thought the President's speech tonight was perfect pitch (in contrast to his recent press conference in which he seemed exhausted and overtly distracted).

Here's the central point:

Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power.

He's right of course. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply misguided. It would be ideal to disarm Hussein without his cooperation, but it's clear that that's not possible.

On the U.N.:

One reason the U.N. was founded after the Second World War was to confront aggressive dictators actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace.

In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687, both still in effect, the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will.



The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.

Exactly. We're going to do what the U.N. is unwilling to do, actually enforce its will.

The ultimatum:

All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.

They won't leave. No chance.

I thought some of the strongest parts of the speech were directed to the people of Iraq.

As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.

In free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms.

The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.

And it's about time.

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