Dealing with the threat that Secretaries Albright and Cohen have described, the threat from Saddam Hussein, demands constant resolve by the United States and by the international community; and at times, action. As long as he remains in power, we must be prepared to respond firmly to reckless actions that threaten the region and our interests. We've done that successfully over this decade.
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In the 21st Century, the community of nations may see more and more of this very kind of threat that Iraq poses now - a rogue state with biological and chemical weapons. If we fail to respond, Saddam and all those who follow will believe that they can threaten the security of a vital region with impunity. But if we act now as one, we will send a clear message to would-be tyrants and terrorists that we will do what it takes to protect our security and our freedom in this new era.
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Imagine the consequences if Saddam fails to comply and we fail to act. Saddam will be emboldened, believing the international community has lost its will. He will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. And some day, some way, I am certain, he will use that arsenal again, as he has ten times since 1983.
For the last eight years, American policy toward Iraq has been based on the direct threat Saddam poses to international security. That threat is clear. Saddam's history of aggression leaves little doubt that he would resume his drive for regional domination and his quest for weapons of mass destruction if he had the chance.
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I believe that a nuclear Iraq can change its fundamental dynamic, affecting how others behave - toward us and toward allies such as Israel - and emboldening Saddam Hussein to believe, rightly or wrongly, that he can attack his neighbors and, because of his nuclear capability, we will hesitate.