Even before September 11, there was a debate in the administration about whether or not military force should be used to oust Saddam Hussein. You're not going to find one person in the top echelons of the foreign policy and national security establishment in the U.S. government who's going to say that Saddam Hussein should not be out of power.
The British government believes we must be resolved to disarming Saddam Hussein. It must be done before the terror weapons he possesses can be used by Saddam himself or by others with his blessing. We must steel ourselves to the consequences of that resolve and send a clear message to Saddam Hussein: You cannot win. You can only comply and disarm or be defeated. The choice is entirely yours.
There's no telling what might have happened to our defense budget if Saddam Hussein hadn't invaded Kuwait that August and set everyone gearing up for World War II. Can we count on Saddam Hussein to come along every year and resolve our defense-policy debates? Given the history of the Middle East, it's possible.
P. J. O'Rourke
We must recognize that there is no indication that Saddam Hussein has any intention of relenting. So we have an obligation of enormous consequence, an obligation to guarantee that Saddam Hussein cannot ignore the United Nations. He cannot be permitted to go unobserved and unimpeded toward his horrific objective of amassing a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
John F. Kerry
Colin Powell has said over the years that Saddam Hussein is like a toothache. It recurs from time to time, and you just have to live with it. At other times, he's compared Saddam Hussein to a kidney stone that will eventually pass. But he has never said, 'You have to operate and take out the kidney stone.'
I come to this debate, Mr. Speaker, as one at the end of 10 years in office on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was one of my top priorities. I applaud the President on focusing on this issue and on taking the lead to disarm Saddam Hussein. ... Others have talked about this threat that is posed by Saddam Hussein. Yes, he has chemical weapons, he has biological weapons, he is trying to get nuclear weapons.
There is no question that Iraq possesses biological and chemical weapons and that he [Saddam Hussein] seeks to acquire additional weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. That is not in debate. I also agree with President Bush that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must be disarmed, to quote President Bush directly.
Let's note, that in what I consider the most disgraceful performance abroad by an American official in my lifetime - something not exampled since Jane Fonda sat on the anti-aircraft gun in Hanoi to be photographed - Mr. McDermott said in effect, not in effect, he said it, we should take Saddam Hussein at his word and not take the President at his word. He said the United States is simply trying to provoke. I mean, why Saddam Hussein doesn't pay commercial time for that advertisement for his policy, I do not know.
Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be President, or the credibility to be elected President. No one can doubt or should doubt that we are safer - and Iraq is better - because Saddam Hussein is now behind bars.
John F. Kerry
Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real...
John F. Kerry
I like to call a spade a spade in politics and in everything else. That's why the zionists and the americans... The top officials hate Saddam Hussein. The White House is lying once again. He's a liar. He's the world's number one liar. He said there were chemical weapons in Iraq, and that Iraq is connected with terrorism. Later he declared: 'We didn't find any of this in Iraq.' What I want to say is that he also declared that what Saddam Hussein says is not true... This is defamation of your president of thirty five years.
I think when I close my eyes what I think is 4,500 days or so, 4,250 I guess days, was long enough to give Iraq to come into compliance with the international order. And I think to myself how many Iraqi citizens died under the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein during those 4,200 odd days, and I think to myself how many more citizens of how many nations, the United States, Israel, or any other neighbor would die if Saddam Hussein went unchecked, though I am just grieved by the sacrifice of our brave men and women, but I think ultimately the greater good is served.
In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapon stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.
It is regrettable that Senator Kennedy has chosen Veteran's Day to continue leveling baseless and false attacks that send the wrong signal to our troops and our enemy during a time of war. It is also regrettable that Senator Kennedy has found more time to say negative things about President Bush then he ever did about Saddam Hussein. If America were to follow Senator Kennedy's foreign policy, Saddam Hussein would not only still be in power, he would be oppressing and occupying Kuwait.
What we said publicly is that we know that Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons, he's used them; we know about his biological weapons programs; and in the nuclear equation, left to his own devices, with no fissile material, by the end of the decade, he'll have a nuclear weapon. But if fissile material is provided to Saddam Hussein, he'll have a nuclear weapon within a year, so I'd say the year is the outside timetable.
Yes, I think lots of people are eager to obtain weapons of mass destruction. But there's no evidence that he (Hussein) has weapons of mass destruction. There's been no evidence of him testing nuclear weapons. We have people that are in our face with nuclear weapons. We've got Iran and North Korea. We've got a problem with Pakistan. You know, I don't know what to say about that. There's a whole lot of people that are going nuclear. And I think that Saddam Hussein is actually, with the evidence, the least able to use nuclear weapons and the least obvious offender in that area at this moment.
In the spring of 1990 I flew to Aspen, Colorado, to cover a summit meeting between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President George Herbert Walker Bush. This fairly routine political event took on sudden significance when, on the evening before the talks were scheduled to begin, Saddam Hussein announced that the independent state of Kuwait had, by virtue of a massive deployment of military force, become a part of Iraq. We were not to know that this act-and the name Saddam Hussein-would dominate international politics for the next decade and more, but it was still possible to witness something extraordinary: the sight of Mrs. Thatcher publicly inserting quantities of lead into George Bush's pencil. The spattering quill of a Ralph Steadman would be necessary to do justice to such a macabre yet impressive scene.