President Bush, December 14, 2003, Announces capture of Saddam Hussein
Yesterday, December the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive. He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit, in a swift raid conducted without casualties. And now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions.
The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. It marks the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name. For the Baathist holdouts largely responsible for the current violence, there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held. For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever.
And this afternoon, I have a message for the Iraqi people: You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again. All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side. The goals of our coalition are the same as your goals -- sovereignty for your country, dignity for your great culture, and for every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life.
In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.
The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq. The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them.
I also have a message for all Americans: The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq. We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East. Such men are a direct threat to the American people, and they will be defeated.
We've come to this moment through patience and resolve and focused action. And that is our strategy moving forward. The war on terror is a different kind of war, waged capture by capture, cell by cell, and victory by victory. Our security is assured by our perseverance and by our sure belief in the success of liberty. And the United States of America will not relent until this war is won.
May God bless the people of Iraq, and may God bless America. Thank you.
Prime Minister Blair, December 14, 2003, Announces capture of Saddam Hussein
The shadow of Saddam is finally lifted from the Iraqi people. We give thanks for that, but let this be more than a cause simply for rejoicing. Let it be a moment to reach out and to reconcile.
To the Sunnis whose allegiance Saddam falsely claimed I say there is a place for you playing a full part in a new and a democratic Iraq. To those formally in Saddam's Party, there by force and not by conviction, I say we can put the past behind us. Where his rule meant terror and division and brutality let his capture bring about unity, reconciliation and peace between all the people in Iraq.
Saddam has gone from power. He won't be coming back. That the Iraqi people now know and it is they who will decide his fate. And in Iraq today we work hard, the Coalition forces from thirty different nations and Iraqis who love their country and who work hard with us to rebuild Iraq to nurture its wealth for all its people, to bring prosperity and freedom to those people.
In the timetable we have established power will be handed over to Iraqis to run Iraq. Now as a sovereign independent state based on the principles of justice and democracy and the rule of law.
And let us lay one myth to rest today. We have a common interest, Coalition forces and Iraqi people. Our purpose is a shared purpose. Our victory a shared victory. The Coalition needs an Iraq that is stable and prosperous for the good of Iraq, the region and the wider world. The Iraqi people who were reduced to poverty and to penury by Saddam and his sons they desire no more than to live in peace to develop their nation's wealth and to put freedom in the place of dictatorship. We're on the same side.
And who is against us? The tiny minority of Iraqis who wanted Saddam back and must now know that their cause is a futile one, and assorted foreign terrorists who have entered Iraq whose greatest fear is that a new Iraq spells the end of their vile campaign of terror and propaganda against the Arab and the Western world working in partnership together.
The rebirth of Iraq is the death of their attempt to sell the lie that we are fighting Muslims. Muslims were Saddam's victims. Muslims today in Iraq the beneficiaries of his demise. Let's remember all those Iraqis that died under Saddam. The remains of four hundred thousand human beings already found in mass graves. So this is a time for celebration, but it's also a time to look forward to unify and to reconcile.
Our thanks go to the Coalition forces and the intelligence services who brought about Saddam's capture. Once again they have proved their professionalism, their courage and their commitment. But let us give thanks to to those brave Iraqis who have helped in his capture, who in the new Iraqi Administration, Police and defence forces risk their lives daily for the good of their people. They are the representatives of the new Iraq in action today.
So now is a time of great opportunity. Let us seize it and use it for the good of the people of Iraq, for the people in the Middle East and for the people of our world.
Copyright © 2003 by Jeff Head. All Rights Reserved.
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