[House Document 108-1]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

108th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - House Document 108-1
                      STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE







  January 29, 2003.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the 
 Committee on the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to 
                               be printed


                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

19-011                      WASHINGTON : 2003

To the Congress of the United States:
    Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, 
distinguished guests, fellow citizens:
    Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider 
the state of the union. This year, we gather in this chamber 
deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.
    You and I serve our country in a time of great consequence. 
During this session of Congress, we have the duty to reform 
domestic programs vital to our country . . . and we have the 
opportunity to save millions of lives abroad from a terrible 
disease. We will work for a prosperity that is broadly shared . 
. . and we will answer every danger and every enemy that 
threatens the American people.
    In all these days of promise and days of reckoning, we can 
be confident. In a whirlwind of change, and hope, and peril, 
our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, and our union is 
    This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will 
not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other 
Congresses, other Presidents, and other generations. We will 
confront them with focus, and clarity, and courage.
    During the last 2 years, we have seen what can be 
accomplished when we work together. To lift the standards of 
our public schools, we achieved historic education reform--
which must now be carried out in every school, and every 
classroom, so that every child in America can read, and learn, 
and succeed in life. To protect our country, we reorganized our 
government and created the Department of Homeland Security--
which is mobilizing against the threats of a new era. To bring 
our economy out of recession, we delivered the largest tax 
relief in a generation. To insist on integrity in American 
business, we passed tough reforms, and we are holding corporate 
criminals to account.
    Some might call this a good record. I call it a good start. 
Tonight I ask the House and Senate to join me in the next bold 
steps to serve our fellow citizens.
    Our first goal is clear: We must have an economy that grows 
fast enough to employ every man and woman who seeks a job.
    After recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals, and 
stock market declines, our economy is recovering--yet it is not 
growing fast enough, or strongly enough. With unemployment 
rising, our Nation needs more small businesses to open, more 
companies to invest and expand, more employers to put up the 
sign that says, ``Help Wanted.''
    Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows 
when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the 
best, fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not 
to tax it away in the first place.
    I am proposing that all the income tax reductions set for 
2004 and 2006 be made permanent and effective this year. And 
under my plan, as soon as I have signed the bill, this extra 
money will start showing up in worker's paychecks. Instead of 
gradually reducing the marriage penalty, we should do it now. 
Instead of slowly raising the child credit to a thousand 
dollars, we should send the checks to American families now.
    This tax relief is for everyone who pay income taxes--and 
it will help our economy immediately. Ninety-two million 
Americans will keep--this year--an average of almost $1,100 
more of their own money. A family of four with an income of 
$40,000 would see their federal income taxes fall from $1,178 
to $45 per year. And our plan will improve the bottom line for 
more than 23 million small businesses.
    You, the Congress, have already passed all these 
reductions, and promised them for future years. If this tax 
relief is good for Americans three, or five, or seven years 
from now, it is even better for Americans today.
    We also strengthen the economy by treating investors 
equally in our tax laws. It is fair to tax a company's profits. 
It is not fair to again tax the shareholder on the same 
profits. To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 
10 millionseniors who receive dividend income, I ask you to end 
the unfair double taxation of dividends.
    Lower taxes and greater investment will help this economy 
expand. More jobs mean more taxpayers--and higher revenues to 
our government. The best way to address the deficit and move 
toward a balanced budget is to encourage economic growth--and 
to show some spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We must 
work together to fund only our most important priorities. I 
will send you a budget that increases discretionary spending by 
4 percent next year--about as much as the average family's 
income is expected to grow. And that is a good benchmark for 
us: Federal spending should not rise any faster than the 
paychecks of American families.
    A growing economy, and a focus on essential priorities, 
will also be crucial to the future of Social Security. As we 
continue to work together to keep Social Security sound and 
reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to invest in 
retirement accounts that they will control and they will own.
    Our second goal is high-quality, affordable health care for 
all Americans.
    The American system of medicine is a model of skill and 
innovation--with a pace of discovery that is adding good years 
to our lives. Yet for many people, medical care costs too 
much--and many have no coverage at all. These problems will not 
be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates 
coverage and rations care. Instead, we must work toward a 
system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy . . 
. choose their own doctors . . . and seniors and low-income 
Americans receive the help they need. Instead of bureaucrats, 
and trial lawyers, and HMOs, we must put doctors, and nurses, 
and patients back in charge of American medicine.
    Health care reform must begin with Medicare, because 
Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. We must 
renew that commitment by giving seniors access to the 
preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health 
care in America.
    Seniors happy with the current Medicare system should be 
able to keep their coverage just the way it is. And just like 
you, the members of Congress, members of your staffs, and other 
federal employees, all seniors should have the choice of a 
health care plan that provides prescription drugs. My budget 
will commit an additional $400 billion over the next decade to 
reform and strengthen Medicare. Leaders of both political 
parties have talked for years about strengthening Medicare--I 
urge the members of this new Congress to act this year.
    To improve our health care system, we must address one of 
the prime causes of higher costs--the constant threat that 
physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued. Because of 
excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care--and 
many parts of America are losing fine doctors. No one has ever 
been healed by a frivolous lawsuit--and I urge the Congress to 
pass medical liability reform.
    Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our 
country, while dramatically improving the environment.
    I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to promote 
energy efficiency and conservation, to develop cleaner 
technology, and to produce more energy at home. I have sent you 
Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70 percent cut in air 
pollution from power plants over the next 15 years. I have sent 
you a Healthy Forests Initiative, to help prevent the 
catastrophic fires that devastate communities, kill wildlife, 
and burn away millions of acres of treasured forest.
    I urge you to pass these measures, for the good of both our 
environment and our economy. Even more, I ask you to take a 
crucial step, and protect our environment in ways that 
generations before us could not have imagined. In this century, 
the greatest environmental progress will come about, not 
throughendless lawsuits or command and control regulations, but 
through technology and innovation. Tonight I am proposing $1.2 billion 
in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing 
clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles.
    A simple chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen 
generates energy, which can be used to power a car--producing 
only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, 
our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking 
these cars from laboratory to showroom--so that the first car 
driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and 
pollution-free. Join me in this important innovation--to make 
our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less 
dependent on foreign sources of energy.
    Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to 
the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country--
the homeless, the fatherless, the addicted--the need is great. 
Yet there is power--wonder-working power--in the goodness, and 
idealism, and faith of the American people.
    Americans are doing the work of compassion every day--
visiting prisoners, providing shelter to battered women, 
bringing companionship to lonely seniors. These good works 
deserve our praise . . . they deserve our personal support . . 
. and, when appropriate, they deserve the assistance of our 
government. I urge you to pass both my faith-based initiative 
and the Citizen Service Act--to encourage acts of compassion 
that can transform America, one heart and one soul at a time.
    Last year, I called on my fellow citizens to participate in 
USA Freedom Corps, which is enlisting tens of thousands of new 
volunteers across America. Tonight I ask Congress and the 
American people to focus the spirit of service and the 
resources of government on the needs of some of our most 
vulnerable citizens--boys and girls trying to grow up without 
guidance and attention . . . and children who have to go 
through a prison gate to be hugged by their mom or dad. I 
propose a $450 million initiative to bring mentors to more than 
a million disadvantaged junior high students and children of 
prisoners. Government will support the training and recruiting 
of mentors, yet it is the men and women of America who will 
fill the need. One mentor, one person, can change a life 
forever--and I urge you to be that one person.
    Another cause of hopelessness is addiction to drugs. 
Addiction crowds out friendship, ambition, moral conviction, 
and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive 
desire. As a government, we are fighting illegal drugs by 
cutting off supplies, and reducing demand through anti-drug 
education programs. Yet for those already addicted, the fight 
against drugs is a fight for their own lives.
    Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So 
tonight I propose a new $600 million program to help an 
additional 300,000 Americans receive treatment over the next 3 
    Our Nation is blessed with recovery programs that do 
amazing work. One of them is found at the Healing Place Church 
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A man in the program said, ``God 
does miracles in people's lives, and you never think it could 
be you.'' Tonight, let us bring to all Americans who struggle 
with drug addiction this message of hope: The miracle of 
recovery is possible, and it could be you.
    By caring for children who need mentors, and for addicted 
men and women who need treatment, we are building a more 
welcoming society--a culture that values every life. And in 
this work we must not overlook the weakest among us. I ask you 
to protect infants at the very hour of birth, and end the 
practice of partial-birth abortion. And because no human life 
should be started or ended as the object of an experiment, I 
ask you to set a high standard for humanity and pass a law 
against all human cloning.
    The qualities of courage and compassion that we strive for 
in America also determine our conduct abroad. The American flag 
stands for more than our power and our interests. Our Founders 
dedicated this country to the cause of human dignity--the 
rights of every person and the possibilities of every life. 
This conviction leads us into the world to help the afflicted, 
and defend the peace, and confound the designs of evil men. In 
Afghanistan, we helped to liberate an oppressed people . . . 
and we will continue helping them secure their country, rebuild 
their society, and educate all their children--boys and girls. 
In the Middle East, we will continue to seek peace between a 
secure Israel and a democratic Palestine. Across the earth, 
America is feeding the hungry; more than 60 percent of 
international food aid comes as a gift from the people of the 
United States.
    As our Nation moves troops and builds alliances to make our 
world safer, we must also remember our calling, as a blessed 
country, to make this world better. Today, on the continent of 
Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus--including 
three million children under the age of 15. There are whole 
countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult 
population carries the infection. More than four million 
require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, 
only 50,000 AIDS victims--only 50,000--are receiving the 
medicine they need.
    Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered a death sentence, 
many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned away. 
A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He 
says, ``We have no medicines . . . many hospitals tell 
[people], `You've got AIDS. We can't help you. Go home and 
die.' ''
    In an age of miraculous medicines, no person should have to 
hear those words. AIDS can be prevented. Anti-retroviral drugs 
can extend life for many years. And the cost of those drugs has 
dropped from $12,000 a year to under $300 a year--which places 
a tremendous possibility within our grasp.
    Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has history offered a greater 
opportunity to do so much for so many. We have confronted, and 
will continue to confront, HIV/AIDS in our own country. And to 
meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the 
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief--a work of mercy beyond all 
current international efforts to help the people of Africa. 
This comprehensive plan will prevent seven million new AIDS 
infections . . . treat at least two million people with life-
extending drugs . . . and provide humane care for millions of 
people suffering from AIDS, and for children orphaned by AIDS. 
I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next 5 years, 
including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide 
against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the 
    This Nation can lead the world in sparing innocent people 
from a plague of nature. And this Nation is leading the world 
in confronting and defeating the man-made evil of international 
    There are days when the American people do not hear news 
about the war on terror. There is never a day when I do not 
learn of another threat, or receive reports of operations in 
progress, or give an order in this global war against a 
scattered network of killers. The war goes on, and we are 
    To date we have arrested, or otherwise dealt with, many key 
commanders of al-Qaida. They include a man who directed 
logistics and funding for the September 11th attacks . . . the 
chief of al-Qaida operations in the Person Gulf who planned the 
bombings of our embassies in East Africa and the USS Cole . . . 
an al-Qaida operation chief from Southeast Asia . . . a former 
director of al-Qaida's training camps in Afghanistan . . . a 
key al-Qaida operative in Europe . . . and a major al-Qaida 
leader in Yemen. All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists 
have been arrested in many countries. And many others have met 
a differentfate. They are no longer a problem for the United 
States and our friends and allies.
    We are working closely with other nations to prevent 
further attacks. America and coalition countries have uncovered 
and stopped terrorist conspiracies targeting the American 
embassy in Yemen . . . the American embassy in Singapore . . . 
a Saudi military base . . . and ships in the straits of Hormuz, 
and the straits of Gibraltar. We have broken al-Qaida cells in 
Hamburg, and Milan, and Madrid, and London, and Paris--as well 
as Buffalo, New York.
    We have the terrorists on the run, and we are keeping them 
on the run. One by one, the terrorists are learning the meaning 
of American justice.
    As we fight this war, we will remember where it began--
here, in our own country. This government is taking 
unprecedented measures to protect our people and defend our 
homeland. We have intensified security at the borders and ports 
of entry . . . posted more than 50,000 newly trained federal 
screeners in airports . . . begun inoculating troops and first 
responders against smallpox . . . and are deploying the 
Nation's first early warning network of sensors to detect 
biological attack. And this year, for the first time, we are 
beginning to field a defense to protect this Nation against 
ballistic missiles.
    I thank the Congress for supporting these measures. I ask 
you tonight to add to our future security with a major research 
and production effort to guard our people against bio-
terrorism, called Project Bioshield. The budget I send you will 
propose almost $6 billion to quickly make available effective 
vaccines and treatments against agents like anthrax, butolinum 
toxin, Ebola, and plaque. We must assume that our enemies would 
use these diseases as weapons, and we must act before the 
dangers are upon us.
    Since September 11th, our intelligence and law enforcement 
agencies have worked more closely than ever to track and 
disrupt the terrorists. The FBI is improving its ability to 
analyze intelligence, and transforming itself to meet new 
threats. And tonight, I am instructing the leaders of the FBI, 
Central Intelligence, Homeland Security, and the Department of 
Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, to 
merge and analyze all threat information in a single location. 
Our government must have the very best information possible, 
and we will use it to make sure the right people are in the 
right places to protect our citizens.
    Our war against terror is a contest of will, in which 
perseverance is power. In the ruins of two towers, at the 
western wall of the Pentagon, on a field in Pennsylvania, this 
Nation made a pledge, and we renew that pledge tonight: 
Whatever the duration of this struggle, and whatever the 
difficulties, we will not permit the triumph of violence in the 
affairs of men--free people will set the course of history.
    Today, the gravest danger in the war on terror . . . the 
gravest danger facing America and the world . . . is outlaw 
regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological 
weapons. These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, 
terror, and mass murder. They could also give or sell those 
weapons to their terrorist allies, who would use them without 
the least hesitation.
    This threat is new; America's duty is familiar. Throughout 
the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great 
nations . . . built armies and arsenals . . . and set out to 
dominate the weak and intimidate the world. In each case, their 
ambitions of cruelty and murder had no limit. In each case, the 
ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism, and communism were defeated 
by the will of free peoples, by the strength of great 
alliances, and by the might of the United States of America. 
Now, in this century, the ideology of power and domination has 
appeared again,and seeks to gain the ultimate weapons of 
terror. Once again this Nation and our friends are all that stand 
between a world at peace, and a world of chaos and constant alarm. Once 
again, we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the hopes 
of all mankind. And we accept this responsibility.
    America is making a broad and determined effort to confront 
these dangers. We have called on the United Nations to fulfill 
its charter, and stand by its demand that Iraq disarm. We are 
strongly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency in 
its mission to track and control nuclear materials around the 
world. We are working with other governments to secure nuclear 
materials in the former Soviet Union, and to strengthen global 
treaties banning the production and shipment of missile 
technologies and weapons of mass destruction.
    In all of these efforts, however, America's purpose is more 
than to follow a process--it is to achieve a result: the end of 
terrible threats to the civilized world. All free nations have 
a stake in preventing sudden and catastrophic attack. We are 
asking them to join us, and many are doing so. Yet the course 
of this Nation does not depend on the decisions of others. 
Whatever action is required, whenever action is necessary, I 
will defend the freedom and security of the American people.
    Different threats require different strategies. In Iran, we 
continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues 
weapons of mass destruction, and supports terror. We also see 
Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak 
out for liberty, human rights, and democracy. Iranians, like 
all people, have a right to choose their own government, and 
determine their own destiny--and the United States supports 
their aspirations to live in freedom.
    On the Korean peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a 
people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the 
United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North 
Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that the regime 
was deceiving the world, and developing those weapons all 
along. And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear 
program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the 
world will not be blackmailed. America is working with the 
countries of the region--South Korea, Japan, China, and 
Russia--to find a peaceful solution, and to show the North 
Korean government that nuclear weapons will bring only 
isolation, economic stagnation, and continued hardship. The 
North Korean regime will find respect in the world, and revival 
for it people, only when it turns away from its nuclear 
    Our Nation and the world must learn the lessons of the 
Korean peninsula, and not allow an even greater threat to rise 
up in Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless 
aggression . . . with ties to terrorism . . . with great 
potential wealth . . . will not be permitted to dominate a 
vital region and threaten the United States.
    Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of 
being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To 
spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass 
destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated 
that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear 
weapons even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to 
date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons--not 
economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not 
even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities. Almost 
3 months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam 
Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead his 
utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of 
the world.
    The 108 U.N. weapons inspectors were not sent to conduct a 
scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size 
of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that 
Iraq's regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly 
where itis hiding its banned weapons . . . lay those weapons 
out for the world to see . . . and destroy them as directed. Nothing 
like this has happened.
    The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein 
had biological weapons materials sufficient to produce over 
25,000 liters of anthrax--enough does to kill several million 
people. He has not accounted for that material. He has given no 
evidence that he has destroyed it.
    The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had 
materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of 
botulinum toxin--enough to subject millions of people to death 
by respiratory failure. He has not accounted for that material. 
He has given no evidence that he has destroyed it.
    Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had 
the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard, 
and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents 
also could kill untold thousands. He has not accounted for 
these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed 
    U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards 
of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. 
Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them, despite Iraq's recent 
declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not 
accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited 
munitions. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.
    From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 
1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are 
designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from 
place to place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not 
disclosed these facilities. He has given no evidence that he 
has destroyed them.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 
1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons 
development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon, and was 
working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a 
bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein 
recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. 
Out intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to 
purchase high strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear 
weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained 
these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
    The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary, he 
is deceiving. From intelligence sources, we know, for instance, 
that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding 
documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors--sanitizing 
inspection sites, and monitoring the inspectors themselves. 
Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate 
witnesses. Iraq is blocking U-2 surveillance flights requested 
by the United Nations. Iraqi intelligence officers are posing 
as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real 
scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say. 
And intelligence sources indicate that Saddam Hussein has 
ordered that scientists who cooperate with U.N. inspectors in 
disarming Iraq will be killed, along with their families.
    Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate 
lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks, to build and 
keep weapons of mass destruction--but why? The only possible 
explanation, the only possible use he could have for those 
weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack. With nuclear 
arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, 
Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the 
Middle East, and create deadly havoc in the region. And this 
Congress and the American people must recognize another threat. 
Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and 
statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam 
Husseinaids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida. 
Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden 
weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.
    Before September 11, 2001, many in the world believed that 
Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents and 
lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily 
contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and 
other plans--this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take 
just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this 
country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. 
We will do everything in our power to make sure that day never 
    Some have said we must not act until the threat is 
imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced 
their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they 
strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly 
emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would 
come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam 
Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.
    This dictator, who is assembling the world's most dangerous 
weapons, has already used them on whole villages--leaving 
thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi 
refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained--by 
torturing children while their parents are made to watch. 
International human rights groups have catalogued other methods 
used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning 
with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with 
electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape.
    If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. And tonight 
I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: 
Your enemy is not surrounding your country--your enemy is 
ruling your country. And the day he and his regime are removed 
from power will be the day of your liberation.
    The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America 
will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, 
our friends, and our allies. The United States will ask the 
U.N. Security Council to convene on February 5th to consider 
the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of 
State Powell will present information and intelligence about 
Iraq's illegal weapons programs; its attempts to hide those 
weapons from inspectors; and its links to terrorist groups. We 
will consult, but let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam 
Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people, 
and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to 
disarm him.
    Tonight I also have a message for the men and women who 
will keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many 
of you are assembling in and near the Middle East, and some 
crucial hours may lie ahead. In those hours, the success of our 
cause will depend on you. Your training has prepared you. Your 
honor will guide you. You believe in America, and America 
believes in you.
    Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision 
a president can make. The technologies of war have changed. The 
risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans 
who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This Nation 
fights reluctantly, because we know the cost, and we dread the 
days of mourning that always come.
    We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace 
must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible 
threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will 
fight in a just cause and by just means--sparing, in every way 
we can, the innocent. And if war is forced upon us, we will 
fight with the full force and might of the United States 
military--and we will prevail. And as we and our coalition 
partners are doing in Afghanistan, we will bring to the Iraqi 
people food, and medicines, and supplies . . . and freedom.
    Many challenges, abroad and at home, have arrived in a 
single season. In 2 years, America has gone from a sense of 
invulnerability to an awareness of peril . . . from bitter 
division in small matters to calm unity in great causes. And we 
go forward with confidence, because this call of history has 
come to the right country.
    Americans are a resolute people, who have risen to every 
test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our 
country, to the world, and to ourselves.
    America is a strong Nation, and honorable in the use of our 
strength. We exercise power without conquest, and sacrifice for 
the liberty of strangers.
    Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the 
right of every person and the future of every nation. The 
liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is 
God's gift to humanity.
    We Americans have faith in ourselves--but not in ourselves 
alone. We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet 
we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God 
behind all of life, and all of history.
    May He guide us now, and may God continue to bless the 
United States of America.
    Thank you.
                                                    George W. Bush.
    The White House, January 28, 2003.