3,377. 2/13/2002

Ron Fournier: “Mr. President, your advisors have long said that there needs to be regime change in Iraq. Are you looking at military action to achieve that goal?  How could Saddam be toppled?” 
President George W. Bush: “Ron, I meant what I said the other night, that there are some nations in the world which develop weapons of mass destruction with one intention, and that is to hold America hostage and/or harm Americans and/or our friends and allies. And I also meant what I said, that I look forward to working with the world to bring pressure on those nations to change their behavior.  But make no mistake about it, if we need to, we will take necessary action to defend the American people. And I think that statement was clear enough for Iraq to hear me. And I will reserve whatever options I have, I’ll keep them close to my vest. President — or Saddam Hussein needs to understand I’m serious about defending our country.”

 – Transcript, “U.S.-Pakistan Affirm Commitment Against Terrorism,” George W. Bush – White House Archives online, Accessed on 7/6/2016

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