Iraq Anniversary: What Bush Said Five Years Ago

President Bush speaks from the White House on March 17, 2003. i

President Bush speaks from the White House on March 17, 2003. Bush delivered an ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, giving him 48 hours to leave the country. AP/APTN hide caption

itoggle caption AP/APTN
President Bush speaks from the White House on March 17, 2003.

President Bush speaks from the White House on March 17, 2003. Bush delivered an ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, giving him 48 hours to leave the country.

AP/APTN

President Bush made a speech from the White House five years ago on Wednesday as U.S. and coalition forces were making final preparations to attack Iraq.

"Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again because we are not dealing with peaceful men. Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised," Bush said on March 17, 2003.

Of course, the weapons of mass destruction Bush spoke of never turned up.

Bush laid out the case against Saddam Hussein and his regime in the speech, in which Bush also expressed frustration with the United Nations and other countries that refused to support the coming war.

"The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities," Bush said, "so we will rise to ours."

He ended by giving Saddam and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq. "Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing," Bush said.

That time would come two days later, on March 19, 2003.

In the next few days, Day to Day will feature several conversations with people whose lives have been touched by the Iraq war during the last five years.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.