Capture of Saddam Hussein
December 14, 2003
Good afternoon. 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
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.
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