Bush: We're Watching 'Evil' Saddam Carefully
Friday, Oct. 12, 2001
The United States is closely monitoring "evil" Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, President Bush told the nation Thursday night in a highlight of his news conference.
Reporter Helen Thomas said: Mr. President ... we understand you have advisers who are urging you to go after Iraq, take out Iraq, Syria and so forth. Do you really think that the American people will tolerate you widening the war beyond Afghanistan? ..."
The president's response:
"Our focus is on Afghanistan and the terrorist network hiding in Afghanistan right now. But as well, we're looking for Al Qaeda cells around the world. If we find an Al Qaeda cell operating, we will urge the host country to bring them to justice. And we're having some progress - we're making progress.
"As I mentioned, this is a long war against terrorist activity, and the doctrine I spelled out to the American people in front of Congress said not only will we seek out and bring to justice individual terrorists who cause harm to people - to murder people, we will also bring to justice the host governments that sponsor them, that house them and feed them.
"You mentioned Iraq. There's no question that the leader of Iraq is an evil man. After all, he gassed his own people. We know he's been developing weapons of mass destruction. And I think it's in his advantage to allow inspectors back in his country to make sure that he's conforming to the agreement he made after he was soundly trounced in the Gulf War. And so we're watching him very carefully.
"We're watching him carefully."