Transcript of State of the Union
Part 7: 'Outlaw regimes'
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 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 attacks, and we're 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 and 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 that 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 its people only when it turns away from its nuclear ambitions.
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.
For more of Bush's transcript: Part 8 -- Iraq