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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Vice President Talks About Iraq

Aired September 18, 2002 - 12:29   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: On a much more serious note, we are going to take you now live to Groton, Connecticut, and that's where Vice President Dick Cheney is talking to folks at an event raising money for Congressman Rob Simmons. He's talking about Iraq right now.
Let's listen in.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as required by Security Council resolutions.

All statements from the government of Iraq will not cause us to ignore history or reality. Saddam Hussein has spent more than a decade in complete defiance of all the United Nations demands.

The question for the International community is whether the Security Council resolutions will be enforced or disregarded without consequence, whether the United Nations will be effective, or irrelevant.

As for the United States, the president has made our position very clear. We want to work with the United Nations to meet our common challenge. The Security Council resolutions ought to be enforced, or action will be unavoidable.

We must and will take whatever steps are necessary to defend our freedom and security.

(APPLAUSE)

In the challenges to America, we will be expecting a lot from our military, and those who serve have the right to expect a lot from us. If we are going to ask young men and women to defend our countries, our allies and our freedom, if we are going to sense them in harm's way to fight determined enemies, they deserve the very best tools, the best training and the best support we can possibly give them. We are investing in our military so we can deploy swift and agile forces any place, any time they're needed. We are building precision weapons. that can spare the lives of American soldiers, and innocent civilians in foreign lands.

We will multiply every advantage in order to prevail over every enemy. And to have this capability, President Bush asked for most significant increase in defense spending, since Ronald Reagan lived in the White House.

The conduct of our military does more than bring credit to country; it reflects as well the basic character of the American people. This is a good, and a decent and a generous land.

We fight not for revenge against our enemies, but for freedom and security of our own people, and for the peace of the world. At times in our history, the price of freedom has been very high, but Americans have always been willing to pay the price. History has often called on Americans to defend our freedoms and to defeat some of the greatest threats that humanity has known. We have accepted that duty once again, because we know that the cause is just, we understand that the hopes of the civilized world depend on us, and we are certain of the victory to come.

And in this critical time I have honor of standing beside a president who has united our nation. For all the challenges we face, the United States of America has never been stronger than we are today, and even better days are ahead of us.

(APPLAUSE)

President Bush and I are very grateful for the opportunity you have given us to serve our country. We want to thank you for your support, not just for our efforts, but as well for good candidates like Rob Simmons, who will be an outstanding partner for us in the important work ahead.

PHILLIPS: Vice President Dick Cheney delivering remarks in there in Groton, Connecticut. He is actually attending a fund-raiser for Congressman Rob Simmons, but of course, a chance to talk about Iraq and his support behind taking out the regime of Saddam Hussein. That's always a perfect venue for something like that.

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