And so I — you know, obviously I've thought long and hard about the use of troops. I think about it all of the time. It is my responsibility to commit the troops.
I believe we'll prevail. I know we'll prevail.
And out of that disarmament of Saddam will come a better world, particularly for the people who live in Iraq.
This is society, Ron, who — which has been decimated by his murderous ways, his torture. He doesn't allow dissent. He doesn't believe in the values we believe in.
I believe this society — the Iraqi society can develop in a much better way. I think of the risks, calculated the costs of inaction versus the cost of action. And I'm firmly convinced, if we have to, we will act in the name of peace and in the name of freedom.
QUESTION: Mr. President, if you decide to go ahead with military action, there are inspectors on the ground in Baghdad. Will you give them time to leave the country, or the humanitarian workers on the ground, or the journalists? Will you be able to do that and still mount an effective attack on Iraq?
BUSH: Of course, we will give people a chance to leave. And we don't want anybody in harm's way who shouldn't be in harm's way.
The journalists who are there should leave. If you're going and we start action, leave.
The inspectors — we don't want people in harm's way.
And our intention — we have no quarrel with anybody other than Saddam and his group of killers who have destroyed a society.
And we will do everything we can, as I mentioned — and I mean this — to protect innocent life. I've not made up our mind about military action. Hopefully, this can be done peacefully. I believe that, as a result of the pressure that we have placed, and others have placed, that Saddam will disarm and/or leave the country.
QUESTION: Mr. President, good evening.
Sir, you've talked a lot about trusting the American people when it comes to making decisions about their own lives, about how to spend their own money.
When it comes to the financial costs of the war, sir, it would seem that the administration surely has costed out various scenarios. If that's the case, why not present some of them to the American people so they know what to expect, sir?
BUSH: Ed (ph), we will. We'll present it in the form of a supplemental to the spenders. We don't get to spend the money; as you know, we have to request the expenditure of money from the Congress, and at the appropriate time we'll request a supplemental.
We're obviously analyzing all aspects. We hope we don't go to war, but if we should, we will present a supplemental.
But I want to remind you what I said before.
There is a huge cost when we get attacked. There's a significant cost to our society.
First of all, there's the cost of lives. It's an immeasurable cost. Three thousand people died. Significant cost to our economy. Opportunity loss is an immeasurable cost. Besides the cost of repairing buildings and cost to our airlines. And so, the cost of an attack is significant.
If I thought we were safe from attack, I would be thinking differently. But I see a gathering threat. I mean, it's a true, real threat to America. And therefore, we will deal with it.
And at the appropriate time, Ed (ph), we will ask for a supplemental. And that'll be the moment where you and others will be able to recognize what we think the dollar cost of a conflict will be.