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a part of the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.
    Congratulations on your championship. More importantly, 
congratulations on using the capacity you now have to help this Nation 
fulfill its great potential. May God bless your universities. May God 
bless you all and the families. And may God continue to bless America.

Note: The President spoke at 2:10 p.m. in the East Room at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth 
Blackwell and State Attorney General Jim Petro; Representatives Michael 
G. Oxley, Deborah Pryce, and Patrick J. Tiberi of Ohio; Archie Griffin, 
associate athletic director, Ohio State University; Lisa Love and Carol 
Dougherty, senior associate athletic directors, University of Southern 
California; and Kirk Herbstreit, reporter, ESPN television network. The 
President honored the Ohio State University men's football team, the 
University of Southern California women's volleyball team, the 
University of California-Los Angeles men's soccer team, and the 
University of Portland women's soccer team. The Office of the Press 
Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 240-242]
Pages 231-262
Week Ending Friday, February 28, 2003
Remarks Following a Meeting With the National Economic Council and an 
Exchange With Reporters

February 25, 2003

    The President. Thank you all for coming. I'm meeting with my 
National Economic Council, key members of my administration who have 
been traveling the country, listening to the voices of small-business 
people, entrepreneurs, workers, listening to their concerns about our 
future. And at the same time explaining to them how we address the 
economic issues of our country.
    This administration is firmly committed to the principle that if 
people have more of their own money, they're likely to spend it on a 
good or a service, which means somebody

[[Page 241]]

is more likely to be able to find work. We're committed to the notion 
that investment of capital equals jobs.
    And so therefore, our policies are aimed at encouraging investment 
and job creation, as well as consumer confidence and spending. And we 
are confident that when the Congress listens to the people, that they 
will support this plan. It's an important economic plan, and it's one 
that we look forward to vigorously working with Congress to get it done 
    I'll be glad to take some questions. Let me start off with Angle 
[Jim Angle, FOX News].

Iraqi Disarmament

    Q. Mr. President, what would it take at this point to avoid a war 
with Iraq?
    The President. Full disarmament.
    Q. Could you expand on that, sir? I mean, what----
    The President. Well, there's only one thing. There's full 
disarmament. The man has been told to disarm. For the sake of peace, he 
must completely disarm. I suspect we'll see him playing games, that he 
will--the world will say disarm, and he will all of a sudden find a 
weapon that he claimed he didn't have.
    Q. Happened this morning, as a matter of fact.
    The President. I suspect that he will try to fool the world one more 
time. After all, he has had a history of doing that for 12 years. He's 
been successful at gaming the system, and our attitude is, it's now time 
for him to fully disarm. And we expect the Security Council to honor its 
word by insisting that Saddam disarm. Now is the time.
    David [David Jackson, Dallas Morning News].

Cost of War on Iraq

    Q. Mr. President, one of the uncertainties about the economy is the 
possibility of a war. Do you have any idea how much a war might cost and 
how it might affect our economy here at home?
    The President. David, there is all kinds of estimates about the cost 
of war. But the risk of doing nothing, the risk of the security of this 
country being jeopardized at the hands of a madman with weapons of mass 
destruction, far exceeds the risks of any action we may be forced to 
    There are people who worry about the future. I understand that, and 
I worry about the future. I worry about a future in which Saddam Hussein 
gets to blackmail and/or attack. I worry about a future in which 
terrorist organizations are fueled and funded by a Saddam Hussein. And 
that's why we're bringing this issue to a head.
    Heidi [Heidi Pryzbyla, Bloomberg News].

New U.N. Security Council Resolution

    Q. Will the outcome of any U.N. Security Council vote have any 
effect on whether or not we go to war in Iraq?
    The President. Obviously, we'd like to have a positive vote. That's 
why we've submitted a Security Council resolution, along with Great 
Britain and Spain. But as I said all along, it would be helpful and 
useful, but I don't believe we need a second resolution. Saddam Hussein 
hasn't disarmed. He may play like he's going to disarm, but he hasn't 
disarmed. And for the sake of peace and the security of the American 
people, he must disarm.
    Fournier [Ron Fournier, Associated Press].

Sacrifices of War

    Q. Sir, how big and exactly what kind of sacrifices will be asked of 
the U.S. troops, their families, the American public, should you decide 
to go to war?
    The President. Well, any time you put a troop into harm's way, that 
in itself is a sacrifice. First of all--and that's why war is my last 
choice. That's why I've said all along I would hope that the world would 
come together to convince Saddam to make the decision to disarm.
    Perhaps the biggest risk in the theater, if we were to commit our 
troops, is Saddam himself. He shows no regard for human life in his own 
country. After all, he's gassed them; he's used the weapons of mass 
destruction on his own people that he now claims he doesn't have. He 
tortures people. He brutalizes them. He could care less about human 
condition inside of Iraq.

[[Page 242]]

    And so I think one of the biggest dangers we face, if we go to war, 
is how he treats innocent life. And it is important for Iraqi leadership 
and Iraqi generals to clearly understand that if they take innocent 
life, if they destroy infrastructure, they will be held to account as 
war criminals.

Note: The President spoke at 11:16 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. 
The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language 
transcript of these remarks.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 242]
Pages 231-262
Week Ending Friday, February 28, 2003
Message to the Senate Transmitting the Second Additional Protocol to the 
Mexico-United States Taxation Convention

February 25, 2003

To the Senate of the United States:

    I transmit herewith for Senate advice and consent to ratification, 
the Second Additional Protocol that Modifies the Convention Between the 
Government of the United States of America and the Government of the 
United Mexican States for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the 
Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income, signed at 
Mexico City on November 26, 2002. I also transmit, for the information 
of the Senate, the report of the Department of State concerning the 
proposed Protocol.
    The Convention, as amended by the proposed Protocol, would be 
similar to tax treaties between the United States and other developed 
nations. It would provide maximum rates of tax to be applied to various 
types of income and protection from double taxation of income. The 
Protocol was concluded in recognition of the importance of the United 
States economic relations with Mexico.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration 
to this Protocol, and that the Senate give its advice and consent to 
                                                George W. Bush
 The White House,
 February 25, 2003.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 242]
Pages 231-262
Week Ending Friday, February 28, 2003
Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report on the National Emergency 
With Respect to the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

February 25, 2003

To the Congress of the United States:

    As required by section 204(c) of the International Emergency 
Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(c), and section 401(c) of the 
National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1641(c), I transmit herewith a 6-
month periodic report prepared by my Administration on the national 
emergency with respect to the proliferation of weapons of mass 
destruction that was declared in Executive Order 12938 of November 14, 
                                                George W. Bush
 The White House,
 February 25, 2003.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 242-247]
Pages 231-262
Week Ending Friday, February 28, 2003
Remarks to the Latino Coalition

February 26, 2003

    Bienvenidos. I want to thank mi abogado and my close friend for his 
leadership and his participation in our Government. Everybody has got to 
have a good lawyer--[laughter]--especially in my line of work. 
[Laughter] And I've got a great one with Al Gonzales. I'm proud to call 
him friend.
    And I also want to thank the members of the Latino Coalition who are 
here today. I want to thank for your work in--obviously, on political 
issues. But really I want to thank you for what you're doing in your own 
community, showing people that through hard work there's opportunity and 
hope, that if you're an entrepreneur--thanks for setting such a great 
example. Truly, one of the greatest things about the Nation is that 
somebody who's got a dream and who works hard can own their own 
business, realize their own potential. So thanks for setting the example 
for a lot of our fellow citizens.
    I'm honored that Mel Martinez is here with us, and Hector Barreto, 
serving my administration. Both men are doing a fine job in important 
positions. I want to thank Ambassador Hans Hertell from the Dominican

[[Page 243]]

Republic for coming. I see you brought an entourage with you. [Laughter] 
Rosario Marin, who's the Treasurer, is here. Rosario, great to see you. 
Josefina Carbonell, who is the Assistant Secretary for Aging, Health and 
Human Services, is with us.
    I want to thank very much the--Robert de Posada, who is the 
president of the Latino Coalition. I also want to thank Jane Delgado as 
well for your leadership and for working for what you think is right for 
the country. El Gobernador del Estado de Hidalgo is with us today. 
Gobernador, bienvenidos. Glad you're here.
    I see my friend Alfredo Phillips. One of the great honors when I was 
the Governor of Texas was to work closely with our Mexican counterparts. 
Senor Phillips was a man who came to Austin quite frequently to talk 
about NADBank and mutual development programs. I'm honored you're here. 
I appreciate your delegation coming.
    This Nation is committed to making sure we've got great relations 
with Mexico. The cornerstone of good foreign policy starts with making 
sure the neighborhood is prosperous and peaceful. I look forward to 
continuing to work with Vicente Fox on advancing a common agenda for the 
good of both nations.
    And so I welcome you all here. You come to America today during 
times of great challenges. There are some challenges which face us, but 
there's no hurdle big enough for the American people not to cross. This 
is--we've got some mighty challenges to make sure the country is more 
prosperous and more hopeful and the world more peaceful. But sin duda, 
we're going to achieve what we need to achieve, porque este pais es un 
gran pais, with great values and great hope and great strength.
    The first challenge we have is to make sure people can find work. We 
want everybody working who wants to find a job. The challenge was 
created, really, because of a recession and an attack on America and the 
fact that some of our fellow citizens didn't realize that they needed to 
tell the truth all the time when it came to the numbers on their balance 
sheets. All three of those circumstances has created a challenge for the 
country. And the challenge is how to make sure the entrepreneurial 
environment is strong and steady, so that people are confident in taking 
risk, that small businesses are willing to take risk to expand.
    And so I put out an economic plan that addresses the challenges that 
we face. First, I want to remind you we responded to the recession by 
tax relief. We believe that if a person has more money in their pockets, 
they're likely to demand a good or a service. And when they do so in the 
marketplace, somebody is likely to produce the good or a service. And 
when that happens, somebody is more likely to find work. That's the 
premise of the economic policy we laid out in '01. I worked with the 
Republicans and Democrats to get the tax plan through.
    We responded to the attacks on September the 11th, 2001. We had 
terrorism insurance bill passed to encourage construction programs to go 
forward. We dealt with the airline issue. We got the stock market opened 
up quickly. And of course, then we liberated Afghanistan as we sought to 
bring justice to the killers of the thousands of Americans and others.
    We dealt with the corporate scandals by passing the law that clearly 
says that if you lie, cheat, or steal, that if you defraud a shareholder 
or an employee, there is going to be certain consequences.
    And so we made progress. But the economy still needs more work as 
far as we're concerned. And so I've gone to Congress, and I want to 
share with you quite quickly, quite briefly what I am asking Congress to 
    First of all, I think it's very important for us to focus on small-
business growth. We're interested in job creation. The first thing--the 

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