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Helping Iraqis Help Themselves

According to news reports, some two-hundred Iraqis, mostly women, held a rally outside the Green Zone, the area in Baghdad encompassing the Iraqi government and some embassies and other offices. The demonstrators asked that Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition do more to end the terrorist attacks and provide assistance to the tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens who left their homes because of sectarian violence.

President George W. Bush says "The Iraqi people need to know that we stand with them":

"There's some difficult days ahead because there's still terrorists there who are willing to take innocent life in order to stop the progress of democracy."

Mr. Bush says that Iraq's new government, headed by Prime Minister-designate Jawad al-Maliki, is "full of energy and they're very eager to succeed":

"This new government is going to represent a new start for the Iraqi people. It's a government that understands they've got serious challenges ahead of them."

The new Iraqi government, says Mr. Bush, "represents the wishes of the Iraqi people":

"Last December, millions of people defied the terrorists and killers, and said, we want to be free. We want a unity government. And now what has happened is, after compromise and politics, the Iraqis have come together to form that government."

"The enemy is resorting to desperate acts of violence because they know the establishment of democracy in Iraq will be a double defeat for them," says President Bush. "First, it will deny the terrorists their immediate aim of turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taleban -- a safe haven where they can plot and plan more attacks against free nations. Second, in the long term," Mr. Bush says, "a democratic Iraq will be a major blow to the terrorists' hateful ideology, because it will send a powerful message across the region that the future of the Middle East belongs to freedom."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.