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3/24/03 - A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR IRAQ - 2003-03-24

U.S. and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. The more than thirty countries in the coalition seek an Iraq that is democratic, unified, and has no weapons of mass destruction.

Once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed, said President George W. Bush, the U.S. and its allies are committed to Iraq’s economic and political reconstruction:

“We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization, and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.”

The U.S. has earmarked nearly sixty-million dollars to assist the people of Iraq after the war is over. The U.S. has provided one-hundred-five million dollars to help the United Nations and non-governmental organizations provide relief supplies for Iraq. And the U.S. has put aside more than six-hundred—thousand metric tons of food for Iraqis who need it. Marc Grossman, U.S. Under Secretary of State, said that once Iraq is liberated, the U.S. is committed to re-establishing aid and other social services to the Iraqi people.

“We plan to work in close partnership with international institutions, including the United Nations, our allies, our partners and bilateral donors, to bring about a new Iraq, and we also propose that the [U-N] Secretary General be given authority on an interim basis to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people continue to be met through the Oil-for-Food Program.”

The U.S. and the coalition of the willing intend to liberate the Iraqi people, not to occupy Iraq or control its economic resources. As U.S. Under Secretary of State Grossman said, the people of Iraq “have the right to have the opportunity to run their own lives in a system that they define.”