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7/16/03 - CREATING A STABLE IRAQ - 2003-07-17

The United States and its coalition allies are working with the new Iraqi governing council and the people of Iraq to improve security and the quality of life.

Without a stable environment, the Iraqis cannot quickly rebuild their infrastructure or easily protect it from sabotage. Those behind the violence are trying to prevent the coalition from helping Iraqis to create a democratic government, said U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

“There’s still a lot of people from the Baathists and Fedayeen, Saddam regime types who are there, who are disadvantaged by the fact that their regime has been thrown out, and would like to get back. But they’re not going to succeed.” Groups responsible for the continued violence in Iraq include remnants of the Baathist regime, foreign Islamic terrorists, and looters taking advantage of an opportunity to steal. There is also widespread criminality because last year, Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime suddenly released thousands of criminals from its prisons.

These elements are all trying to disrupt the rebuilding of Iraq. But they will not succeed, said Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld:

“What we’re doing [in Iraq] is important. And we’re making progress. And the more progress we make, I’m afraid, the more vicious these attacks will become, until the remnants of that regime have been stamped out.”

Iraqis are increasingly participating in establishing security. There are already some twenty-eight thousand Iraqi policemen on the streets throughout the country. Another part of reestablishing law and order is to get the judicial system up and running so that looters, saboteurs, and other criminals can be tried. This is already underway. And the coalition is working to recruit and train the new Iraqi army.

The coalition is committed to establishing a secure and democratic Iraq. The day is coming when the Iraqi people will be in charge of their own security. The day is coming when all Iraqis will live without fear of criminals, terrorists, or leftovers from the Baathist regime.