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9/5/03 - UNITED TO HELP IRAQ - 2003-09-06

Saddam Hussein's brutal regime spent more than three decades oppressing Iraq's people, attacking Iraq's neighbors, and threatening the world's peace. The regime tortured at home, promoted terror abroad, and armed in secret. Now, with the regime of Saddam Hussein gone forever, a few remaining holdouts are trying to prevent the advance of order and freedom. But they will not succeed.

President George W. Bush said that the United States has assumed great responsibilities for Iraq’s future. Yet, the U.S. does not bear these responsibilities alone. Twenty-nine other countries have already contributed twenty-three thousand soldiers to help make Iraq secure. On September 3rd, a multinational division under Polish command assumed responsibility in the central region of Iraq. Secretary of State Colin Powell says that the U.S. welcomes “the contribution made by other nations”:

“This is all part of the President’s strategy of making sure that this is an international operation. He has said that from the very beginning. It was a problem that was brought to the international community last September. We worked it through [United Nations] Resolution 1441, and after the conflict we began working once again with the international community through the U-N, through Resolution 1483, which encouraged nations to contribute to the peacekeeping and stability efforts, and then Resolution 1500, a few weeks ago, which welcomed the creation of the Iraq Governing Council."

The U.S. is committed to playing a lead role in Iraqi reconstruction. But, said Secretary of State Powell, “a dominant role doesn’t mean the only role”:

“There are many roles to be played, and we believe that every peace-loving nation in the world, every nation that would like to see a more stable Middle East, that would like to see a democracy arise in that part of the world, would want to play a role. Whether one might call it dominant or not dominant, it’s important for us to come together as an international community.”

As President Bush said, “The people who yearn for liberty and opportunity in countries like Iran and throughout the Middle East are watching and they are praying for our success in Iraq.”