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9/21/03 - WORKING WITH THE IRAQI PEOPLE - 2003-09-22

In Iraq, the United States-led coalition enforced the demands of the United Nations Security Council. With Saddam Hussein’s regime removed from power, weapons of mass destruction will no longer be in the hands of a reckless dictator. The torture chambers in Iraq are closed and people who speak their minds no longer face arrest.

Now the U.S.-led coalition is working with the Iraqi people to build a democratic society. Iraq will be a country, says President George W. Bush, “that is an example of peace, not an exporter of violence”:

“You’ve seen how Saddam holdouts and foreign terrorists are desperately trying to undermine Iraq’s progress and to throw the country into chaos. You know, they understand that a free Iraq will be free of them, free of assassins and torturers and secret police. As democracy and freedom rise in Iraq, their ambitions will fall just like the statues of Saddam Hussein.”

Some sixty-thousand Iraqis are now helping to secure their country. Iraq’s new governing council represents Iraq’s diverse groups. Ninety percent of communities have local councils. In Baghdad, a city council is at work, chosen by all the neighborhoods. In the months ahead, the Iraqis will be drafting a new constitution. This, says President Bush, will prepare the way for national elections:

“With our help and with the great strength of its own people, Iraq is getting rid of the days of dictatorship and terror, and is moving toward a future of stability and freedom. And life is returning to normal for a lot of the citizens in Iraq.”

Terrorists know that if these efforts in Iraq are successful, their ideology of hate will be defeated. Their goal is to drive the coalition out of Iraq before the work is done. “They...will fail,” says President Bush. “We will do what is necessary to win this victory in the war on terror.”