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9/26/03 - BUSH DESCRIBES U.S. ROLE IN IRAQ - 2003-09-26

The United States-led coalition is meeting its responsibilities to the Iraqi people. The Saddam Hussein regime had built palaces while letting schools decay. The coalition is rebuilding more than a thousand schools. The old regime deprived hospitals of resources. The coalition is helping to supply and reopen health facilities. Saddam and his cronies built up armies and bought weapons, while allowing Iraq’s infrastructure to crumble. The coalition is rehabilitating power plants, water and sanitation facilities, bridges and airports.

In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President George W. Bush said that, “The primary goal of our coalition in Iraq is self-government for the people of Iraq, reached by [an] orderly and democratic process”:

This process must unfold according to the needs of Iraqis, neither hurried, nor delayed by the wishes of other parties. And the United Nations can contribute greatly to the cause of Iraqi self-government. America is working with friends and allies on a new Security Council resolution, which will expand the U-N’s role in Iraq. As in the aftermath of other conflicts, the United Nations should assist in developing a constitution, in training civil servants, and conducting free and fair elections.”

Iraq now has a governing council and the Iraqi people are meeting hardships and challenges, says President Bush, “like every nation that has set out on the path of democracy”:

“Now the nation of Iraq needs and deserves our aid, and all nations of goodwill should step forward and provide that support. The success of a free Iraq will be watched and noted throughout the region. Millions will see that freedom, equality, and material progress are possible at the heart of the Middle East. Leaders in the region will face the clearest evidence that free institutions and open societies are the only path to long-term national success and dignity.”

Across Iraq, life is being improved by liberty. And, as President Bush points out, “Across the Middle East people are safer because an unstable aggressor has been removed from power.”