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11/14/03 - POWELL ON IRAQ TERRORISM - 2003-11-14

Securing democracy in Iraq is the work of many countries. Thirty-one nations, in addition to the U.S., have contributed to the coalition’s efforts. These men and women are sacrificing for Iraq’s future. On November 12th, a truck bomb exploded at a police base in southern Iraq, killing eighteen Italians and more than a dozen Iraqis. At least eighty more were wounded.

Reconstruction is underway, and Iraqis are taking more responsibility for running their country. But security, says U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, remains a major concern:

“It’s a difficult situation, but we are confident that our commanders will get on top of it and our intelligence experts will be able to penetrate these remnants of the old regime who are trying to destroy the hopes and aspirations of the Iraqi people.”

The Iraqi people are seeing an improvement in their lives. As Mohammed Tahar al-Abid Rabu, a member of the city council in Mosul, told a reporter, "There is a certain harmony. But you cannot rebuild a city or country destroyed by war in one month."

”There will be ups and downs in attitudes and feelings,” says Secretary of State Powell, but the U.S. position is clear:

“We will remain long enough to make sure that the Iraqi people have the opportunity to put in place a government that is democratic, that will live in peace with its neighbors, that will use its oil revenues to benefit its people and not to threaten its neighbors. And when that day arrives, when Iraqis are prepared to resume full control, you can be sure that we will end the role of the Coalition Provisional Authority and return to normal relations with the new Iraqi state.”

This is a time for patience and a time for perseverance in Iraq. Building democracy is a massive undertaking. But, says President George W. Bush, “the establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.”