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11/25/03 - IRAQ’S FUTURE - 2003-11-26


The future of Iraq will be defined by the efforts of Iraq’s citizens. This is already happening. Iraq has a governing council which has appointed Iraqis to head ministries. Local councils provide self-government in Iraqi towns and cities. And a free press provides Iraqis with a wide variety of opinions.

Teachers can teach the truth, not Baathist propaganda. Iraqi courts are functioning. Banks are open and are making loans to Iraqi entrepreneurs. Training for more than thirty-five-thousand additional Iraqi police officers begins this month.

But after more than two decades of misrule by Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis remain hesitant. Remnants of the old regime and outside terrorists attack coalition forces, international aid workers, and Iraqi citizens. The U.S., says President George W. Bush, will stand by the Iraqi people:

“In terms of security, we will do whatever it takes to help Iraq develop into a free and peaceful country. That is our goal. And we will stay there until the job is done.”

President Bush says the terrorists are trying to create “the condition of fear”:

“They want people to fear them. They will lose that aspect of the battle because our will remains strong. . . We must use more Iraqis to gather intelligence and to be on the front line of securing their own country. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

President Bush says the coalition “will strike fast to bring killers to justice”:

“We will stay until the job is done. And the job is for Iraq to be free and peaceful. A free and peaceful Iraq will have historic consequences. And we’ll find Saddam Hussein.”

“By being strong and determined,” says President Bush, “we will achieve that objective.”

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