July 1st will be a turning point in the history of Iraq. On that day, full sovereignty will be transferred from the Coalition Provisional Authority to Iraq’s interim government.
In spite of attacks by terrorists and Saddam Hussein loyalists, Iraq is making progress. Iraq’s economy is beginning to grow, and democracy is beginning to take hold. Most Iraqi cities are now run by governing councils chosen by citizens. More than one-hundred-seventy newspapers are being published in Iraq. Dozens of political parties have been formed. The people of Iraq, says President George W. Bush, have “seen firsthand the power of liberation”:
“Iraq’s new leaders are rising to their responsibilities. That’s what you’re seeing. They’re assuming responsibility. Our coalition and the United Nations are working to prepare the way for national elections. The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to endorse the Iraqi interim government and their plans for political transition.”
Thugs and killers are trying to prevent the emergence of a democratic Iraq. But President Bush says, “Iraq will never return to the dark ages of tyranny”:
“As the interim government assumes sovereignty and Iraqi security forces defend their country, our coalition will play a supporting role. And this is an essential part of our strategy for success. Terrorists who attack a self-governing Iraq are showing who they really are. They’re not fighting foreign forces. They’re fighting the Iraqi people. They’re the enemies of democracy and hope. They are enemies of a peaceful future for Iraq.”
“These people who are doing these things are the armies of darkness,” says Ghazi al-Yawer, Iraq’s interim president. “The major good thing,” says Mr. Al-Yawer, is Iraq “got rid of the most vicious regime that established a dynasty of villains.”