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9/21/04 - IRAQI INSURGENCY  - 2004-09-21

As insurgents attempt to disrupt the emergence of a democratic Iraq, Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, putting themselves at risk. Iraqi men are becoming police officers and members of the new Iraqi army. Iraqis and coalition forces are responding aggressively to the violence perpetrated by remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime and foreign terrorists.

U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli says the insurgents are increasing their attacks in an attempt “to show that the United States, the multinational forces, and the government of Iraq are incapable of securing the country”:

“It is our firm commitment to confront that threat, to defeat that threat, and to set Iraq off on the course that the people of Iraq are looking for.” Iyad Allawi, Iraq’s prime minister, says elections scheduled for early 2005 will deliver “a major blow to the terrorists”:

“We definitely are going to stick to the timetable of the elections in January next year. We are adamant that democracy is going to prevail, is going to win in Iraq, and this is where the terrorists are trying to hurt us and to undermine us.”

President George W. Bush says that the violence will not prevent the emergence of a democratic Iraq:

“Despite ongoing attacks in Iraq, that country has a strong prime minister. They’ve got a national council, and they are going to have elections in January 2005.”

Iraq now faces a critical moment. As the Iraqi people move closer to governing themselves, the terrorists are likely to become more active and more brutal. “There are difficult days ahead, and the way forward may sometimes appear chaotic,” says President Bush. “Yet our coalition is strong, our efforts are focused and unrelenting, and no power of the enemy will stop Iraq's progress.”