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9/28/04 - BUSH AND ALLAWI  - 2004-09-29

It has been three months since the emergence of a sovereign Iraq. But remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime and foreign terrorists are using suicide bombings, beheadings, and other horrific acts to try to block progress. “We’re sickened by the atrocities, but we’ll never be intimidated,” says President George W. Bush:

“The Iraqi people are showing great courage and great determination. As terrorists have attacked Iraqi security forces, still more brave Iraqis have come forward to volunteer to serve their country. As killers have attempted to assassinate government officials, Iraq’s leaders have refused to be intimidated, and the vast majority of Iraqis remain committed to democracy.”

Iyad Allawi, Iraq’s prime minister, says “terrorists understand all too well that success in Iraq will be an enormous blow for terrorism worldwide”:

“We face a concentrated campaign by terrorists and by the enemies of all the values which we hold dear, a campaign to shake our resolve, and to prevent Iraq and Iraqis from attaining the freedom and democracy which we have dreamed of for more than the last thirty years.”

Mr. Allawi made it clear that despite the terrorists, national elections will be held in January:

“The Iraqi elections may not be perfect. They may not be the best elections that Iraq will ever hold. They will undoubtedly be an excuse for violence from those who disparage and despise liberty, as were the first elections in Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Indonesia. But they will take place, and they will be fair.”

In Iraq, “There will be good days and there will be difficult days. But every day our resolve must remain the same,” says President Bush. “Iraq, America, and our coalition will stand firm, and Iraq will be free.”