L. Paul Bremer, III
Coalition Provisional Authority
Arabic Language Press Conference
2 August 2003
As prepared for
It is a pleasure to see you again.
Before taking your questions I would like to mention a few items of special interest:
· Saddams criminal regime fell roughly 90 days ago. and he is not coming back.
· As Iraqis have come to recognize that Saddam is finished, they are coming forward in increasing numbers. All over the country local police and small units of the Coalition Forces are receiving tips about where the criminals can be found.
· In the most famous case, someone told us where to find Uday and Qusay. Uday and Qusay were dead within hours. Less than two weeks later we paid the informant $30 million and relocated the informant and his family outside Iraq.
· We going to get Saddam too. The only question:
o Who is going to move to another country with $25 million in hand?
* * *
We continue our efforts to ease the transition of former military personnel into Iraqi society.
· Almost 200,000 former military officers and non-commissioned officers have been paid their stipends.
· In September we will pay a $40 to each of the Iraqi Armys approximately 300,000 conscripts. We will be providing further information on this and ask that you make your readers, listeners and viewers aware of this.
* * *
Our efforts to revamp and revitalize the economy are showing results:
· All parts of Baghdad now have banking services from the Rafidain and Rashid Banks. The customers of those branches not now open are served by nearby branches of the same bank.
· Job creation programs in irrigation and road construction continue. These programs not only provide income to tens of thousands of families, they also help build a strong infrastructure so that all Iraqis can enjoy a more prosperous future.
· Increased economic activity has increased the demand for diesel fuel. Unfortunately, production and transportation problems have created a shortage of diesel that is likely to last for several weeks.
* * *
· Sabotage at the refineries is one of the reasons for the diesel shortage. I would like to address refinery sabotage briefly:
o Sabotage in a refinery hurts the people of Iraq most of all.
o When the diesel shortage makes an Iraqi wait three hours in 45-degree heat for a bus, that Iraqi should ask himself:
§ Are those who destroy refinery capacity acting on my behalf?
§ Are they helping my family?
§ Are they helping Iraq?
· The answer is obvious: Saboteurs are the enemies of Iraq and its people.
Thank you and I welcome your questions.