L. Paul Bremer, III
Weekly Address to the Iraqi People
1 August 2003
Drafted by Donald
R Hamilton: File on Hamiltons C Drive
I am Paul Bremer, Administrator of the Coalition Provision Authority.
This week I want to talk to you about four subjects: the death of Uday and Qusay, the continuing search for Saddam, economic conditions and the process which will bring about a government of Iraqis, by Iraqis and for Iraqis.
Most of you know that Coalition Forces killed Uday and Qusay in a firefight last week. Similarly, I am sure you know that we learned their whereabouts from an Iraqi informant.
This week, the United States Government approved paying that informant $30 million. This is the largest reward ever paid by the U.S. Government and payment was approved within one week. The informants identity will be protected forever. He and his family are now safely out of Iraq.
We continue to offer $25 billion for information leading to the capture or death of Saddam. We are prepared to respond to information about him as quickly as we were for information about sons.
If you know Saddams whereabouts, you can stay close to him and share his fate while someone else collects the $25 million. Or, you can collect the $25 million and let Saddam decide if he wishes to surrender or fight.
I am pleased to report some progress on economic matters.
Our plan to generate employment in irrigation and construction projects continues on track. These projects have already created tens of thousands of new jobs. Of course the projects not only create new jobs, but useful public works. Working with the Governing Council I will be focused on creating even more new jobs in the month ahead.
In the city of Baghdad every branch of the Rafidain and Rashid banks is open or its customers are served by a nearby branch. This work will continue until all parts of the country have full banking services.
Not all economic news is good. There is a shortage of diesel fuel and it will continue for several weeks.
The problem has three parts.
Refinery production has been limited at all three refineries during July due to sabotage by enemies of the Iraqi people and mechanical difficulties.
Second, there is a distribution problem getting diesel from Basra, where inventories are plentiful, to other areas of the country where it is needed. Also, this is good news, economic activity is picking up, thus increasing the demand for diesel.
Unfortunately, a lot of diesel is leaving the country illegally by smuggling. The Coalition, working with Iraqi officials has an aggressive program to stop these criminals who are stealing Iraqs wealth.
Iraqs state oil marketing organization has contracts for importing diesel but the shortage will continue for at least a few weeks more.
I know that many Iraqis are interested in understanding the path that leads to a full sovereign Iraqi government.
There is no reason Iraq should not have a fully independent government by this time next year.
Three steps are needed to reach that goal.
First, a Governing Council, a political body with real responsibility, had to be established. This was done three weeks ago.
Next, Iraq must have a written constitution. That constitution must provide for elections.
Those elections, which are the third step, must be carried out transparently so that the legitimacy of the resulting government is obvious to you, the people of Iraq, and obvious to the rest of the world.
How is this going to happen?
The Governing Council has appointed a preliminary committee to determine the best means for writing a constitution.
Writing a constitution is no easy task. In every society around the world different, legitimate rights come into conflict:
· Where is the balance between the right of an individual Iraqi to be let alone and the duty of the Iraqi state to protect its citizens?
· When does the right to express ideas become incitement to violence?
· How should Iraqis distinguish among:
o the power to create laws,
o the power to enforce laws,
o the power to interpret laws?
Iraqis must make these decisions after the Preliminary Committee and the Governing Council determines the best mechanism for writing the new constitution.
In the coming months, I expect peaceful, but intense discussion and debate on the form and content of new constitution. Once a constitution is in place, it will take some time to put the administrative process of elections into place. While that is going on, those individuals who wish to participate in government will no doubt be organizing in hopes of electoral victory.
The coalition will not control this process or its schedule. That is the responsibility of the Governing Council and whatever organization they create to write a constitution. It is possible that all this can be done in the space of one year, but that will be up to the Iraqi people.
Once a free, legitimate and sovereign Iraqi government is in place, the powers of sovereignty now exercised by the Coalition will be given to the elected Iraqi government. At that point, the Coalitions job will be over. We will work with Iraqis in the months ahead to move this process along as quickly possible.
Thank you very much.