L. Paul Bremer
Provisional Authority Administrator
Allah Bil Khair
I am Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
I want to talk to you about security. I know it is on your minds and it is certainly on mine. I think about your security hourly and take some action, some decision designed to improve your security every single day. Nothing is more important to the Coalition than your security.
What do we know about the security situation in Iraq today?
We know that three types of violence plague Iraq:
· First there is common crime, which affects all citizens. It has always existed, but is far worse than in recent years. This surge in crime is in large part due to Saddams sweeping release of some 100,000 convicted criminals. Even those of you who have not been physical victims have become victims of the fear of crime. Fear of crime has changed your lives for the worse.
· Next we have sabotage and armed attacks on both Coalition and Iraqi forces. While these attacks are crimes, their motive is primarily political. Those who carry out these crimes want to bring back the old regime or some similar tyranny. They do not share your hope for a peaceful, democratic Iraq. The political nature of these criminals puts them in a different category than those of common thieves and it makes catching them all the harder.
· Terrorism, the deliberate targeting of innocents to achieve a political end, is the third and perhaps most visible sign of insecurity. At the Mosque of Ali, at the United Nations compound and elsewhere, these terrorists have shed the blood of innocentsmost of them Iraqis. And do they care that they mostly kill Iraqis? Not at all. They want to take away your future of hope and replace it with their own dark vision.
Right now, almost all of you hope for an end to these three security problems.
Your hopes will be fulfilled.
The insecurity will end.
And how will the insecurity end?
The Iraqi people, the Governing Council and the Coalition all agree that Iraqis must play the main role in ending the insecurity.
More Iraqis must become involved in policing Iraq, involved in protecting you. Work on this began months ago and by now you see more Iraqi police on the streets. Right now there are 60,000 Iraqis out there protecting you.
More join them every day.
We will do our part. Right now the President of the United States is seeking $20,000 million dollars from our Congress for the reconstruction of Iraq. Thousands of millions of that money are intended specifically for new security forces, a new Iraqi Army and other security institutions that will continue long after Coalition Forces leave your streets forever.
Long before then, we would very much like to see Iraqis conducting the routine business of law enforcement: manning check points, investigating crimes, guarding buildings and patrolling the streets.
Coalition Forces try hard to conduct these duties, but you know the difficulties with language and social customs as well as I do. No foreign soldier will be able to spot suspicious activity as well as an Iraqi policeman-- an Iraqi who knows his neighbors, knows their language, knows the rhythms of Iraqi life.
However, the Coalition has the formal responsibility for law and order and Coalition Forces have an important role. Now and for many months to come, Coalition Forces are best equipped to conduct highly mobile operations against strongly armed criminals and terrorists. We intend to ensure that law and order return to Iraq. It is our responsibility and we will not shirk it.
The Coalition seeks a sensible division of labor between Iraqis and Coalition Forces until the day when Iraqis alone keep your streets safe from criminals and terrorists. We would like to form a security partnership with the people of Iraq. What is your role in the partnership? What is your role in bringing security to Iraqs future?
Iraqi security forces of all kinds are growing larger and stronger every day. The first battalion of the New Iraqi Army is already on duty. The next battalion started training two weeks ago. By next summer, the New Iraqi Army will have 27 battalions.
I urge men and women of good character to apply to the Army, the police, the Civil Defense Corps or the Facilities Protection Service. You can become an honorable protector of your values, your country, your family.
There is another way in which you, as an ordinary citizen, can help make Iraq a safer place. You can provide information about activities you know to be wrong.
Some of you know who the criminals are.
Some of you know who is attacking Coalition Forces.
Some of you know or strongly suspect who the evil-doers are. I ask that you with knowledge or well-founded suspicions consider the following:
· Attacks on the Coalition, International Organizations, and religious leaders damage no one so much as you, the people of Iraq.
· The bombing in Najaf killed a religious leader revered by millions along with over a hundred others.
· Attacks on Coalition Forces inevitably make them suspicious of other Iraqis.
· The driver of that truck bomb that destroyed UN Headquarters in Iraq was a terrorist murderer and those he killed were martyrs for peace, education and prosperity in Iraq.
If you agree that these acts hurt your country, why not seek out a member of the Coalition or an Iraqi policeman and tell what you know?
You may save lives; you will certainly create a better future for your country.
Every small step you take against the criminals, Saddam loyalists and terrorists brings security closer, brings prosperity closer, brings sovereignty closer, and brings closer your future of hope.
Mabruk al Iraq al Jadid.