L. Paul Bremer
Coalition Provisional Authority
the Iraqi People
I am Paul Bremer, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
As we approach Ramadan, the month of forgiveness and mercy, I encourage those of you old enough to do so to recall Ramadan before Saddam. Recall the special character of what was a peaceful month during which family ties were reaffirmed. Then look forward to the Ramadan not far in the future when a free and sovereign Iraq enjoys internal tranquility and peace with all its neighbors.
This Ramadan you are free, many things have improved in recent months, but we all know that not everything is as it should be.
Yet, you must not lose hope. Especially during Ramadan you must not lose hope.
You must not lose hope because you have seen the evil one go.
You, the Iraqi people, whom the evil one was bound to protect, he instead tortured, he instead murdered.
You, the Iraqi people, whom the evil one was bound to feed, he instead starved.
You, the Iraqi people whom the evil one was bound to lead in peace, he instead led into foolish wars, wars which poured your blood into the sand.
When the people of the world asked the evil one to stop he sneered.
When the people of the world demanded that the evil one stop, he threatened them and fought them.
And when the evil one fought them, he fought them in your name, with your money and your blood and the blood of your fathers, your mothers and your children.
But when the enemies the tyrant drew close, he took your money and he fled your justice like a common thief and coward.
The end of tyranny gives you a future of hope.
Today the evil one evades those who pursuebut not because he believes he can return. He evades, he hides he runs because he fears your justice, justice in a court you are devising for him and his fellow evil-doers. And he will face that justice. He will pay for his crimes against Iraq and you, the Iraqi people.
Saddams tyranny is dead. Never again will he rule the cradle of civilization. Never again will he trample the rule of law in the Hammurabis birthplace.
And the wealth of the land gives you a future of hope.
Your land, this wonderful land between two rivers, abounds in riches. A land naturally wealthy from civilizations earliest days now returns from poverty with new investment in water for your fields and schools for your children and hospitals for your sick.
And pride in your past gives you a future of hope.
Iraq, the land between two rivers is the cradle of civilization, home to:
· Abraham, the father of all the people of the book,
· the Code of Hammurabi, the first known law,
· the Caliphate, which absorbed and expanded the knowledge of the known world.
And the support of the world community gives you a future of hope.
The world shares this hope for Iraqs futureshares your confidence that you can return Iraq to the greatness it has known.
This week the United Nations, through a resolution of the Security Council, joined the Governing Council and the Coalition in calling for efforts to restore and establish national and local institutions for representative government.
The Security Council also resolved that Iraq should have a new constitution and called for preparation for the conference through national dialogue and consensus-building as soon as practicable
You have great tasks before you as you and other Iraqis devise a form of government which will:
· prevent the rise of a new tyrant,
· end advantage arising from religion or ethnicity, and
· achieve equality of opportunity for all men and women.
Now, as never before in your lifetimes, your future is full of hope. In this blessed time, we share a common vision that:
· You will live in dignity.
· You will live in peace.
· You will live in prosperity.
· You will live in the quiet enjoyment of family, of friends, and of a decent income honestly earned.
· You will live in an Iraq governed by and for Iraqis.
These things will come to pass.
These things will come to pass because you, the people of Iraq, will make them come to pass. By calling on your great past, you, the Iraqi people, will build a great future, a future of hope.