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L. Paul Bremer

Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator

Address to the Iraqi People

For Broadcast 31 October 2003

I am Paul Bremer, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

The evil-doers have attempted to turn this most blessed month of the year, a time for reflection, prayer and renewal of faith, into a time of terror and murder. To use, at the beginning of Ramadan, a vehicle with the Red Crescent as a murder vehicle tells us all we need know about these killers.

The deliberate targeting of the neutral International Committee of the Red Cross makes it clear that terrorists wish, through terror and murder, to isolate you from the world.

They want the Coalition, the United Nations, the international media, the Red Cross and Red Crescent to leave Iraq. The evil-doers, the murderers, want you alone, as you were under Saddam, with no witnesses around.

And with that isolation, darkness would return, the darkness that would again hide the wicked acts of the evil-doers from the world’s view.

They want no one to see them line their mass graves with your bodies. 

They want no one to see the bulldozers covering the living and the dead alike. 

They want no one to see the women and children choking on poison gas. 

I know that you reject the evil-doers’ dark vision. When I speak to Iraqis, I hear the same thing that samples of public opinion tell us: The vast majority of Iraqis want a future of hope. They want to choose their own leaders, to say what they think without fear, and to extend tolerance and understanding to those whose beliefs are different.

The Coalition shares your vision of what can be in Iraq, what must be in Iraq, and what will be in Iraq.

We want you to fulfill your future of hope.

Even as the evil-doers bring blood and the murder of innocents to Ramadan, some of your hopes have already been fulfilled.

For the first time in a quarter-century, going back to before most of you were born, Iraqi men, women and children are free to celebrate Ramadan as did your ancestors down through their generations. 

Today’s evil-doers may temporarily be able murder the innocent, but Saddam and his cronies are gone. Never again will they rule the Land Between the Two Rivers.

You, the people of Iraq will rule. 

You will rule through those you elect to represent you. And those elections will be fair, open and honest. 

You and the whole world will be able to watch, be able to see that the elections were properly conducted, that the votes were properly counted. 

The coming government will be an Iraqi government, elected by Iraqis to protect the interests of Iraqis.

Nor will you be at the mercy of that government once you elect it. That government’s powers will be limited by a new constitution—a constitution written by and for Iraqis.

This wonderful vision of your future of hope will prevail. You will have freedom and sovereignty. 

And the Coalition will stay with you. We will shed our blood with yours until Iraq has its own Army, and its own government—a government by, of and for Iraqis.

Mabruk al Iraq al Jadid

Ramadan Kareem