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L. Paul Bremer

Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator

Address to the Iraqi People

For Broadcast 21 November 2003


Ramadan Mubarak

I am L. Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Your future of hope draws nearer. 

The Coalition and the Governing Council have agreed on a process to bring you sovereignty in about seven months. 

Under the agreement the occupation of Iraq will end at the end of June 2004.  At that time, you will have a representative interim government selected through a broadly based consultative process. 

The political structures in Iraq will be outlined in a basic law that assures individual rights for all Iraqi citizens and defines the process by which your government will be formed.  In the weeks ahead, the Governing Council will engage in broad, public debate about key elements to be included in the basic law.  I urge each of you to participate in that discussion.  The law will be agreed to and published by the end of February 2004. 

The transitional government will remain in office for about 18 months.  At the end of 2005 that government will be replaced by a  government you will have elected under a constitution written by a directly elected assembly.  It will be a constitution written by Iraqis for Iraqis.

When sovereignty returns to Iraq in seven months the Coalition Provisional Authority disappears.  The nations of the Coalition will be represented here through the normal mechanisms of diplomacy—through embassies. 

There is no doubt that this path, the path to democratic, sovereign independence, is the one that almost all of you want to follow.

Although almost all Iraqis are pleased with this movement toward democracy and independence, a violent few resist progress and freedom for you.

From some attic or cellar or bunker Saddam the fugitive from justice recently recorded a message in response to the announcement of a specific date for your sovereignty.  Saddam the fugitive nourishes fantasies:

  • He has a fantasy that he will avoid the Coalition and Iraqi forces that pursue him.
  •  He has a fantasy that he and his thieves and murderers will return to power.
  • He has a fantasy that you will follow him in jihad against the Coalition. 
  • He has a fantasy that he and his thieves are “the sincere sons of Iraq,” and that they “should return by the free will of the people to manage the affairs of the country anew.

Saddam the fugitive and his thieves have no vision of hope for the future.  They have only fantasies of a return to the awful past— the past of violence, coercion, death.  And they want to lead you down that path again.

Do they think the Iraqi people have forgotten? 

  • Which of your families cannot name someone whom Saddam the fugitive murdered or made to disappear?
  • Which of your families cannot name the son or brother or  nephew who died in Saddam the fugitive’s immoral wars against Iran and then Kuwait?
  • Which of your families did not suffer greater impoverishment as Saddam the fugitive and his thieves built pharonic palaces and collected Ferraris?

During the quarter century Saddam the fugitive and his murderous thieves ruled Iraq you saw what they did.  You watched your loved ones die, watched your purses shrink and watched your country become ever more isolated in the world. 

You, the people of Iraq, know who deals in fantasy—and murder—Saddam the fugitive. 

Another of those who deals in fantasy, who deals in murder is Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.  He has been instrumental in attacks on you and on the Coalition alike.  To speed up his removal, the Government of the United States is offering $10 million—about 15,000 million dinars—for information leading to the capture or death of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.

The person who located Uday and Qusay for the Coalition is now living in another country with millions of dollars.  The person who provides us the information on al-Douri will have the same opportunity.

In Ramadan, a time for humility, Saddam the fugitive says he and “the great sons of Iraq … led you to where God wanted it to be in all walks of life and achieved great …progress…” 

The Best of Judges will best judge if Saddam is “a great son of Iraq.” 

But until the day when the Best of Judges offers his verdict, ask what life in Iraq was like 25 years ago.  And then ask yourself, what was life like one year ago?  Five years ago?  Ten years ago?  It is clear that Saddam the fugitive  led Iraq from peace and wealth to war and more war and isolation, poverty and misery.

But today’s poverty is not tomorrow’s poverty.  Yours is a rich country that is temporarily poor and that is changing every day for the better.  And that change will come faster and faster until you are once again at peace at home, at peace with your neighbors and quietly enjoying the rewards of your labors. 

Yours is a future of hope.

Mabruk al Iraq al Jaded

Ramadan Kareem


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