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L. Paul Bremer
Coalition Provisional Authority
Statement to the Iraqi People
3 March 2004

Fiirst, I offer my condolences and those of the Coalition to the families of the dead, to the wounded and their families. Indeed, civilized people the world over join you in outraged grief.

Yesterday’s terrorist attacks match any ever perpetrated in their pure cynicism and their pure evil.

Their purpose was clear—incitement of sectarian violence among Iraq’s Muslims. In spite of the death toll, in spite of the wounded, as Iraqis from across the political spectrum have made clear in statements, the effort to provoke sectarian violence has failed and it will fail.

The Coalition and the United States are committed to helping Iraq win this war against terrorism. We offer our complete support to the Iraqi people and their security forces.

It is increasingly apparent that a large part of this terrorism comes from outside the country. And we are strengthening border protection to counter it.
• There are 8,000 border police on duty today more are on the way.
• We are adding hundreds of vehicles and doubling Border Police staffing in selected areas.
• The United States has committed $60 million to support border security.

These are practical measures and they will have an effect.

But I want to take note of the contrast between the events of Monday and Tuesday.

The Monday pre-dawn agreement on the Transitional Administrative Law demonstrated what can happen when a broad range of Iraqis work and talk and reason together with the goal of achieving justice, harmony and progress. This is the path to a democratic Iraq. A vision shared by an overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people.

Tuesday showed us the dark vision of the evil-doers. They fight to ward off harmony and are happy to pave the road to power with the corpses of their innocent victims. The terrorists are dead set against the vision of a democratic Iraq.

We know from the intercepted letter written by the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that he wants to provoke sectarian violence for the specific purpose of thwarting the movement towards democracy. Zarqawi wrote that democracy was coming to Iraq and that once Iraq was democratic there would be no pretext for attacks.

Zarqawi and like-minded terrorists are in a losing race against time.

They will lose because they have not thwarted the desire of the Iraqi people for democracy.

They will lose because they have underestimated the resilience of the Iraqi people.

And they will lose because they have underestimated the willingness of the Coalition to support the Iraqi people.

After the mourning period is over the Transitional Administrative Law, with the region’s broadest guarantees of individual liberties, will be signed.

On June 30, the Coalition will hand over sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

Next year there will three elections ending in a directly elected sovereign Iraqi government.

The war against terrorism is not over, but I am certain that democracy and harmony will triumph over the evil-doers.


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