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
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
• 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
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
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
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
They will lose because they have underestimated the resilience of the Iraqi
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
The war against terrorism is not over, but I am certain that democracy and
harmony will triumph over the evil-doers.