L. Paul Bremer
Address to the Iraqi People
Taped 21 August 2003 For Broadcast at 2000 Local Time 22 August 2003
I am Paul Bremer, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Last week I told you that your future was full of hope. It still is, but there is no denying that this has been a hard week.
You all know of the sabotage of Iraqs oil and water pipelines and Tuesdays terrorist attack on the United Nations. These are hard blows, but you have withstood worse and your trials have made you stronger.
And make no mistake; it is Iraqis who absorbed the blows:
All those who died in the attack on the Jordanian mission were Iraqis.
Although bodies are still being pulled from the rubble, it appears that many of those who died in the attack on the UN were Iraqis.
The humanitarian mission of the United Nations, which is not part of the Coalition, has been damaged and slowed. One of the things the UN was working on was the restoration of electric power. The next time you are sitting in the dark, remember the bombing of UN headquarters.
More than 100,000 Iraqis lost all running water when a water main was sabotaged in Baghdad.
· Blowing up the oil export pipeline is costing Iraqis $7 million for each day the pipeline is closed.
Sometimes it is hard to grasp what you can do with $7 million. Let me put it this way:
· The money lost on Friday and Saturday could have renovated 400 primary schools.
· The money lost on Sunday and Monday could have renovated 130 courthouses.
· The money lost on Tuesday and Wednesday could have reconstructed two water treatment facilities big enough to bring safe water to over 200,000 people.
· The money lost on Thursday could have purchased 46 ultrasound machines to bring better health care.
· The money lost today, Friday, could have renovated a hospital.
That is the money already lost. Every day that pipeline does not pump means greater losses to you, the Iraqi people.
What can be done to bring you closer to the fulfillment of your hopes? What can be done about the threats you face daily?
More and better trained Iraqi police will begin to bring down the unacceptably high rate of common crime. They will begin to remove from the streets the carjackers, the rapists, the kidnapers and thieves that Saddam released from prison.
The saboteurs and terrorists are not common criminals, but can be equally dangerous. They sing a song of brave deeds, but stop and think:
How brave do you have to be to break a water pipe?
Where were they when Saddam had his foot on your neck?
Their aim is to make your lives miserable. Their plan is simple:
One: Make a bad situation worse by preventing you from getting electricity and fuel and water.
Two: Blame the Governing Council and the Coalition because you do not receive enough electricity and fuel and water.
Three: Reintroduce Baathism or introduce some fresh hell.
How will they be stopped?
Ultimately you, ordinary citizens of Iraq, will provide the information that the Iraqi police and the Coalition need stop them.
You understand too much to be swindled by the people who brought you Saddam and his family and his Baathist friends.
You are too smart to believe that the people who blew up UN headquarters, who destroy electrical line and oil and water pipes, are going to bring you security and prosperity.
What can you do to fulfill your hopes for the future?
You can improve the intelligence available to the Coalition and the Governing Council by reporting suspicious activities. Some of you know where the evil doers are. Tell us and well arrest them sooner, before they destroy more, before they murder more.
If you want to stop the violence,
if you want your oil to be sold so the money can buy school books and medicine,
if you want water to flow,
if you want more dependable electric supplies,
you can help. Report suspicious activity to the police or to the Coalition.
Your cooperation is needed. Otherwise the evil doers will respond with truck bombs, the evil doers will pour your oil and water onto the ground, the evil doers attacks will mean that schools and hospitals are not built as soon as they could be.
I spoke to you last week about hope, about an Iraqi future full of hope. The hope will be fulfilled.
The people of Iraq are not going to be denied a chance for a better life.
Even in this grim week, good things have continued to happen:
This past week Iraqis working for the city of Baghdad repaired the damage from the attack on the water main. Damage was severe and repairs were expected to take days. Instead, the workers had some water flowing in 12 hours and repairs were complete in 24 hours.
This past week work was completed on rehabilitation of the Baghdad Electric Distribution Centers at Al Karkh and Al Rusafah.
This past week work continued on a $5.1 million restoration of Rustimiyah South Sewage Treatment Plant.
This past week work continued in Kirkuk on the rehabilitation of four public health clinics serving nearly 95,000 people.
This past week work continued on a project to bring adequate irrigation to 35,000 farmers in the Wasit Governorate. The same project is bringing adequate drinking water to 3,000 residents of Abdallah village.
These are just a few examples of dozens of Coalition projects worth millions of dollars that are underway every day all over Iraq.
The work to build a better life for all Iraqis did not stop. That work will not stop.
The Coalition is going to stay until you can stand on your own feet, but not one day longer.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has announced that the UN is staying.
Turning your hopes into realities will take time. It will be difficult. But you have the strength to endure. You are creating a better future for you and for you children and their children down through the generations.