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L. Paul Bremer, III

Open Press Conference
23 August 03

Introductory Remarks

This week I mourn the death of my friend and colleague Sergio Vieira de Mello.

This week I mourn the deaths of the other 22 murdered when terrorists bombed UN Headquarters in Baghdad.

This week I mourn the deaths of all those murdered in the effort to prevent recovery and progress in Iraq. 

But let me say this. Those yearning for the return of Baathism will be disappointed. Those seeking the imposition of some fresh tyranny will fail. 

They may pull off an operation or two or even ten, but they will fail.

* * * * *

There is no denying that to all appearances the week that began with the bombing of the oil pipeline and ended with the bombing of UN Headquarters was a grim one. 

But beneath the surface was a swelling tide of good news.

This past week Iraqis working for the city of Baghdad repaired the damage from the attack on the water main in less than 24 hours. Repairs had been expected to take days. 

This past week work was completed on rehabilitation of the Baghdad Electric Centers at Al Karkh and Al Rusafah.

This past week work continued on a $5 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 Wasit province. The same project is bringing adequate drinking water to 3,000 residents of Abdallah village.

And, This past week the Coalition captured Chemical Ali and, on the day of the bombing, one of Saddam’s Vice Presidents. We have now captured or killed 39 of the 55 most wanted individuals.

These are small, specific examples from a vast array of positive developments every day all over Iraq.

Throughout Iraq 1,000 primary schools will be rehabilitated by the Coalition in time for the opening of the school year. 

As those schools open, the Coalition will distribute 5 million new math and science textbooks. 

Scores of projects like these are not just continuing-- they are accelerating across the country.

Let there be no doubt. 

The Coalition is working full time with the Iraqi people to reconstruct Iraq and to bring a better, more hopeful life to all Iraqis. 


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