Good morning. Ten weeks have passed since the fall of the Iraqi regime. Since
that time, our work in Iraq has focused on two goals. First, we are working
to make Iraq secure for its citizens and our military. Second, we are working
to improve the lives of the Iraqi people after three decades of tyranny and
Making Iraq secure is vitally important for both Iraqi citizens and our
own forces. The men and women of our military face a continuing risk of danger
and sacrifice in Iraq. Dangerous pockets of the old regime remain loyal to
it and they, along with their terrorist allies, are behind deadly attacks
designed to kill and intimidate coalition forces and innocent Iraqis.
Our military is acting decisively against these threats. In Operation Peninsula
Strike and Operation Desert Scorpion, our forces have targeted Baath party
loyalists and terrorist organizations. In Baghdad, more than 28,000 American
combat forces and military police are enforcing the law and arresting criminals.
We are also training Iraqis to begin policing their own cities.
As we establish order and justice in Iraq, we also continue to pursue Saddam
Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Military and intelligence officials
are interviewing scientists with knowledge of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs
and are poring over hundreds of thousands of documents.
For more than a decade, Saddam Hussein went to great lengths to hide his
weapons from the world. And in the regime's final days, documents and suspected
weapons sites were looted and burned. Yet all who know the dictator's history
agree that he possessed chemical and biological weapons and that he used
chemical weapons in the past.
The intelligence services of many nations concluded that he had illegal
weapons and the regime refused to provide evidence they had been destroyed.
We are determined to discover the true extent of Saddam Hussein's weapons
programs, no matter how long it takes.
To date, the United States has provided Iraq with more than $700 million
in humanitarian and reconstruction assistance. This month the World Food
Program is distributing food rations to about 25 million Iraqis. America
and our partners are also repairing water treatment plants to provide more
clean water. Each week, through our efforts, more electricity is made available
to more people throughout the country. And after years of neglect, Iraq's
4.2 million children under the age of five are receiving vaccinations against
diseases such as polio, measles and tuberculosis.
Iraq's long-term success also depends on economic development. Our administrator
in Iraq has announced a $100 million fund to pay Iraqis to repair buildings
and utilities. Billions of dollars taken from Iraqis by a corrupt regime
have been recovered and will be spent on reconstruction projects. Iraq is
already in the process of selling oil on world markets, which will bring
in much needed revenue to help the Iraqi people. This week the port at Umm
Qasar opened to commercial traffic, and Baghdad International Airport is
expected to reopen next month.
For the first time in over a decade, Iraq will soon be open to the world.
And the influence of progress in Iraq will be felt throughout the Middle
East. Over time, a free government in Iraq will demonstrate that liberty
can flourish in that region.
American service-members continue to risk their lives to ensure the liberation
of Iraq. I'm grateful for their service, and so are the Iraqi people. Many
Iraqis are experiencing the jobs and responsibilities of freedom for the
first time in their lives. And they are unafraid. As one Iraqi man said, "We
are ready to rebuild our country." For the people of free Iraq, the
road ahead holds great challenges. Yet at every turn, they will have friendship
and support from the United States of America.