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 Home > News & Policies > May 2003

Renewal in Iraq

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2003

Global Message

Across most of Iraq, life is getting better:

  • The regime of fear and oppression is gone;
  • The Shi'a of Iraq can honor their religious traditions for the first time in decades;
  • Town councils and local politicians are already starting to meet and openly and freely select their leaders;
  • Water quality today is better in Basra than it has been for years, and more Iraqis today have access to electricity than ever before.

A number of problems still remain, and we will continue to address them - in particular, the problem of law and order in Baghdad.

Saddam released some 100,000 prisoners onto the streets last October. Many of these people were political prisoners, but some were violent criminals. It's time these people were put back in jail, and that's where we will put them.

Police are now coming back to work, and we're starting to train them. In the old days, they received their orders from on high in Saddam's regime. In the new Iraq, they will answer to the Iraqi people.

Those who used their power to repress the Iraqi people are being removed from office. We will soon take further steps to root out Ba'athists and Ba'athism from Iraq forever.

We will ensure that representations of Saddam Hussein and other Ba'athist symbols are removed systematically from public display. And we will work with the Iraqis to set up a process of bringing Ba'athist officials to justice for their past crimes.

The Coalition will work to provide the conditions for Iraqis to govern themselves in the future. We will work with responsible Iraqis to establish a government representative of all Iraqi people.