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 Home > News & Policies > June 2003

Renewal in Iraq

For Immediate Release
June 11, 2003

Global Message


President Bush’s remarks in the Oval Office, 6/10/03

  • I am troubled by the recent Israeli helicopter gunship attacks.
  • I regret the loss of innocent life.
  • I'm concerned that the attacks will make it more difficult for the Palestinian leadership to fight off terrorist attacks.
  • I also don't believe the attacks help the Israeli security.
  • I've been in touch with all parties in the region.
  • I am determined to keep the process on the road to peace.
  • I believe with responsible leadership by all parties, we can bring peace to the region.
  • I emphasize, all parties must behave responsibly to achieve that objective.


"As I look back over my first month here, I think we have come a long way in repairing some of the damage of the past. We now need to focus on building a brighter and better future for the Iraqi people."
--Ambassador Bremer, 6/10/03

Bremer announced two initiatives: a Business Support and Information Center, to be based in the Baghdad Convention Center, and a $100 million construction fund to help pay for Iraq's infrastructure.

The business center will:

  • Identify and try to meet the most pressing needs of the business community
  • Provide information and answer questions for business owners
  • Facilitate contacts between international investors and the Iraqi private sector

The $100 million construction fund will:

  • Employ local workers on urgent construction projects
  • Rebuild or refurbish ministry and other government buildings
  • Complete public works projects which were under way before the war, and which Iraqi advisers judge to be urgent

"Repairing the damage inflicted by the last regime - material, human and psychological - is a huge task; a task in which we will only succeed if we have a real partnership between the coalition, the international community and the Iraqi people."
--Ambassador Bremer, 6/10/03


A (London) Guardian commentator acknowledges that U.S. soldiers did not stand by and watch the looting of the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad.

Refuting claims of the former director of the Iraqi National Museum, The Guardian points out that academics and intellectuals were quick to believe - and journalists jumped to report - claims that some 170,000 antiquities from the museum were looted during the war. Some even believed that American soldiers were involved.

"So, there's the picture: 100,000-plus priceless items looted either under the very noses of the Yanks, or by the Yanks themselves. And the only problem with it is that it's nonsense. It isn't true. It's made up," says The Guardian.

The correspondent concludes: "...these days, you cannot say anything too bad about the Yanks and not be believed."