The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
October 16, 2003

Global Message

From CPA Administrator Bremer, Baghdad, 10/15/03

Considerable progress has been made in the six months since the liberation of Baghdad: -Electricity is back at pre-war levels. -Oil production is three months ahead of the plan. -Hospitals and schools are open.

But a great task remains before the Iraqi people and the Coalition: -Saddam Hussein and his cronies wrecked the political and economic structures of Iraq. -Their repression, military adventurism, corruption, and economic mismanagement have done staggering damage to the security apparatus and, especially, to the economic infrastructure.

The President's supplemental budget addresses these problems as part of a carefully considered plan that will yield results.

Giving the money to Iraq as a loan rather than as a grant, as some have suggested, would be a mistake. The people of Iraq already face a mountain of Saddam-era debt. We should not add to it. American Forces cannot be liberators and bill collectors at the same time.

Iraq is now at the center of our war on terror. We need to support rapid and sustainable economic progress in Iraq if we are to win this war.

Our investment now in Iraq will pay dividends here and in the region long into the future.

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