For Immediate Release
April 6, 2004
From remarks by President Bush to the traveling press corps, Charlotte, North Carolina, 4/5/04
"We were tested in Fallujah, and the desire for those who do not want there to be a free and democratic Iraq is to shake our will through acts of violence and terror. It's not only our will, it's the will of other coalition forces and it's the will of the Iraqi people." -- President Bush, 4/5/04
The closer we come to the June 30 deadline in Iraq, the more likely it is that people will challenge our will. They will use the deadline as a convenient excuse to attack the coalition and Iraqis who believe in democracy.
Muqtada al-Sadr and his followers are deciding that rather than allow democracy to flourish, he will use force. We can not let that stand. The CPA has announced a warrant for Sadr's arrest.
There will be tests in the coming period while sovereignty is handed over to the Iraqi people. The coalition was tested in Fallujah, and the desire for those who don't want a free and democratic Iraq is to shake the coalition's will through acts of violence and terror.
Many Iraqis have been targeted in the violence. Al Qaeda affiliate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi made it clear that part of the strategy was to turn Shia on Sunni by killing innocent Iraqis.
We will stay the course. The Iraqi people don't have to fear taking the risk toward freedom and democracy because America won't turn and run.