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I urge the Iraqi leadership for sake of its own people... to seize this opportunity and thereby begin to end the isolation and suffering of the Iraqi people.
Three big assumptions proved wrong: one, that the Iraqi people would welcome us as liberators; two, that oil would soon pay for Iraqi's rebuilding; and, three, that we have plenty of troops, weapons, and equipment for the postwar situation.
We've persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people - a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it's time to turn the page.
In the Gulf War, U.S. Marine Corps wheeled vehicles were killing Iraqi T-72 tanks.
No matter what you think about the Iraq war, there is one thing we can all agree on for the next days - we have to salute the courage and bravery of those who are risking their lives to vote and those brave Iraqi and American soldiers fighting to protect their right to vote.
The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan. Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces.
The United States was seriously defeated in Iraq by Iraqi nationalism - mostly by nonviolent resistance. The United States could kill the insurgents, but they couldn't deal with half a million people demonstrating in the streets.
I took a trip in 2004, a year after the war started in Iraq. I played music on the streets of Baghdad for Iraqi civilians. I'd also play for U.S. soldiers at night when they were off duty in the bars. Then I would talk to people, and I would film them and ask them about their life and the conflict.
Nevertheless, I do know that we are part of a danger zone, we have military operations in Afghanistan and we're training the Iraqi police force. The terrorists also have us in their sights.
It's what the Iraqi people are going through right now. They have encountered a victorious, hostile force-but, you know, there they still are. There their culture is, there their history is, they're not going anywhere.
Reparations - not just aid - should be provided by those responsible for devastating Iraqi civilian society by cruel sanctions and military actions, and - together with other criminal states - for supporting Saddam Hussein through his worst atrocities and beyond. That is the minimum that honesty requires.
I am an opponent of Saddam Hussein, but an opponent also, of the sanctions that have killed a million Iraqi children and an opponent of the United States' apparent desire to plunge the Middle East into a new and devastating war.
We got rid of a terrible dictator. We gave the Iraqi people an opportunity for a new life under a representative form of government.
In the remaining months, we should focus on achieving more robust international involvement in training of Iraqi soldiers, police officers, judges, teachers, and doctors - all key elements needed to end the sectarian and civil conflict and build Iraq's future.
Of course, violence will not end with our combat mission. Extremists will continue to set off bombs, attack Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife. But ultimately, these terrorists will fail to achieve their goals.
Iraqi national identity under Saddam Hussein never truly incorporated Shiites or Kurds. Sunnis, who identified most closely with the Iraqi nation, remain in some ways disenfranchised relative to the other groups, or at least they perceive themselves that way.
I dare say there may be some men and women in the Armed Forces who are so decent that they would say: Give the Iraqi people money, we do not want to be paid back. That is the strength of our country.
The steep decline in America's image and standing after 9/11 is a direct reflection of global distaste for the instruments of American hard power: the Iraq invasion, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, torture, rendition, Blackwater's killings of Iraqi civilians.
In light of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, critics are arguing that abuses of Iraqi prisoners are being produced by a climate of disregard for the laws of war.
The job of training an Iraqi police force is one of the most important tasks being undertaken in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is also one of the most difficult.
Human-rights advocates, for example, claim that the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is of a piece with President Bush's 2002 decision to deny al Qaeda and Taliban fighters the legal status of prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.
What our men and women in uniform are doing is providing for the Iraqi people and other surrounding nations the opportunity to see, to taste and to experience the democracy that equals freedom and ultimately justice.
And we are grateful to the American young men and women who are risking their lives to give the Iraqi people this chance, this dream of democracy in Iraq now.
The Iraqi regime was supporting terrorist cells all over the world. We had to expel three Iraqi diplomats from the Philippines because of evidence that they were either in touch with Abu Sayyaf or doing their own espionage.
The Iraqi people are living a long-running tragedy because of the legacy of the old regime, the Americans and their actions that are unsuitable for Iraqi society, and the weakness of national resolve.
I call on the international community to be fair to the Iraqi people. My position is that we respect international resolutions but in return demand justice and accountability for those who stole Iraq's money.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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