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I sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, not to make them American. Iraqis will write their own history and find their own way.
George W. Bush
A large majority of Americans believe that the U.N., not the U.S., should take the lead in working with Iraqis to transfer authentic sovereignty as well as in economic reconstruction and maintaining civic order.
All Iraqis can unite to defeat terrorism and can unite to rebuild the country.
The good news from the U.S. military survey of focus groups is that Iraqis do accept the Nuremberg principles. They understand that sectarian violence and the other postwar horrors are contained within the supreme international crime committed by the invaders.
The national unity government will need to implement a program that brings all Iraqis together, builds a happy future for the people of Iraq, and gets Iraq to stand on its own feet.
Are Iraqis ready to carry the responsibility for their country? Is Iraq ready to be its own master? We want to be the masters of ourselves and to carry our responsibilities in this region.
Status anxiety definitely exists at a political level. Many Iraqis were annoyed with the US essentially for reasons of status: for not showing them respect, for humiliating them.
Alain de Botton
I saw Kuwait many times before the war. I remember it as a beautiful place, full of very nice people, and it's a tragedy to see that somebody could set out to deliberately destroy a country the way the Iraqis have.
Every year, millions of people from Iran and Iraq travel to each other's countries, and we also have marriages between Iraqis and Iranians. Many Iranians were born in Iraq, and many Iraqis were born in Iran. This is a kind of special, cordial amicable ties.
There is no doubt that Iraqis, like Australians and Americans, love and desire freedom. However, if freedom doesn't mean the right to complete self-determination, unfettered by interests other than one's own, then that freedom is less than worthless - it's oppression.
As I've said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis' future.
The U.S. is not constructing a palatial embassy, by far the largest in the world and virtually a separate city within Baghdad, and pouring money into military bases, with the intention of leaving Iraq to Iraqis.
The obvious objections to the execution of Saddam Hussein are valid and well aired. His death will provoke violent strife between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and between Iraqis in general and the American occupation forces.
If one does not wish to take the word of journalists, human rights groups, and the United Nations that Iraq conducted a deliberate campaign to eradicate the Kurdish population, there's always the word of the Iraqis themselves.
The fact is that America's weapons systems have made it impossible for anybody to confront it militarily. So, all you have is your wits and your cunning, and your ability to fight in the way the Iraqis are fighting.
I am confident that in the end freedom and democracy will prevail over terror and tyranny. We will win this war on terror - and when we do Americans, the British, Iraqis, and people around the world will be more secure.
I am so sick of reading about another car bomb, another suicide bomber, another 10, 20, 30, 70, 100 people dead in a day, both Americans and Iraqis.
Just two weeks ago, millions of Iraqis defied the threats of terrorists and went to the polls to determine their own future. I congratulate the Iraqi people for the courage they've shown in making these elections so successful.
Faced with the collapse of Iraq into something like Lebanon - or worse, Somalia - the Bush administration opted for a new counterinsurgency strategy. Violence was reduced because, for the first time since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Iraqis felt that there was a force capable of dominating the situation and ensuring basic order.
American POWs from the last Iraq war, who were held prisoner and tortured by Iraq, are now being prevented by our government from suing the Iraqis who tortured them.
Shortly after we arrived in Baghdad, we had another conversation with the ambassador. He said that he wanted us to give him the timeline, because we had 90 days to get these prisons operational and transfer responsibility back to the Iraqis.
In addition to a timeline, I have proposed that U.S. troops be removed from front line combat positions in Iraqi cities and towns, turning over daily security patrols, interactions with citizens, and any offensive security actions to the Iraqis themselves.
I think the American people have been surprised by the enthusiasm with which the Iraqis have taken to elections and politics.
We have exhausted all of our diplomatic effort to get the Iraqis to comply with their own agreements and with international law. Given that... we have got to force them to comply, and we are doing so militarily.
As we continue to fight the war on terror, we express our gratitude to our troops whose valor over the last three years provided freedom to the Iraqis, while protecting our liberty here at home.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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