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Baghdad Police Academy
Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, February 23, 2004

 Rumsfeld: I don't know if in Iraq they use this phrase but the phrase I'd like to start with is, "At ease."  (Laughter.)

 

     All right. Now we can get at it.  (Applause.)

 

     First I'd like to hear what you think of your instructors. Do you give them an A or a B or a C or a D? Let's hear it for A.  (Cheers, A’s and applause.)

 

     I'm here to say thank you to your instructors as well, and God bless them.  We appreciate what they do. They've come halfway around the world to be here with you and to work with you and I appreciate it and the American people appreciate it. And I must say that the coalition countries who are participating in the training of police in this country and in other countries, I see some of them standing here, you can hardly not see this one standing here.   (Laughter.)   We thank them as well.

 

     Now I'm told that gathered here in this courtyard are the graduates who will be graduating on March 4th I think I was told, in a week or two, so I want to say congratulations to you in advance. I know that you're all volunteers. Each of you have raised your hand and said you want to help your country. Each of you recognized (Inaudible.) against Iraq. In 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, people will look back, Iraqis will look back, and they'll look back on this period and they'll look back on each of you and know in their hearts that what you've done is to help build a new Iraq, an Iraq that's free, an Iraq that's whole, an Iraq that's at peace, an Iraq that is a friend to its neighbors, and that you, each of you, and you'll be able to tell your children that you were a part of that. And as they benefit from this new country and its success, they'll feel pride in you and pride in their country.

 

     Thanks to each of you. I wish you all well.

 

     (Applause and loud cheers.)

 

     Voice:  He is wishing them well.  He says this is the new Iraq we want to live for, and everybody responded Amen.

 

     Rumsfeld:  I agree.

 

     (Applause.)