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Iraqi Prime Minister Calls Saboteurs Traitors

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2004 – Those seeking to damage or destroy the country's petroleum, water and electrical infrastructure are betraying Iraq, the country's prime minister declared today.

Terrorist attacks on Iraq's infrastructure, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said in Baghdad, have caused "hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and lost revenues" during the past several months.

For example, sabotage targeting the country's electrical infrastructure, Allawi pointed out, has "caused a nationwide loss of power of more than four hours per day."

The saboteurs are not patriots, he said. Rather, they are "terrorists and foreign fighters opposed to our very survival as a free state."

Anyone who commits acts of sabotage, the prime minister said, "is nothing more than a traitor to the cause of Iraq's freedom and the freedom of the people."

Iraq's oil industry, he reported, has been the target of 130 attacks over the past seven months.

"More than $200 million has been stolen out of the pockets of a sovereign Iraqi government," Allawi said, "through the loss of oil revenues resulting from attacks on pipelines."

Attacks on oil infrastructure have caused environmental damage, Allawi said. Some drinking-water supplies have been polluted because of leaking oil from sabotaged pipelines, he added.

"Every dollar made from the sale of Iraq's oil goes towards rebuilding our country," Allawi explained. Saboteurs "cause harm on our good people."

Allawi exhorted "Iraqi patriots" to be vigilant against saboteurs. "It is our people that are sitting in the dark because of these cowardly and traitorous attacks," the prime minister said. Soon, he noted, Iraq will be a sovereign nation.

"We owe it to future generations," Allawi said, "to leave this land better, stronger and more independent than before. Working together to defeat those saboteurs, we can accomplish this goal in a sovereign Iraq."

At the G8 summit at Sea Island, Ga., Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar told President Bush on June 9 of the Iraqi people's commitment to move toward democracy.

"We're determined to have free, democratic, federal Iraq," Yawar told the president at a news conference.

Iraq, Yawar said, is "a country that is a source of stability to the Middle East, which is very important for the rest of the world."

The Iraqi president also expressed his gratitude for the sacrifices made by United States and coalition forces during the liberation of Iraq.

"We are working with all our hearts to make sure that all these sacrifices of the Iraqis, as well as our friends in the coalition," haven't been made in vain, Yawar concluded.

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