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Rice Condemns Terrorist Attacks, Says Coalition Must Stay the Course

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2003 – National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice condemned the recent spate of attacks in Iraq, saying it demonstrates "the depravity" of the terrorists while reinforcing more than ever the need for the international community to stay the course in advancing a free, democratic Iraq.

"Why attack people who are trying to deliver goods and services to the Iraqi people?" Rice asked rhetorically at an Oct. 30 briefing at the New York Foreign Press Center. "It's because they have no regard for innocent life none."

Rice told foreign journalists the attacks, particularly those against Red Cross and United Nations workers and innocent Iraqis, expose the terrorists "for exactly what they are: brutal killers, many of them who suppressed and maimed and raped and tortured Iraqi citizens under Saddam Hussein, and who want to opportunity to continue doing it if the coalition does not stay (in Iraq)."

The terrorists' goal, Rice said, "is to sow fear and chaos. They hope that we will leave before the job is done." That's something she insisted the United States and its allies in Iraq and around the world refuse to do.

"President Bush has made clear the danger of allowing these difficulties to undo the tremendous progress that has been made so far," Rice said.

She emphasized the importance of continued commitment to the president's three fundamental objectives in Iraq: to improve security by aggressively hunting down those attempting to undermine progress in Iraq, to work with the international community and the Iraqi people to rebuild Iraq, and to accelerate the orderly transfer of sovereignty and authority to the Iraqi people.

"The world has a responsibility and (a) historic opportunity to help the Iraqi people build a just and decent and modern and democratic state in the heart of the Middle East," Rice said. "We are determined to meet our responsibilities and to seize that opportunity."

International support for Iraq's rebuilding continues to grow, Rice told the reporters. She cited the unanimous passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1511, which she said, "demonstrated the world's resolve that liberty and stability will prevail in Iraq."

Another major step forward, Rice said, is the financial commitment the international community is making toward Iraq's future. Last week in Madrid, 73 countries and 20 international groups pledged more than $33 billion in aid for Iraq.

"Nearly six months after the liberation of the Iraqi people, freedom and democracy is being built in Iraq day by day, brick by brick," Rice said. "Along with our international partners and the Iraqi people, we are accelerating the process by which Iraqis will assume full responsibility for the future of their country."

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