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'Your Nation Will be Free,' Bush Tells Iraqis

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2003 – U.S. and coalition forces operating in Iraq will not stop until "Saddam's corrupt gang is gone," President Bush told the Iraqi people this morning.

"Our only enemy is Saddam's brutal regime and that regime is your enemy as well," Bush said in an address aired via "Towards Freedom TV," which broadcasts in Arabic directly to the people of Iraq.

The program also aired an address by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who told the Iraqis the coalition aims to help alleviate immediate humanitarian suffering and to quickly set up an interim authority run not by Britain, the United States or the United Nations but by the people of Iraq.

"We want to give you the chance to rebuild your country; to rebuild your lives; to give your families a chance of a better future," he said. "It is in the spirit of friendship and goodwill that we now offer our help."

Bush told the Iraqis that coalition forces are taking great care to spare the lives of innocent Iraqi citizens and are beginning to deliver food, water and medicine. He highlighted the coalition's goals to end the regime's control, maintain law and order and respect Iraq's religious traditions.

The president told the Iraqi's their "long era of fear and cruelty is ending." The United States and its coalition partners will help Iraq build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens, he said, "and then our military forces will leave.

"You will be free to build a better life instead of building more palaces for Saddam and his sons, free to pursue economic prosperity without the hardships of economic sanctions, free to travel and speak your mind, free to join in the political affairs of Iraq," Bush said.

Kurds, Shi'as, Turkomans, Sunnis and other Iraqis "will be free of the terrible persecution that so many have endured," the president concluded. " And I assure every citizen of Iraq: Your nation will soon be free."

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