The Corner

On Iraq

The work of building a new Iraq is hard, and it is right. And America has

always been willing to do what it takes for what is right. Last January, Iraq’s

only law was the whim of one brutal man. Today our coalition is working with

the Iraqi Governing Council to draft a basic law, with a bill of rights. We are

working with Iraqis and the United Nations to prepare for a transition to full

Iraqi sovereignty by the end of June. As democracy takes hold in Iraq, the

enemies of freedom will do all in their power to spread violence and fear. They

are trying to shake the will of our country and our friends–but the United

States of America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins. The killers

will fail, and the Iraqi people will live in freedom.

Month by month, Iraqis are assuming more responsibility for their own

security and their own future. And tonight we are honored to welcome one of

Iraq’s most respected leaders: the current President of the Iraqi Governing

Council, Adnan Pachachi. Sir, America stands with you and the Iraqi people as

you build a free and peaceful nation.

Because of American leadership and resolve, the world is changing for the

better. Last month, the leader of Libya voluntarily pledged to disclose and

dismantle all of his regime’s weapons of mass destruction programs, including a

uranium enrichment project for nuclear weapons. Colonel Qadhafi correctly

judged that his country would be better off, and far more secure, without

weapons of mass murder. Nine months of intense negotiations involving the

United States and Great Britain succeeded with Libya, while 12 years of

diplomacy with Iraq did not. And one reason is clear: For diplomacy to be

effective, words must be credible–and no one can now doubt the word of

America.