Face of More Terror Attacks, U.S., British Leaders Say They Won’t
By Gerry J. Gilmore
Blair, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. President
George W. Bush and U.S. first lady Laura Bush (L-R) pose
in the Rose Garden at the White House after a joint statement
and press conference by the two world leaders.
by Jason Reed / Reuters
– Top U.S. and British leaders pledged their nations’ continued
support for a free and democratic Iraq despite terrorist attacks
by foreign invaders and all other obstacles.
long said Iraq is the front line of the war on terror as it became
known that Saddam funded suicide bombers and harbored infamous
terrorists in his country. Now, President George W. Bush,
with one of the most popular British Prime Ministers in the past
one hundred years, PM Tony Blair at a White House press conference
told reporters that he and PM Blair are resolved to stand fast
with Iraqis and will not "abandon them in their hour of need."
This statement is particularly significant since many Iraqis were
murdered after Desert Storm because Saddam was able to identify
the people that fought against him. Bush stated, "The prime
minister and I have made our choice," Bush declared. "Iraq
will be free. Iraq will be independent. Iraq will be a peaceful
we will not waver in the face of fear and intimidation."
the upsurge of violence directed against U.S. and coalition forces
in Iraq, noting, "The past few weeks have been hard and the
days ahead will surely bring their own challenges."
wounded boy is carried to an ambulance after one of several
car bomb explosions in the southern Iraqi city of Basra,
April 21, 2004. More than 60 people were killed, many of
them children, in coordinated car bombings of four security
posts that brought bloody chaos to Iraq’s southern city
of Basra on Wednesday, witnesses said.
Hassan / Reuters
on U.S. and coalition forces in the Fallujah region west of Baghdad
and against troops serving 100 miles south near Najaf, Bush said,
are part of "an attempted power grab by extremists and terrorists."
coalition, Bush vowed, "will not allow Iraq’s future to be
stolen by a violent few," adding Iraq’s people aren’t eager
"to trade one tyrant for another."
praised the courage of the Iraqi people and pledged the June 30
transfer of authority to a sovereign Iraqi government "will
be kept." On that date "the Coalition Provisional Authority
will cease to exist," Bush said, while "coalition forces
will remain in Iraq to help the new government succeed."
Britain have stood "side by side" since the Sept. 11,
2001, terror attacks, Blair observed, noting the two countries
are also united to see democracy established in Iraq.
plan to do this is clear and we shall see it through," the
British prime minister declared.
outlined some key points of U.S.-coalition political and military
strategy in Iraq:
"to do what it takes to win this struggle."
to the June 30 timetable of transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi
to enable Iraqis to take increased responsibility for their security
and law and order.
and encourage investment across the country to benefit all Iraqis.
the United Nations for it to have a "central role in developing
the program and machinery for political transition" to Iraqi
we will seek a new U.N. Security Council resolution to embody
the political and security way forward" in Iraq, Blair said.
the efforts of U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who visited
Iraq with other U.N. specialists to investigate ways to form an
interim Iraqi government after the CPA disbands and to assemble
the necessary infrastructure for upcoming elections in January.
to report his findings to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has
"identified a way forward to establishing an interim government
that is broadly acceptable to the Iraqi people," Bush noted.
coalition partners," the president continued, "will
continue to work with the U.N. to prepare for nationwide elections
that will choose a new government in January of 2005."
by the President and United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair