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American Forces Press Service

Bush Calls Iraq Attacks a Response to U.S. Successes

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2003 -- The more successful the United States is in Iraq, the more the terrorists will attempt to undermine that success, President Bush said today from the White House.

Bush and his security team met with coalition administrator Ambassador L. Paul Bremer and U.S. Central Command chief Army Gen. John Abizaid this morning.

The meetings followed two days of attacks in Iraq.

Terrorists launched missile attacks against the Al Rasheed Hotel Oct. 26 that killed one American and wounded 15 coalition military and civilian personnel. Today, news reports indicate that as many as 40 Iraqis died in the suicide bombing of the international Red Cross building in Baghdad. Attacks also were launched against Iraqi police stations, news reports said.

"There are terrorists in Iraq who are willing to kill anybody in order to stop our progress," Bush said. "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react. And our job is to find them and bring them to justice."

Bremer said the American people shouldn't let the attacks dampen their support for the changes being made in Iraq. "We'll have rough days, such as we've had the last couple of days," Bremer said. "But the overall thrust is in the right direction, and the good days outnumber the bad days. And that's the thing we need to keep in perspective."

Bremer said the electricity is above pre-war levels, schools are open, hospitals are working and the political leadership of the country is coalescing.

Bush said a small handful of "cold-blooded killers, terrorists" are launching these attacks. "These people will kill Iraqis," he said. "They don't care who they kill; they just want to kill. And we will find them."

The president said the Iraqi people understand a handful of people are vested in the former regime and will do whatever it takes to stop this progress. "Our job is to work with the Iraqis to prevent this from happening," he said.

"That's why we're working hard to get more Iraqi policemen. That's why we're working hard to build up the Iraqi armed forces. That's why we're working hard with freedom-loving Iraqis to help ferret these people out before they attack and strike."

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