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[casi] interview w/ Bremer

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Note: it is the 25 person, US-appointed so-called 'Iraqi Governing Council'
that is writing the constitution. And this is called democracy.

Note also how Bremer refers to Iraqi oil industry as "our oil production" -

Bremer: Stakes 'Extremely High' in Iraq

Wednesday, August 27, 2003; Page A20

Excerpts of remarks by L. Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition
Provisional Authority in Iraq, during an interview yesterday with Washington
Post editors and reporters:

The importance of success in Iraq: "I think the stakes are extremely high in
getting it right in Iraq. . . . This has become one of the main fields of
battle against global terrorism, and we cannot allow the terrorists to have
their way there. Secondly it is an important place to succeed because it
does provide a new model of how governments in that region can organize
themselves to be responsive to the needs of their people, in short,

Water and power systems: "The U.N. estimates that to get a more or less
satisfactory potable water system in the country will cost $16 billion over
four years. The 2,000 megawatts we need to add now just to meet current
demand will cost $2 billion, and the engineers tell me we probably should
spend about $13 billion over the next five years to get the power system [in
good order]."

Oil industry: "We intend to get our oil production back to prewar levels,
which was between 2.5 and 3 million barrels a day of production. We intend
to get back there by October of next year. We may get there earlier if we're
lucky, we may get there later if we have more sabotage. What is important is
that the Iraqi people realize that the oil revenues belong to them."

The 25-member Iraqi Governing Council: "I think they're doing okay. They
basically have several important tasks: to appoint a cabinet, to approve a
budget for 2004, [and] they are responsible for figuring out how to get a
new constitution written. We can't have elections at the moment because
there is no constitutional provision for elections. So they're going to have
to figure out how to get a constitution written."

Timetable for elections: "I've said don't think it's unrealistic to think
you could write a constitution in six or eight months. If it took them six
or eight months to write a constitution and then it takes a couple of more
months to organize elections, you could imagine that happening next year,
but it's not my timetable."

Security: "There are three elements to the security situation. There is
first of all the attacks on the coalition forces themselves. There is
secondly terrorism and there is thirdly crime. On the attacks on the
coalition force themselves, these attacks have been small-scale. They pose
no strategic threat to the United States or to the coalition forces. . . .
They are being conducted by Baathists. . . . The second security threat and
the one that is I think now of considerable concern is the growing terrorist
threat. We have seen it in the last six or eight weeks, essentially two
elements of the terrorist threat. One, of the arrival of what you could call
foreign terrorists, foreign fighters, who carry documentation from places
like Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and who may be linked in some ways to elements of
the Baathist types. It's not very clear. And then of course we have the
arrival in the country of scores of Ansar al-Islam terrorists who are
associated with al Qaeda."

Protecting U.S. forces: "First of all we are trying to get a much better
sense of the enemy, and that involves getting better intelligence, whether
it is against the guys attacking our forces, the terrorists or the
criminals. And in order to do that, I've got a more focused effort within
the U.S. government on intelligence, and we are encouraging more cooperation
from the Iraqis. One of the encouraging things in the last month or so has
been the number of Iraqis who have been willing to come in and give us
information. The second thing we are doing is we are reconfiguring our
forces. We need forces and we're moving toward forces which are lighter,
which are more mobile, which can move around the country and strike at will
against the enemy."

Training police and security personnel: "We are making a major effort to get
the Iraqis more involved in their own security, and this has basically four
dimensions. First, get a competent, large Iraqi police force on the ground.
Secondly, we are calling back the border police and the border patrols so
that we can start to get better controls over our borders. Thirdly, we have
recruited a new force called the facilities protection service. Their job is
to protect fixed sites, around banks, or a university or a ministry.
Fourthly, we have started to recruit the new Iraqi army. Fifth, we have
begun to raise an Iraqi civil defense corps. The intention is to have a
battalion of Iraqi civil defense in each of the 18 governances within the
next six months. We now have probably just short of 60,000 Iraqis already
involved in defending their own country, and it will be well over 100,000 a
year from now."

Search for weapons of mass destruction: "[CIA adviser] David Kay has now got
about 1,200 people in country working for him on weapons of mass
destruction. He's making progress. . . . I'm confident we will find evidence
of the biological and chemical programs."

Capturing Saddam Hussein: "Obviously, we'd like to have him, dead, or
capture him. He moves around, we think, a fair amount. We keep after him.
We'll get him and it is important to get him, because it's important to draw
the curtain down on the Baathist history in this country."

C 2003 The Washington Post Company

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