The Iraqi people themselves, more than anyone else, have made this day possible.
raq now is a sovereign nation because her people overwhelmingly chose to make this day possible. Without the support they've shown us after we helped to liberate them from decades of absolute dictatorship, and through all the difficult and trying moments heartlessly instigated by the most desperate but dying rejects of civilization, everything her people and those of her allies did together for the Republic of Iraq would have proved impossible.
Most other peoples would have given up or given out long beforehand in the face of such hardship. Civilization's enemies would have had a chance at succeeding against a people less strong and united in resolve and character. Its friends would have had to face futility. Iraqi is not a name any of them would be worthy of having.
Fifteen months ago, Iraq was entirely in the hands of a madman totally bent on subjugating his own people and threatening the world. The journey to this point has been short, arduous, and always hopeful. It has been unprecedented as well. The dictatorship is gone, Iraqis are free, their country is—really for the first time ever—theirs.
The journey continues to more freedom and more hope; and America will remain, as long as you wish us to be, your steadfast companion on that journey. Helping you are among the finest, most well-trained, most professional, and best equipped defenders of peace and freedom the world has ever seen, whose faithfulness and courage—like your own—stand in the starkest of contrasts to those aberrations of human failing, surprising only in how few there were, which no reasonable person could ever refuse to expect in so large an operation as ours and so large a country as yours.
God bless Iraq and her people and their allies.
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