Thursday, September 23, 2004

How safe is Iraq?

More from the Prime Minister Allawi and George W Bush's Press conference in Rose Garden.

Can you belive the contrast what the "Prime Minister" is saying about the provinces and what the BBC journalist are reporting from Southern Iraq:

But here are some other statistics. Last month, the British Army fired 100,000 rounds of ammunition in southern Iraq.

The base in al-Ammara sustained more than 400 direct mortar hits.

The British battalion there counted some 853 separate attacks of different kinds: mortars, roadside bombs, rockets and machine-gun fire.

No British regiment has had such intense "contact", as they call it, since Korea. ]


PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, please.

PRIME MINISTER ALLAWI: Let me explain something, which is very important. I have noticed -- and the media have been neglected and omitted several times -- in the Western media -- Iraq is made out of 18 provinces, 18, 1-8. Out of these 18 provinces, 14 to 15 are completely safe, there are no problems. And I can count them for you, starting from Basra moving into Iraq Kurdistan. There are three areas, three provinces where there are pockets of insurgents, pockets of terrorists who are acting there and are moving from there to inflict damage elsewhere in the country.

So, really, if you care to look at Iraq properly, and go from Basra to Nasiriyah to Kut to Diyala to Najaf to Karbala to Diwaniya to Samaraa to Kirkuk to Sulaymaniyah to Dahuk to Arbil, there are no problems. It's safe, it's good. There are problems in Fallujah. Fallujah is part of a

province; the province is called Al Anbar. It's vast, very big; it has many other important towns, such as Ana, such as Rawa, such as Ramadi. There is nothing there. In Ana and Rawa, indeed, there is nothing, no problem, except on a small pocket in Fallujah.

So, really, I call upon the responsible media -- throughout the world, not only here -- to look at the facts as they are in Iraq and to propagate these facts to the international community.

I am not trying to undermine that there are dangers. There are dangers in Iraq; there are problems, and we are facing international terrorist onslaught on Iraq. I, personally, receive every day a threat. In the last four weeks, they found four conspiracies to kill me. And, likewise, there are killing people -- they are killing officials, they are killing innocent people. But the Iraqis are not deterred, and we are not going to be deterred. I went the next day and saw our recruitment center for the police, after they killed, massacred 40-45 people. I found hundreds of people coming to be volunteer -- to volunteer to the police and to the army. I spoke to them. They are all upbeat. They are resolved to beat terrorism and to defeat the insurgents.

These are facts that one really needs to explain to you and you need to explain it to the people.

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