I leave Iraq gladdened by what has been accomplished and confident your future is full of hope.
I think there really is no shortcut to sovereignty.
I think we Americans, of all people, understand the importance of a good, legal, constitutional framework as the basis of political life.
These people hate the United States, not for what we do, but for who we are and what we are.
I think the Iraqi people have shown extraordinary patience and courage in the last few months. They have really put a political system on the way to success, to a real democracy here.
I think what we've learned is that the terrorist threat is serious, but it shifts. You cannot make a single person the sole focus of your counterterrorism.
If you look back today over the last 25 years, it is a fact that we have had a progressive degeneration of our intelligence community in general; in particular in the field of human intelligence.
Saddam spent 35 years stealing and wasting money, and all of these systems are very fragile and brittle, and you try to fix one thing and something else gets in trouble.
Iraq is a better place, absolutely worth it.
We've thrown out Saddam and Saddam, dead or alive, is finished in Iraq.
You know, the country is basically peaceful.
When the new wave of terrorism came on the modern world, which is the late 1960s, early 1970s, I think we spent about a decade, the United States and our allies, trying to figure out how to deal with it.
I hope they're going to learn, and as a result of our response, that it isn't going to work. They're not going to change our life, they're not going to have us throw out our Constitution, and they're not going to chase us out of the Middle East.
Iraq has become, for better or for worse, the front on the war on terrorism, and so we've got to do this, and I can understand why congressmen and senators would take their responsibility seriously, but I think in the end we'll get the money.
It is certainly not unrealistic to think we could have elections by mid-year 2004 and when a sovereign government is installed - my job here will be done.
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