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Bush: Top US Goal is Restoring Security in Iraq - 2003-06-21

Ten weeks after the fall of the Iraqi regime, President Bush says the top goals of the U.S. military in Iraq are to restore security and improve the lives of the Iraqi people.

In his weekly Saturday radio address, Mr. Bush said his first priority is to make Iraq secure for its citizens and coalition forces. He said the U.S. military is acting decisively to eliminate threats from pockets of Saddam Hussein loyalists, who have been blamed for near-daily attacks on U.S. soldiers.

He said his second goal is to improve the lives of the Iraqi people, who have expressed frustrations about the slow pace of restoring electricity and other services. Mr. Bush says Washington is providing more than $700 million for food, medical and reconstruction assistance.

Mr. Bush also said the search will continue for weapons of mass destruction, saying he is determined to discover the true extent of the former Iraqi leader's weapons programs, a major U.S. justification for launching the war.

Mr. Bush said he hopes the influence of progress and freedom in Iraq will be felt throughout the entire Middle East, proving that with time, democracy can flourish in that region.