U.S. Administrator Insists Iraq Not In Chaos
Bremer Says Recent Attacks in Iraq Do Not Indicate Chaos
Defense Department Report, August 20: Iraq Operations Update
Washington -- The U.S. civil administrator in Iraq said August 20 that the bombing of the United Nations field headquarters the day before in Baghdad, an attack on the Jordanian embassy two weeks ago, and attacks on water and oil pipelines indicate a strong element of terrorism in Iraq, but "that does not mean chaos."
Ambassador Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, said "I don't accept the proposition that we're not in control. We certainly have a threat of terrorism."
"I don't know who makes the assessment that things aren't in control," he said. "It's clearly not the view of the coalition here. We have a security problem here. The security problem now has got a terrorist dimension, which is new, but the rest of the security is basically in better shape than it was three months ago when I arrived here."
In separate television interviews with CBS News and NBC News, Bremer said these attacks are not new to the United States, saying it is the type of terrorist attacks seen at the Pentagon and in New York in 2001, at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and in Lebanon over the years.
He said the ongoing war against terrorism is "a war that we will win. It's not something that we're going to get deterred from by an attack here, bad as it was."
There are two hypotheses about who launched the attack August 19 on the U.N. mission headquarters that killed at least 20 people and injured approximately 100 in an apparent suicide bombing -- one is that it was done by remnants of the defunct regime of Saddam Hussein and the other is that it was done by terrorists from outside Iraq. He acknowledged that so-called "soft targets" like the Canal Hotel where the U.N. mission to Iraq is housed are much harder to secure than a military installation.
Bremer said U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan acknowledged in a press briefing August 20 that there is no such thing as 100-percent security against terrorism, but he said the investigation into the attack will continue.
"We're doing the best we can. But it's quite clear we do have terrorists inside Iraq now," he said.
Terrorism does not mean chaos, but it does mean an outrage against humanity, Bremer said, "and it is something we have to deal with, and we will deal with it."