Wednesday, April 21, 2004
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes.
Q -- under the way that is understood in international law, true sovereignty?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. That will be an interim representative government. Obviously, on the security side, we've made it very clear that we are going to continue to help provide for the security and stability of Iraq going forward from that date. We will be there to make sure that there is a free and democratic and peaceful Iraq. That is part of our mission in Iraq. But on June 30th that will be the day to transfer sovereignty to an interim representative body that Mr. Brahimi has been talking about. And he's going to be coming back with some more specifics, as he said, in May on that interim representative body.
Q But the U.S. would still, in effect, be the --
MR. McCLELLAN: The Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist come that date.
Q But the U.S. will still, in effect, be the police force, the army, and the treasury of Iraq, right?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, no, I think that you have to look at this as working in partnership with Iraqi people. The Iraqi people want to see sovereignty transferred on June 30th. And that's what we have -- that's what we have committed to do, and that's what we will do because this is about helping the Iraqi people realize a brighter future.
And so we are going to continue working with Iraqi leaders. And we'll continue partnering with the Iraqi people to provide for their security and to help with their reconstruction, and to help move forward on the economic front, as well. There's a lot of important progress we're making. Obviously, these have been some tough times recently. But our resolve will not be shaken by a relatively small number of thugs and terrorists and Saddam loyalists who seek to derail --
Q But aren't these Iraqis defending their own land?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- who seek to derail this process.
Thank you. I've got to go.
Get me out of here. Whiskey! I mean, waiter! Whiskey, fifth, now.
The Iraqis inherently know what the press corp just asked -- we need to redefine the "soveriegn" nation as to an occupied one that is friendly to US policy. It's April 21, mark the date. The press corp may actually start to question, hint, allude, develop, and write about how this will be an occupation even after June 30th -- ho it will cost us much more money than the 1.7 billion and how it will cost us many more lives. Welcome to planet Earth, enjoy your stay.