Governor Dean's Statement On Today's Bombings in Baghdad

October 27, 2003

“My deepest sympathies go out to the families of all those killed in the attacks and all those who have been injured. The attack on the Red Cross, an organization that is in Iraq on a purely humanitarian mission, is especially disturbing. I share the anger and outrage of all against those who would carry out such acts. They must be brought to justice.

“Today's attacks underscore the fact that we are not winning the peace. Let's be honest. Despite the hard work of US troops, we are failing in Iraq because this Administration has gone about it the wrong way from the start.

“I am fed up with the President's efforts to paint a rosy picture when the situation is so grim. From claiming success after a mediocre donors' conference in Madrid to blaming the news media for simply reporting on the reality of the situation, this Administration is doing everything it can to lead the American public to believe that we are on the right path. We are not.

“Despite their public relations offensive, President Bush and his Administration cannot continue to hide the truth from the American people. It is time for this Administration to immediately acknowledge its past mistakes and change course.

“Back in April, I issued a plan for Iraq stabilization and reconstruction, which has evolved as the situation has developed. Key tenets include:

Turning over planning and oversight of Iraqi reconstruction to Colin Powell and the State Department—time and time again, Rumsfeld and the Pentagon have demonstrated that they are incapable of overseeing the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.

Doing everything in our power to encourage our allies and friends to join us in Iraq, sending their troops, their money, and their expertise to accelerate the reconstruction process and to relieve the burden currently borne by American troops and taxpayers.

Prioritizing restoring law and order and the resumption of electricity, water, and sanitation services—they are fundamental to success in all other areas;

Developing Iraqi capacity to undertake key functions, employ available Iraqis with short-term public works projects, and get state-run enterprises up and running—even if the enterprises must be downsized and privatized later;

Awarding reconstruction contracts in a transparent and open process—not just to Halliburton—but to the best US or foreign bidder

We must change course now before it is too late. This Administration's mishandling of the situation in Iraq has created a fertile ground for terrorist activity, which did not exist before the war. The security of all Americans depends on the successful reconstruction of Iraq.”

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