Bush Congratulates Iraqi People: Transcript

January 31, 2005

Here’s a transcript of President Bush’s remarks yesterday congratulating the Iraqi people on their historic day. The president began this way:

Today the people of Iraq have spoken to the world, and the world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East.

In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists. They have refused to be intimidated by thugs and assassins. And they have demonstrated the kind of courage that is always the foundation of self-government.

Don’t underestimate the profundity of the words taken together: “great numbers,” “great risk,” and “courage.” A turnout of 72% of the registered voters is remarkable enough on its own — especially from people liberals would have us believe resent us as “occupiers” — but to have this kind of turnout when they were risking their lives, is just spectacular in every sense of the word.