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Bush message beamed to Iraqis

Pentagon to broadcast messages to Iraqis

From Suzanne Malveaux
CNN Washington Bureau

Bush's address is part of a Pentagon-produced nightly presentation aimed at Iraqis.
Bush's address is part of a Pentagon-produced nightly presentation aimed at Iraqis.

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President Bush and PM Blair Thursday addressed the Iraqi people, telling them that Saddam's regime is no longer in power.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a videotaped message broadcast Thursday to the Iraqi people, President Bush said, "At this moment, the regime of Saddam Hussein is being removed from power."

Bush's statement is part of a two-and-a-half minute message that was broadcast from Baghdad at 10 a.m. EST, 6 p.m. Baghdad time.

A senior administration official said Bush videotaped the message Tuesday before leaving Belfast, Ireland, after his summit with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Blair also taped a message and both were broadcast Thursday, with Arabic subtitles. It is part of a what will be a nightly newscast, produced by the Pentagon, which will air in Iraq between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. daily.

At Thursday's U.S. Central Command briefing, Air Force Maj. Gen. Gene Renuart said U.S. forces have been working hard to get broadcast capability into Baghdad, and are "working aggressively to find the context within the city and the country who would like to begin an Iraqi broadcast network."

A Pentagon published newspaper also will be distributed to the Iraqi people, starting Saturday.

In his message, Blair said, "We did not want this war, but in refusing to give up his weapons of mass destruction, Saddam gave us no choice [but] to act. Now that the war has begun it will be seen through to the end."

In addressing the Iraqi people, Bush said, "The long era of fear and cruelty is ending. The government of Iraq, the future of your country will soon belong to you."

He concluded his remarks by saying, "You deserve better than tyranny, corruption, and torture chambers. You deserve to live as free people. And I assure every citizen of Iraq, your nation will soon be free."

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