To the people of Iraq...I pray for your country, on behalf of my own. We made an awful mess and now are trying desperately to clean it up. But ultimately stabilization requires your full commitment. I have no doubt that such a proud, historic people will bounce back eventually; my hope is that you can do it sustainably, ethically, and sooner rather than later.
For your children's sake, I pray for your safety and the stability of your nation. Your future is uncertain, but I truly believe that economic development is your only hope. In the long run, we can not provide that for you. We can only give you the tools that you need to help yourselves. This is the work of community development, of not only handing out aid, but helping you figure out how to make our blood, sweat, tears and dollars work for you for years to come.
Your children will be there long after we leave. Let's work together to make their inheritance worth more than ethnic conflict and economic strife, more than devastation and foreigners in kevlar. Let's work together to make Iraq the model of development, community engagement, and economic progress that you so desperately want it to be.
To the people of Iraq... you are your future.