Blasting Peace…Paul Bremer Reacts

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

This is a partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, August 19, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.

Watch Special Report With Brit Hume weeknights at 6 p.m. ET

BRIT HUME, HOST: Viewers of FOX News' coverage of these events today have seen repeatedly a picture of the top U.N. man, whose life has been lost in this, coming outside of a building. And standing next to him in those pictures, the top U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, who no doubt regarded him as a friend. He joins me from Baghdad (search).

Mr. Ambassador, your reaction to the death of Sergio Vieira de Millo (search).

PAUL BREMER: Well, he was a very good friend and I extend my deepest sympathy to his friends and relatives. I have lost too many friends to terrorist attacks in the last years, and this is just the latest one. It is a perfect outrage.

HUME: What is your suspicion, Mr. Ambassador, based on the kind of attack this was and what you now know about it as to see who may have done it.

BREMER: It's hard to know who would have done it, Brit. It's really a vicious attack against a group of people who, after all, had only one calling in life, which was to help the Iraqis try to rebuild their country. These people had no political motive. They were Iraqis; they were Brazilians, they were people from all over the world who came here to help rebuild Iraq.

So, the attack has to be seen as an attack on the Iraqi people, an effort to stop the reconstruction here and it has to be part of…seen as part of this worldwide fight against terrorism, which America must take the lead in defeating. Whether it is here in Iraq or wherever else it comes.

HUME: Does this look, sir, to you more like the kind of thing you have been receiving from the resistance forces such as they are in Iraq? Or does this, to you, bear more the earmarks of terrorists coming in from outside?

BREMER: It's a bit early to speculate. But this certainly was a very large bomb. I was down at the scene earlier and it was a very large bomb. It's not impossible it was somebody from inside the country. I think we need a little more information before we can judge it.

I might say that one of the striking things being down there at the scene was to see large numbers of Iraqis, civil defense people, working side by side with our forces and with others, the Iraqi police, pulling people out of the rubble and they pulled a woman out alive just after I got there. And it's…it is really important to remember that this was an attack, a terrorist attack on the Iraqis and the Iraqis were down there working to try to save the U.N. (search) lives.

HUME: Who, Mr. Ambassador, is responsible for the security of the U.N. facilities there? I've heard it suggested in the course of the coverage today, that this was the responsibility of the coalition. Whose responsibility was that building's security?

BREMER: The coalition has responsibility for the overall safety and security of the general environment in Iraq. But we have made clear earlier that we could not secure every single diplomatic mission in the city because our troops have other obligations as well.

HUME: I've also heard it suggested today, Mr. Ambassador, that the U.S. forces…or the U.S. would…have discouraged the U.N. from bringing in security personnel adequate to the task or U.N. force. Is that true?

BREMER: No, that certainly isn't the case. We have encouraged everybody who's here to take prudent security mess…measures and I have no knowledge about anything like that.

HUME: Tell me if you're…as best you can how, in your estimation, this is likely to affect the atmosphere there in Baghdad and in Iraq generally. Is this…is this going to, in your view, contribute to a sense that this whole enterprise we have over there, the occupation, the chaotic situation that exists in some parts of that country; is this likely to create a sense that this is a place for the rest of the world to stay away from? Or would you believe that this might bring world opinion together on the idea that there is a terrible scourge there in Iraq that must be taken on by the world? What's your sense of that?

BREMER: Well, I can tell you that the reaction of the Iraqis I've spoken to, and I took three members of the Governing Council (search) with me down to the site this evening, the Iraqi people are outraged by this because they see it first as an attack on peace-loving people from the United Nations. But they also see it, quite correctly in my view, as an attack on the Iraqi people and on the efforts to reconstruct Iraq.

And I think we will find that the Iraqi people, like the U.N. and certainly like the United States, is going to buckle down and say we have to redouble our efforts to succeed here and to see through this noble enterprise that the coalition has undertaken of freeing the Iraqi people and putting them back on their feet.

HUME: There is going to be, obviously, further efforts to get the Americans to send in more forces. It will be said, I think, inevitably, that if the U.N. building was not secured, no facility around that country is secure, that the vulnerability even is growing and worsening as betokened by this attack. What is your response to that?

BREMER: I think it is too early to make any judgment on whether we have to do any re-deployments or reconfigurations of the forces here. The commander of the U.S. forces who was with me at the site has said, and I have agreed with him, that he believes he has enough forces here to deal with the security threat here.

HUME: One last question. Do you believe, Mr. Ambassador, that world opinion will now…world opinion as apart from the opinion of the Iraqi people, will move in the direction of more support for what we're doing over there, or for moving away from the enterprise over there?

BREMER: Well, I would certainly hope that most people in the world would see this as a sign that we're all in it together. These people who are attacking innocent U.N. officials are clearly beyond the pale. They're barbarians; they have a vision of the world, which cannot be shared by any civilized country. So I would certainly hope that other countries will see this as an important time now to show support for the Iraqi people and for the reconstruction of this wonderful country.

HUME: Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for doing this.

BREMER: Thank you.

Click here to order the complete transcript.

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2003 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2003 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, Inc.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.