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Promoting Democracy

Insurgents in Iraq appear to be targeting Iraqi soldiers and police in an attempt to destabilize the country's emerging democracy. President George W. Bush says, "No nation in history has made the transition from tyranny to a free society without setbacks and false starts":

"What separates those nations that succeed from those that falter is their progress in establishing free institutions. So to help young democracies succeed, we must help build them free institutions to fill the vacuum created by change."

"Democracy takes different forms in different cultures," says Mr. Bush, "yet we know that in all cultures, successful democracies are built on certain common foundations":

"First, all successful democracies need freedom of speech.... Second, all successful democracies need freedom of assembly.... Third, all successful democracies need a free economy to unleash the creativity of its citizens and create prosperity and opportunity and economic independence from the state. Fourth, all democracies need an independent judiciary to guarantee rule of law and assure impartial justice for all citizens. And, fifth, all democracies need freedom of worship, because respect for the beliefs of others is the only way to build a society where compassion and tolerance prevail."

Mr. Bush says all free nations have responsibilities and today many nations are stepping forward with practical help in Iraq:

"Slovakia is bringing Iraqi political leaders to their country, to show firsthand how a nation moves from a dictatorship to democracy.... Bahrain and Jordan, the Czech Republic and Britain and Italy are hosting hundreds of Iraqi judges, so they can study modern legal techniques that will help Iraq establish the rule of law."

In Iraq, creating a democracy is "not easy work," says President Bush. But, he says, "By working together to aid democratic transitions, we will isolate and defeat the forces of terror -- and ensure a peaceful world for generations to come."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.