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Bush On The Mission In Iraq

The United States, said President George W. Bush, will not flinch from fighting terrorism in Iraq or from working to promote democracy, prosperity, and hope throughout the Middle East.

In an address to the American people, President Bush said the insurgents fighting in Iraq are failing to achieve their goals:

"The terrorists -- both foreign and Iraqi -- failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies. They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war. They failed to prevent free elections. They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq's diverse population. And they failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large numbers with the police forces and the army to defend their new democracy. The lesson of this experience is clear: the terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom."

Since sovereignty was restored to Iraq one year ago, said President Bush, Iraqis have held elections for a transitional government. They are drafting a constitution and planning more elections for the end of this year. Mr. Bush said that progress is being made in improving the educational and health-care systems in Iraq and in rebuilding its infrastructure. More than thirty nations have troops in Iraq and many others are contributing nonmilitary assistance.

President Bush said the sacrifice the U.S. is making in Iraq is worthwhile because success in Iraq is vital to both security and the cause of liberty:

"We know what is at stake. We fight today because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world, and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror. And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we'll fight them there, we'll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won."

"We know," said President Bush, "that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom entrusted to us in a special way, and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending."

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