Insurgents continue to use violence to try to derail Iraq's transition to democracy. In a series of recent attacks, gunmen opened fire at a minibus carrying seven airport employees in western Baghdad, killing four women and wounding three others. Other assailants shot at and wounded a senior Bahraini diplomat in the Iraqi capital. A Pakistani diplomat was also shot at. Several days earlier, insurgents kidnapped Egypt's envoy to Iraq.
President George W. Bush says that the campaign of terror has failed to thwart Iraq's progress toward democracy:
"Our work there is difficult and dangerous because terrorists from across the region are converging on Iraq to fight the rise of democracy. The images of cruelty and suffering we see on television are real, and they are difficult for our compassionate nation to watch. Yet, the terrorist violence has not brought them any closer to achieving their strategic objectives. The terrorists tried to intimidate the Iraqi Governing Council, and they failed. They tried to delay the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq, and they failed. They tried to stop the free Iraqi elections, and they failed."
Mr. Bush said the United States remains committed to helping Iraq's government train its new security and military forces:
"By helping Iraqis build a free and democratic nation, we will give strength to an ally in the war on terror, and we'll make America more secure. To continue building a free and democratic Iraq, Americans and Iraqis are fighting side-by-side to stop the terrorists and insurgents. And our military is helping to train Iraqi forces so they can defend their own liberty."
As more and more Iraqi forces are trained, they will take over the task of providing security for their country. "Our strategy can be summed up this way," said President Bush. "As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down, and then our troops can come home to a proud and grateful nation."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.