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Bush On Iraq Violence

Dozens of Iraqis were murdered by a suicide bomber at Baghdad's Muthanna Airfield recruiting station July 10th. In the past two years, hundreds of Iraqi civilians, including army and police recruits, have been targeted by terrorists. President George W. Bush says, "In the war on terror, Iraq is now a central front":

"The terrorists fight in Iraq because they know that the survival of their hateful. . . .ideology is at stake. They know that as freedom takes its root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty as well. And when the Middle East grows in democracy and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors. They'll lose their recruits."

Despite the acts of terrorism, says Mr. Bush, "The Iraqi people are seeing progress":

"They're stepping forward to the fight. One Iraqi who stepped forward is a traffic cop named Jamal. Recently, Jamal was training in the city of Irbil with about two-hundred other recruits when a red car came hurtling toward them and it exploded. He survived, but many of his comrades did not. Here's what he says, 'I saw friends killed and wounded and crying out and blood everywhere. It is not the first time they tried to kill us.... We're not afraid. I'll stay a policeman and serve my country'."

The terrorists will not be defeated by force of arms alone. Mr. Bush says it is just as important for Iraqis to build a democratic political system:

"In January, more than eight million Iraqis defied the terrorists and cast their ballots in the country's first free elections in decades."

Iraq's new leaders continue to reach out to and consult with Sunnis and other disaffected groups to ensure an inclusive constitutional process. Fifteen Sunni delegates have joined the committee that is drafting the new Iraqi constitution. "The success of democracy in Iraq," says President Bush, "is sending forth the news from Damascus to Tehran that freedom can be the future of every nation."

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