The United States is dealing with the consequences of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But President George W. Bush says the U.S. also remains focused on the war on terror, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq:
"The Afghan people took another vital step toward democracy by electing representatives to their provincial councils and the national assembly... The international community is helping Afghanistan become a lasting democracy. There are still terrorists who seek to overthrow the young government. They want to return Afghanistan to what it was under the Taliban, a miserable place, a place where citizens have no rights, women are oppressed, and the terrorists have a safe haven to plan and plot attacks. And that's why coalition forces and our special forces and Afghan forces are conducting precision raids against high-value targets in southeastern Afghanistan."
The United States and its coalition partners, Mr. Bush said, will also help Iraq complete its transition to democracy and help ensure it does not become a safe haven for terrorists:
"Now the terrorists are testing our will and resolve in Iraq. If we fail that test, the consequences for the safety and security of the American people would be enormous. Our withdrawal from Iraq would allow the terrorists to claim an historic victory over the United States. It would leave our enemies emboldened and allow men like Zarqawi and bin Laden to dominate the Middle East and launch more attacks on America and other free nations. The battle lines are drawn, and there is no middle ground: either we defeat the terrorists and help the Iraqis build a working democracy, or the terrorists will impose their dark ideology on the Iraqi people and make that country a source of terror and instability to come for decades."
The United States and its coalition partners will not abandon their mission, said President Bush. They will defeat the terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.