Over the past several decades, Islamic radicals have targeted Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Jordan for political, economic, and social disruption. And now they have set their sights on Iraq.
The regime remnants and terrorists in Iraq must not be allowed to win, says President George W. Bush:
"The terrorist goal is to overthrow a rising democracy, claim a strategic country as a haven for terror, destabilize the Middle East, and strike America and other free nations with increasing violence. Our goal is to defeat the terrorists and their allies at the heart of their power, so we will defeat the enemy in Iraq."
The U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi forces have a strategy to win the peace. It includes clearing areas from terrorist control, holding those areas securely, and building democratic Iraqi institutions.
During a recent sweep, Iraqi and coalition forces raided three-hundred-fifty houses south of Baghdad, capturing more than forty terrorists. Thousands of Iraqi forces have been participating in these operations, and even more Iraqis are joining the fight. Last month, nearly three-thousand Iraqi police officers completed their training course.
At the same time, Iraqis are building democratic institutions. Last month, millions of Iraqis voted to approve a new constitution. Now, Iraqis are preparing for December 15th elections in which they will elect a government under the new constitution. Iraq has come a long way in a relatively short time span, says President Bush:
"By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress -- from tyranny, to liberation, to national elections to the ratification of a constitution -- in the space of two-and-a-half years."
The United States, said President Bush, will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything other than complete victory in Iraq.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.