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Iraq As The Central Front

Iraq, says President George W. Bush, is the central front in the war on terror:

“The enemy in Iraq is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists. The rejectionists are by far the largest group. These are ordinary Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs, who miss the privileged status they had under the regime of Saddam Hussein. And they reject an Iraq in which they're no longer the dominant group. . . .We believe that, over time, most rejectionists will be persuaded to support a democratic Iraq led by a federal government that is a strong enough government to protect minority rights. The second group that makes up the enemy in Iraq is smaller but more determined. It contains former regime loyalists who held positions of power under Saddam Hussein, people who still harbor dreams of returning to power. . . .They lack popular support and therefore cannot stop Iraq's democratic progress. And over time, they can be marginalized and defeated by the Iraqi people and the security forces of a free Iraq. The third group is the smallest but the most lethal: the terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida.”

These terrorists, says President Bush, come from across the Middle East and are responsible for most of the suicide bombings, beheadings and other atrocities in Iraq:

“They're led by a brutal terrorist named Zarqawi, Al Qaida's chief of operations in Iraq, who has pledged his allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Their objective is to drive the United States and coalition forces out of Iraq and to use the vacuum that would be created by an American retreat to gain control of the country. They would then use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks against America and overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East and try to establish a totalitarian Islamic empire that reaches from Indonesia to Spain.”

In Iraq and the broader Middle East, says President Bush, “freedom is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sow anger and hatred and despair.” And like fascism and communism, “the hateful ideologies that use terror will be defeated by the unstoppable power of freedom.”

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