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Al-Qaida In Iraq

More than ninety percent of the suicide attacks in Iraq are carried out by fighters who are recruited, trained and equipped by the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. President George W. Bush says that Zarqawi and al-Qaida threaten the security and stability of the Iraqi people. These terrorists know, he says, that "the greatest threat to their aspirations is Iraqi self-government":

" We know this from the terrorists' own words. In 2004, we intercepted a letter from Zarqawi to Osama bin Laden. In it, Zarqawi expressed his concern about "the gap that will emerge between us and the people of the land." He declared "democracy is coming." He went on to say, this will mean "suffocation" for the terrorists. Zarqawi laid out his strategy to stop democracy from taking root in Iraq. He wrote, "If we succeed in dragging the Shia into the arena of sectarian war, it will become possible to awaken the inattentive Sunnis as they feel imminent danger. . . .the only solution for us is to strike the religious, military, and other cadres among the Shia with blow after blow."

To defeat the terrorists, says President Bush, Iraq needs a democratic government that represents all Iraq, that reins in illegal militias, and that earns the trust and confidence of all Iraqi communities:"

"When Iraqis have such a government to lead and unite them, they will be in a stronger position to defeat their enemies and secure the future with a free country. When Iraqis have a democratic government in place, it will be a major victory for the cause of freedom. It will be a major defeat for the terrorists' aspirations to dominate the region and advance their hateful vision."

"A free Iraq," said President Bush, "will be an ally in the war on terror. A free Iraq will be a partner in the struggle for peace and moderation in the Muslim world. A free Iraq will inspire democratic reformers from Damascus to Tehran, and send a signal across the broader Middle East that the future belongs not to terrorism but to freedom. A free Iraq will show the power of liberty to change the world. And as the Middle East grows in liberty and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their safe havens and recruits, and America and other free nations will be more secure."

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