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Iraqi Government Moves Forward

Iraq's new government faces many challenges. Among them is the threat of terrorism.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qaida in Iraq, said, "You've got to stop the democratic progress. Anybody that enrolls or joins the police, the army," he said, "we've got to kill."

Sheik Khalid al-Attiyah is the Iraqi parliament's new first deputy speaker. He says he "believe[s] that al-Zarqawi was caught off guard by the new government taking place because it will be a very strong one representing all Iraqis."

President George W. Bush says "The new leaders are showing great courage in the face of terrorist threats":

"In recent weeks, terrorists have assassinated three siblings of top Iraqi politicians – but the new leaders of Iraq remain determined to lead their nation toward a future of democracy and peace."

Mr. Bush says the terrorists are "resorting to desperate acts of violence because they know the establishment of democracy in Iraq will be a double defeat for them":

"First, it will deny the terrorists their immediate aim of turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taleban – a safe haven where they can plot and plan more attacks against free nations. Second, in the long term, a democratic Iraq will be a major blow to the terrorists' hateful ideology because it will send a powerful message across the region that the future of the Middle Eats belongs to freedom."

President Bush says that ending the insurgency and defeating the terrorists is one of many challenges facing the Iraqi government: \

"The new government must rebuild critical infrastructure, strengthen the Iraqi economy, and ensure that all Iraqis benefit as their nation grows in security and prosperity."

"There will be more tough fighting ahead in Iraq and more days of sacrifice and struggle," says Mr. Bush. "Yet the enemies of freedom have suffered a real blow." He says, "Iraq's leaders now have laid the foundations for a democratic government of, by, and for the Iraqi people."

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