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Security Crackdown In Iraq

More than forty-thousand Iraqi soldiers and police, along with some seven thousand coalition forces, are pursuing al-Qaida terrorists in and around Baghdad. They are increasing the number of checkpoints, enforcing a curfew, and implementing a strict weapons ban.

Major General Mahdi al-Gharraqi of the Iraqi interior ministry says, "The people are feeling comfortable with the security measures and they are waving to us." Osama Ahmed Salah, a university professor in Baghdad, says, "The operations should be well-prepared and they should not be conducted in a way that humiliates citizens." Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says, "We are only going to attack areas that are dens of terrorists."

President George W. Bush says Prime Minister al-Maliki "is taking immediate action to implement a plan to improve security":

"Iraqi and coalition forces are also working to restore security in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province. The prime minister's plan to bring militias and other armed groups under government control is moving forward. . . . Many militia members will be demobilized and integrated into the Iraqi security forces, where they'll be dispersed among different units."

Mr. Bush says that defeating the terrorists in Iraq "is a tough struggle":

The reason why is because [of] the rules of warfare. It's just, if you can kill innocent life in order to shake somebody's will, or create consternation in a society, just go ahead and do it. And so it's a tough task. No question about it."

Mr. Bush says, "Success in Iraq depends upon the Iraqis." Through democratic elections, says Mr. Bush, "The Iraqi people have expressed their desires, and now it's up to the government to follow through."

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