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Bush On The Conflict In Lebanon

President George W. Bush says the United States is committed to a comprehensive solution to the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The conflict started in July when Hezbollah terrorists based in southern Lebanon crossed into Israel, killed several Israeli soldiers, and kidnapped two others.

A comprehensive solution, Mr. Bush says, "would return control of Lebanon to its government and provide a sustainable peace that protects the lives of both the Lebanese and the Israeli people":

"It is essential that we create the conditions for the Lebanese government to move their own forces, with international help, into the south of Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah and its sponsors from creating another crisis."

Mr. Bush says other nations need to pressure Hezbollah and its backers, Iran and Syria, to stop their terrorist activity:

"I appreciate people focusing on Syria and Iran, and we should, because Syria and Iran sponsor and promote Hezbollah activities – all aimed at creating chaos, all aimed at using terror to stop the advance of democracies."

Mr. Bush says that opposing terrorism is "the great challenge of the twenty-first century":

"This is the beginning of a long struggle against an ideology that is real and profound. It's Islamo-fascism. It comes in different forms. They share the same tactics, which is to destroy people and things in order to create chaos in the hopes that their vision of the world will become predominant in the Middle East."

"The conflict in Lebanon," says Mr. Bush, "is a stark reminder that there are those who want to stop the advance of liberty and destabilize young democracies, and they're willing to kill people to do so. . . .We must deal with this movement with strong security measures," he says, "and at the same time, defeat their ideology by the spread of liberty."

The American people are deeply aware of the scope of this tragic conflict. "The loss of life on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border," says Mr. Bush, "has been a great tragedy. Millions of Lebanese civilians have been caught in the crossfire of military operations because of the unprovoked attack and kidnappings by Hezbollah. The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon is of deep concern to all Americans, and alleviating it will remain a priority.”

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