United Nations Security Council Resolution one-seven-zero-one calls for a cease-fire between Hezbollah terrorists and Israeli forces in Lebanon. It also authorizes an expanded U-N peacekeeping force to help the Lebanese army take control of southern Lebanon as Israel withdraws. President George W. Bush says the resolution, "is an important step forward that will help bring an end to the violence":
America recognizes that civilians in Lebanon and Israel have suffered from the current violence, and we recognize that responsibility for this suffering lies with Hezbollah. Responsibility for the suffering of the Lebanese people also lies with Hezbollah's state sponsors. . . .The regime in Iran provides Hezbollah with financial support, weapons, and training. Iran has made clear that it seeks the destruction of Israel. We can only imagine how much more dangerous this conflict would be if Iran had the nuclear weapon it seeks."
Mr. Bush says, "Syria is another state sponsor of Hezbollah":
Syria allows Iranian weapons to pass through its territory into Lebanon. Syria permits Hezbollah's leaders to operate out of Damascus and gives political support to Hezbollah's cause. Syria supports Hezbollah because it wants to undermine Lebanon's democratic government and regain its position of dominance in the country. That would be a great tragedy for the Lebanese people and for the cause of peace in the Middle East."
"The conflict in Lebanon is part of a broader struggle between freedom and terror that is unfolding across the region," says Mr. Bush. He says the U.S. is launching a, "strategy of freedom in the broader Middle East":
"That strategy has helped bring hope to millions and fostered the birth of young democracies from Baghdad to Beirut. Forces of terror see the changes that are taking place in their midst. They understand that the advance of liberty, the freedom to worship, the freedom to dissent, and the protection of human rights would be a defeat for their hateful ideology. . . .So the terrorists are striking back with all the destructive power they can muster. It's no coincidence that two nations that are building free societies in the heart of the Middle East – Lebanon and Iraq – are also the scenes of the most violent terrorist activity."
Mr. Bush says, "history is clear: the freedom agenda did not create the terrorists or their ideology. But the freedom agenda will help defeat both."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.