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Lessons Learned From 9/11

Five years after the September 11, 2001, al-Qaida terrorist attacks on the United States, much has been accomplished. Today, a U.S.-led coalition is making it harder for al-Qaida leaders like Osama bin Laden to operate freely, to make financial transactions, and to communicate with their operatives. President George W. Bush says the U.S., its friends, and allies are "taking the fight to the enemy":

"Since nine-eleven, our coalition has captured or killed al-Qaida managers and operatives, and scores of other terrorists around the world. The enemy is living under constant pressure, and we intend to keep it that way."

The United States, says Mr. Bush, "makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those that harbor and support them":

"Thanks to our efforts, there are now three fewer state sponsors of terror in the world than there were on September the eleventh, 2001. Afghanistan and Iraq have been transformed from terrorist states into allies in the war on terror. And the nation of Libya has renounced terrorism, and given up its weapons of mass destruction programs, and its nuclear materials and equipment."

President Bush says that the U.S. "has committed its influence in the world to advancing freedom and liberty and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism":

"We see a day when people across the Middle East have governments that honor their dignity, and unleash their creativity, and count their votes. We see a day when across this region's citizens are allowed to express themselves freely, women have full rights, and children are educated and given the tools necessary to succeed in life. And we see a day when all the nations of the Middle East are allies in the cause of peace."

"This," says Mr. Bush, "is the great ideological struggle of the twenty-first century. . . .All civilized nations," he says, "are bound together in this struggle between moderation and extremism."

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