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Bush On Middle East Extremism

In a speech delivered to the members of the United Nations General Assembly, President George W. Bush discussed the situation in the Middle East. "For decades," he said, "millions of men and women in the region have been trapped in oppression and hopelessness. And these conditions," said Mr. Bush, "left a generation disillusioned, and made this region a breeding ground for extremism":

"Imagine what it's like to be a young person living in a country that is not moving toward reform. . . .and everywhere you turn, you hear extremists who tell you that you can escape your misery and regain your dignity through violence and terror and martyrdom."

"For many across the broader Middle East," said Mr. Bush, "this is the dismal choice presented every day":

"Every civilized nation, including those in the Muslim world, must support those in the region who are offering a more hopeful alternative. We know that when people have a voice in their future, they are less likely to blow themselves up in suicide attacks."

President Bush said, "We know that when leaders are accountable to their people, they are more likely to seek national greatness in the achievements of their citizens, rather than in terror and conquest." Mr. Bush spoke directly to the people of the Middle East:

"Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false, and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction."

The goal of the United States, says Mr. Bush, is to help the people of the Middle East "build a more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promotes the peace."

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