President George W. Bush says that just as the United States and its allies in the Cold War stood firm against a destructive Soviet empire and its radical communist ideology, so the U.S. and its allies must again hold firm against today's extremists:
"We saw the action of this vicious and determined enemy here in America on September 11th, 2001. Terrorists murdered citizens from more than eighty countries. Since that September morning, acts of terror have appeared in places like Mombassa and Casablanca and Riyadh and Jakarta and Istanbul and London and Amman and Madrid and Beslan and Bali and Algiers, and elsewhere."
The main enemy, says Mr. Bush, is al Qaida and its affiliates:
"They seek to establish a radical Islamic caliphate so they can impose a brutal new order on unwilling people, much as Nazis and communists sought to do in the last century. This enemy will accept no compromise with the civilized world. . . .They seek the world's most dangerous weapons. Against this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response: we must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them."
Today, the chief target of Al Qaida and its affiliates is Iraq, which they are trying to destabilize by inciting sectarian violence. In response, the U.S. is pursuing a strategy aimed at helping Iraq's democratically elected government secure the country's capital, Baghdad, while going after those who are trying to provoke a sectarian war.
It will take months before the strategy's potential for success can be accurately gauged, but there are already hopeful signs, says Mr. Bush. And while the consequences of failure in Iraq are grave, he says, "We should also appreciate the consequences of success, because we have seen them before":
"Following World War Two, many nations helped lift the defeated populations of Japan and Germany, and stood with them as they built representative governments from societies that had been ravaged and decimated. We committed years and resources to this cause. And that effort has been repaid many times over in three generations of prosperity and peace."
Victory against terrorists and extremists like al Qaida and its affiliates, says President Bush, will lay the foundation of peace for generations to come.