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Middle East Struggles Are Related

President George W. Bush says an ideological struggle is taking place across the Middle East. The opponents are extremists who murder the innocent to achieve political ends versus decent people who love liberty. The battlegrounds, says Mr. Bush, include the Palestinian territories and the young democracies of Iraq and Lebanon:

“We have to be firm in our rejection of extremists and radicals. And what happens in Iraq, for example, matters in the Palestinian territory. What happens in Lebanon matters around the Middle East. And the truth of the matter is, Iran is using Hezbollah in Lebanon, and is worried about democracy in the Middle East.”

Mr. Bush says Iran’s radical clerical regime is threatened by democratic cannot stand the thought of a democratic advances:

“There would be nothing worse for world peace if the Iranians [Iranian government] believed that the United States didn’t have the will and commitment to help young democracies survive.”

If the U.S. were to stop its support for the Middle East’s young democracies, chaos would follow. That chaos would embolden extremists like al-Qaida. Mr. Bush says it would also embolden Iran and spur a nuclear arms race in the Middle East:

“The Iranian issue, the Iraqi issue – they’re all interrelated. And that’s why it’s really important for the United States to stay engaged and to promote democracy for the sake of peace.”

“This is the first chapter of freedom’s march in the twenty-first century against. . . .radical ideologues,” says President Bush. “My commitment is, let’s make sure that first chapter that’s written is one that’ll yield the peace we want. Let’s make certain when we look back at this generation that they say, they didn’t shirk their duty; they did the hard work so future children can live in peace.”