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10/5/03 - BUSH ON A SAFER WORLD - 2003-10-06

The world is safer today because in Afghanistan, a U.S.-led coalition destroyed the training camps of al-Qaida terrorists and removed the brutal Taleban regime that sponsored terror.

The world is also safer today, says President George W. Bush, because in Iraq the coalition “ended a regime that cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction”:

“In the struggle between terrorist killers and peaceful nations, there is no neutral ground. All nations must join in confronting this threat where it arises -- before the terrorists can inflect even greater harm and suffering. And all nations should stand with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq as they build a future based on freedom and democracy.”

Now the coalition is helping the Iraqi people to build a democratic country that will be an example of freedom to its neighbors. Iraqi police, border guards, and a new army are being trained so that the Iraqi people can provide for their own security.

Iraq has a governing council and interim government ministers, and is moving toward holding free elections. As President Bush says, the goal “is a free Iraq, where the Iraqi people are responsible for their own affairs”:

“The stakes are high, for the Middle East and beyond. If freedom and progress falter in the Middle East, that region will continue to export violence that takes lives in America and around the world. If democracy and tolerance and peace advance in that region, it will undermine the bitterness and resentment that feed terrorism.”

Terrorists have chosen to fight against order and liberty in Iraq. They have targeted Iraqis, coalition forces, and United Nations personnel. As President Bush puts it, the terrorists “must, and they will, be defeated.”