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10/15/03 - TAKING THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY - 2003-10-16


The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, moved Americans to grief -- and to action. “We made a pledge that day,” says President George W. Bush. “And we have kept it. We will bring the guilty to justice; we will take the fight to the enemy.”

Beginning with the war in Afghanistan, says Mr. Bush, the U.S. has “sent a message understood throughout the world”:

“If you harbor a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you are just as guilty as the terrorists. And the Taleban found out what we meant. Thanks to our great military, Afghanistan is no longer a safe-haven for terror.”

The U.S. is fighting its terrorist enemies on many fronts. Now, says President Bush, “Iraq is the central front”:

“Saddam [Hussein] holdouts and foreign terrorists are trying desperately to undermine Iraq’s progress and to throw that country into chaos. The terrorists in Iraq believe their attacks on innocent people will weaken our resolve. . . . They believe that America will run from a challenge. They’re mistaken. Americans are not the running kind.”

At the end of the Second World War, says Mr. Bush, the U.S. “did not run from Germany and Japan”:

“We helped those nations to become strong and decent, democratic societies that no longer waged war on America. And that’s our mission in Iraq today. We’re rebuilding schools. A lot of kids are going back to schools. Reopening hospitals. Thousands of children are being immunized. Water and electricity are being returned to the Iraqi people.”

The U.S. is “providing this help not only because we’ve got good hearts,” says President Bush, “but because our vision is clear. A stable and democratic and hopeful Iraq will no longer be a breeding ground for terror, tyranny, and aggression. . . . Our work is essential to our own security -- and no band of murderers or gangsters will stop that work, or shake the will of America.”

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