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10/28/03 - U.S. & AUSTRALIA PARTNERSHIP - 2003-10-28

Australia and the U.S. are partners in the fight against terrorism. Speaking to Australia's parliament on October 23rd, President George W. Bush said terrorists threaten every free nation:

"No country can live peacefully in a world that terrorists would make for us. And no people are immune from the sudden violence that can come to an office building, or an airplane, or a night club, or a city bus. Your nation and mine have known the shock and felt the sorrow, and laid the dead to rest. And we refuse to live at the mercy of murderers."

Praising "the bravery and skill of the Australian military," President Bush thanked Australians for their part in driving the Taleban regime and the al-Qaida terrorists from Afghanistan. "The Afghan people -- especially Afghan women -- do not miss the bullying and beatings and the public executions at the hands of Taleban," he said.

In Iraq, the U.S., Australia, and other nations acted to counter the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a despotic state sponsor of terrorism. President Bush said Iraq was a decisive victory but, as in Afghanistan, there is still much to do:

"We seek the rise of freedom and self-government in Afghanistan and in Iraq for the benefit of their people, as an example to their neighbors, and for the security of the world. America and Australia are helping the people of both those nations to defend themselves, to build the institutions of law and democracy, and to establish the beginnings of free enterprise."

Terrorists and holdouts of the Taleban and Saddam Hussein regimes are doing their worst to stop progress in Afghanistan and in Iraq. But as President Bush pointed out, "the advance of liberty will not be halted."

Working together, the U.S., Australia, and a number of Asian nations have scored some important victories in the war on terrorism, including the capture of a senior Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist leader, known as Hambali. Hambali is believed to have planned the terrorist bombings in Bali, Indonesia, in October 2002 that killed some two-hundred people, including many Australians. Tested by terror, Australia is a resolute ally in what President Bush called "the cause of freedom. . . the cause we share."