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Liberating Afghanistan and Iraq from dictatorial regimes were essential steps in the war on terror. As President George W. Bush says, “The world is safer today because Saddam Hussein and the Taleban regime are gone”:

“We’re now working with many nations to make sure Afghanistan and Iraq are never again a source of terror and danger for the rest of the world. Our coalition against terror has been strengthened in recent days by U-N Security Council Resolution fifteen-eleven. This endorses a multinational force in Iraq under U.S. command, [and] encourages other nations to come to the aid of the Iraqi people.”

Today in Iraq, U.S. forces have been joined by more than twenty-two thousand troops from thirty-two other countries –- including two international divisions led by Britain and Poland. In Afghanistan, NATO is providing security in Kabul and its role will expand to other parts of the country.

But after decades of oppression and brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan, reconstruction is difficult. Elements of the old regimes, and foreign terrorists, are targeting coalition forces and Afghan and Iraqi civilians. Suicide bombers attack Red Cross and United Nations facilities. These terrorists are trying to create conditions of fear. But “their desperate attacks,” says President Bush, “will not intimidate us”:

“Coalition forces aided by Afghan and Iraqi police and military are striking the enemy with force and precision. Our coalition is growing in members and growing in strength. Our purpose is clear and certain: Iraq and Afghanistan will be stable, independent nations, and their people will live in freedom.”

Afghanistan and Iraq must never again become the home of tyranny and terror. The U.S., says President Bush, “will continue working with the United Nations and our coalition partners to finish the work we have begun.”