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11/13/03 - BUSH ON DEFENDING IRAQ - 2003-11-14

Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi people suffered decades of oppression. Now, as Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority administrator, puts it, they have an opportunity, “to restore the peace and wisdom and beauty, which have marked the...cradle of civilization.”

But the process is not easy. “The enemies of freedom,” says President George W. Bush, “aren’t idle”:

“And neither are we. This country will not rest, we will not tire, we will not stop until this danger to civilization is removed. We are confronting that danger in Iraq where Saddam holdouts and foreign terrorists are desperately trying to throw that country into chaos by attacking coalition forces, by attacking the people who are there to provide aid to the long-suffering Iraqi citizens, and by attacking Iraqi citizens themselves.”

The terrorists are “trying to shake the will of the civilized world,” says President Bush. “And [the U.S.] will not be intimidated”:

“We’re standing with the Iraqi people, the very capable, competent Iraqi people, as they assume more of their own defense and as they move toward self-government."

The Iraqis don’t want the terrorists to win. Haidar Ghazy, an Iraqi clothing store owner in Karada, Iraq, told The New York Times newspaper, “Despite everything, it’s better than before.”

As President Bush says, “Iraqi democracy will succeed. And that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran, that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.”