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3/22/04 - TERRORISM IN IRAQ - 2004-03-25

A recent survey shows that seventy-eight percent of Iraqis reject violence against coalition forces. The poll also shows that the new Iraqi police force is gaining the Iraqi public’s confidence, and fifty-six percent of Iraqis surveyed say they trust the new Iraqi army. The poll was sponsored by the U.S.-based A-B-C News in cooperation with broadcasters from Britain, Germany, and Japan.

The latest attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere show that the war on terror is far from over. In fact, the goal of the terrorists is to prevent the rise of democracy. President George W. Bush says, “It is the nature of terrorism that a few evil people can bring grief to many”:

“Having broken the Baathist regime in Iraq, we face a remnant of violent Saddam supporters. Men who ran away from our troops in battle are now dispersed and attack from the shadows. These killers are joined by foreign terrorists. Recently in Iraq, we intercepted a letter sent by a terrorist named Zarqawi, a man well-known to our intelligence services.”

In the captured document, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi urged al-Qaida to engage in terrorism in Iraq. Zarqawi said the strategy should be to tear Iraqi society apart by fomenting sectarian violence. “Zarqawi, and men like him,” says President Bush, “have made Iraq the central front in our war on terror”:

“The terrorists know that the emergence of a free Iraq will be a major blow against the worldwide terrorist movement. And in this, they are correct. But we’ve seen this enemy before, and we know how to deal with them. Fighting alongside the people of Afghanistan, we are defeating the terrorists in that country. And fighting alongside the people of Iraq, we will defeat the terrorists there, as well.”

President Bush says the U.S., its friends, and allies “will never be intimidated by a bunch of thugs and assassins.”