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4/20/04 - IRAQ AND WAR AGAINST TERRORISM - 2004-04-21

Recent violence in Iraq, says President George W. Bush, is part of a vicious and familiar pattern:

“The terrorist who takes hostages, or plants a roadside bomb near Baghdad, is serving the same ideology of murder that kills innocent people on trains in Madrid, and murders children on buses in Jerusalem, and blows up a nightclub in Bali.”

The same “ideology of murder,” says Mr. Bush, has fostered activities of terrorists for decades. Those acts include the killing of two-hundred forty-one American Marines in their barracks in Beirut in 1983, the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the destruction of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the “merciless horror” inflicted on thousands of men, women, and children on September 11th, 2001.

None of these depravities, says President Bush, “is the work of a religion”:

“All are the work of a fanatical, political ideology. The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women. The seek the death of Jews and Christians, and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror.”

The goal of these fanatics is to intimidate the U.S. into panic and retreat, and to set free nations against one another. They also seek weapons of mass destruction to blackmail and murder on a massive scale.

Mr. Bush says that in such a conflict there is no safe alternative to resolute action:

“We’re at war. Iraq is part of the war on terror. . . . And it’s essential we win this battle in the war on terror. By winning this battle, it will make other victories more certain in the war against the terrorists.”

Victory in Iraq means standing by the Iraqi people until they can create a free and independent country. A free Iraq, says President Bush, “will change the world. A free Iraq in the midst of the Middle East is vital to future peace and security.”