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4/26/04 - TERRORISM IN IRAQ - 2004-04-27

Terrorists have killed more than fifty people in the Iraqi city of Basra. Among the dead are sixteen Iraqi schoolgirls. “Every child that has been lost represents the future of Iraq,” Samir al-Sumaidy, the Iraqi interior minister told reporters. Mr. Sumaidy says, “The Iraqi government condemns this and is determined to find these people and bring them to justice and bring an end to this cancer that is invading the body of Iraq.”

President George W. Bush says, “There’s no negotiation with these terrorists”:

“These are not the kind of people you sit down and you negotiate with. You don’t sign a treaty with people who are -- who don’t believe in rules, people who don’t have a conscience.”

The strategy of these terrorists, in Iraq and elsewhere, says Mr. Bush, is to try “and turn free nations against each other”:

“These guys are tough. And they’re sophisticated. And they’re smart. And we just have to be tougher, and smarter, and more sophisticated in our approach to finding them.... And we’re hunting them down. It takes a while to find them. But we’re using all our assets and resources and friends and allies to bring them to justice. It’s the only way you have to deal with them.”

Because the U.S.-led coalition acted in Iraq, a cruel dictator was removed from power, the torture chambers are closed, and no more mass graves are being filled with dead Iraqis. And, says Mr. Bush, “democracy is growing in the heart of the Middle East”:

“I’m oftentimes asked: Is there a solution for the war on terror? Yes, there’s a long-term solution, and that’s freedom. Free societies don’t promote terror. Free societies are peaceful societies. Free societies are societies that provide hope and opportunity for the people.”

With coalition help, democratic ideas will take root in Iraq and elsewhere, and terrorism will be defeated.