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5/21/04 - TERRORISM IN IRAQ - 2004-05-24

In Iraq, terrorists rejoice in the killing of innocent people. They kill Iraqi leaders, members of the U.S. coalition, aid workers, and Iraqis who reject their ideology of murder. President George W. Bush says that terrorists "cannot be appeased, and their hatred cannot be satisfied”:

“Our nation was sickened by the murder of an American civilian, Nicholas Berg. The savage execution of this innocent man reminds us of the true nature of our terrorist enemy, and of the stakes in this struggle.”

There’s only one way to deal with terror. As Mr. Bush puts it, the coalition “must confront the enemy and stay on the offensive until these killers are defeated”:

“And this is precisely what our armed forces, and the forces of our coalition, are doing. In and around Fallujah, U.S. Marines are conducting joint patrols with local Iraqis to take back the city from Saddam [Hussein] loyalists and foreign fighters and other militants. In nearby towns, Marines are conducting raids to disrupt enemy attacks on supply routes and to root out anti-coalition fighters.”

In southern Iraq, in and around the cities of Najaf and Karbala, coalition and Iraqi security forces are dismantling the illegal militia led by Moqtada al-Sadr, the extremist cleric who has incited violence and attempted to seize control.

As these enemies of freedom are attacked and defeated in Iraq, the U.S., its friends and allies are continuing to work with Iraqi leaders to build a democratic government. On June 30th the flag of a free Iraq will be raised, and an interim government will take over. Coalition forces are training Iraqis to protect their country from external aggression and international subversion. The U.S. will keep “its commitment to the independence and national dignity of the Iraqi people,” says Mr. Bush. “Yet the vital mission of our military in helping to provide security will continue on July first, and beyond.”