Three years ago, Afghanistan was a refuge for al-Qaida terrorists. The radical Islamic Taleban regime was one of the most backward and brutal in modern history. Schooling was denied to girls. Women were whipped in the streets. Executions were carried out in a sports stadium in Kabul. As President George W. Bush points out, “millions lived in fear”:
“Today, Afghanistan is a world away from the nightmare of the Taleban. That country has a good and just president. Boys and girls are being educated. Many refugees have returned home to rebuild their country, and a presidential election is scheduled for this fall.”
Three years ago, terrorist supporters were well-established in Saudi Arabia. “Fund raisers and other facilitators” in Saudi Arabia, says Mr. Bush, “gave al-Qaida financial and logistical help, with little scrutiny or opposition.”
“Today, after the attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, the Saudi government knows that al-Qaida is its enemy. Saudi Arabia is working hard to shut down the facilitators and financial supporters of terrorism.”
Three years ago, Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, provided a safe haven for terrorists. They had used chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds, and had turned Iraq into a prison. But a U.S.-led coalition removed Saddam Hussein from power, and now Iraqis are bringing him to justice to answer for his crimes.
President Bush says that Iraq, “which once had the worst government in the Middle East, is now becoming an example of reform to the region”:
“Iraqi security forces are fighting beside coalition troops to defeat the terrorists and foreign fighters who threaten their nation and the world."
“The appeal of justice and liberty, in the end, is greater than the appeal of hatred and tyranny in any form,” says President Bush. “The war on terror will not end in a draw. It will end in victory.”