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9/24/04 - BUSH ON IRAQ  - 2004-09-24

When the United Nations General Assembly met in New York City, among the nations represented was a newly sovereign Iraq. Iraq’s interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, says that despite the insurgency in his country, democracy is starting to take root:

“We are defeating terrorists. Najaf, Samarra, Mosul, [and] Basra are all live examples that a lot of progress has been made.... And this is all because of the determination of the Iraqi people, the light that they are seeing at the end. Democracy will prevail. The rule of law will prevail. The issues and culture of human rights will prevail.”

“A democratic Iraq has ruthless enemies, because terrorists know the stakes in that country,” says President George W. Bush. “They know that a free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a decisive blow against their ambitions for that region”:

“So a terrorist group associated with al-Qaida is now one of the main groups killing the innocent in Iraq today -- conducting a campaign of bombings against civilians, and the beheadings of bound men. Coalition forces now serving in Iraq are confronting the terrorists and foreign fighters, so peaceful nations around the world will never have to face them within our own borders.”

The U.S.-led coalition is standing beside a growing Iraqi security force. NATO is providing training to security personnel. More than thirty countries are contributing money and expertise to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure. And Iraqis are preparing for elections in January.

President Bush says, “We can expect terrorist attacks to escalate.” But the proper response to difficulty, he says, “is not to retreat, it is to prevail.”