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Bush: Efforts in Iraq Require Time, Sacrifice, Resolve

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2005 – Americans will continue to support the Iraqis in their quest toward democracy, in hopes of creating a free, stabilized Middle East, President Bush said in his weekly radio address today.

"Our strategy is straightforward: As Iraqis stand up, Americans will stand down," Bush said. "And when Iraqi forces can defend their freedom by taking more and more of the fight to the enemy, our troops will come home with the honor they have earned."

Iraqis continually reject the terrorists' doctrines and choose to stand up for their freedom, Bush said. This was demonstrated earlier this month when followers of the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tried to force Shiite Muslims to leave the Iraqi city of Ramadi, he said. Sunni Muslims in that city came to the defense of their Shiite neighbors because they had had enough of Zarqawi's activities.

"By choosing to stand with their fellow Iraqis, these Sunnis rejected the terrorists' attempt to divide their nation and incite sectarian violence," Bush said. The establishment of a democratic constitution in Iraq will be a landmark event in the history of the broader Middle East, Bush said, and will bring Iraq closer to being able to govern, sustain and defend itself.

"Iraqis are working together to build a free nation that contributes to peace and stability in the region, and we will help them succeed," he said. "Americans will continue to stand with them because we know that free and democratic nations are peaceful nations. By advancing the cause of liberty in the Middle East, we will bring hope to millions and security to our own citizens. And we will lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren."

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