Bush: America's Security Directly Linked to Freedom in Middle East
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2005 As Iraqis marked another political milestone this week with the approval of a new constitution, President Bush stressed that success of the Iraqi government is critical to winning the war on terror and protecting the American people.
The passage of the constitution is a moment of tremendous significance for Iraq, the region and the world, and is something that would have been unthinkable under the rule of Saddam Hussein, Bush said today in his weekly radio address.
"The Iraqi people have shown that individual rights and rule by the people are universal principles and that these principles can become the basis for free and decent governments throughout the Middle East," he said.
The constitution received support from Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, and there was significantly less violence during these elections than during earlier elections in January, Bush said. Even as a young democracy, the Iraqi government is already learning how to solve the country's problems, he added.
"The Iraqi people are resolving tough issues through an inclusive political process," he said. "And this process is isolating the extremists who wish to derail democracy through violence and murder."
Terrorists were closely watching the constitutional vote and used random bombings and attacks to try to break the will of the Iraqi people and stop them from voting, Bush said. However, he added, instead of surrendering to intimidation, Iraqis risked their lives to go to the polls and chose a future of democracy and freedom for their country.
"The political process in Iraq now moves forward," Bush said. "Iraqis will return to the polls in December to elect a new government under their new constitution. This government will be our ally in the war on terror, a partner in the struggle for peace and moderation in the Muslim world, and an inspiration for people across the Middle East to claim their liberty as well."
Ensuring the success of the Iraqi government will require more sacrifice, time and risk from Iraqi, U.S. and coalition forces, Bush said. The progress so far has required sacrifice, and some of America's finest men and women have been lost, he said. But, he added, they have left a legacy that will allow millions of people to enjoy freedom and liberty.
"The best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission and win the war on terror," he said. "We will train Iraqi security forces and help a newly-elected government meet the needs of the Iraqi people. In doing so, we will lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren."