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Bush: America Will Not Back Down in War on Terror

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2005 – America faces a dangerous enemy in the radical terrorists who are fighting democracy in the Middle East, and the only strategy to win is to remain on the offensive and to accept nothing less than total victory, President Bush said today at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Speaking to a crowd of servicemembers and families from military installations in Alaska, Bush said that the terrorists had the wrong idea that the U.S. would run after being attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

"The terrorists are mistaken," he said. "America will never run; we will stand, we will fight and we will win the war on terror."

The terrorists are driven by a violent political vision to establish a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedoms, Bush said. For a time in Afghanistan, the terrorists succeeded in establishing a launching pad for their attacks and their violent agenda, he said. After the U.S. routed them out, they set their sights on Iraq.

"The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity, and we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror," he said.

The war on terror is a vital mission for the armed forces, one that must be won to secure the freedom and safety of the Middle East and the rest of the world, Bush said.

"We didn't ask for this global struggle, but we're answering history's call with confidence and with a comprehensive strategy to win this war," he said.

America is committed to prevent terrorist attacks, to deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes, to deny radical groups that support and provide sanctuary to outlaw regimes, to prevent the terrorists from gaining control of any country to use as a staging area for attacks, and to deny the terrorists future recruits, Bush said.

The coalition has stayed on the offensive against terror, killing or capturing terrorist operatives and leaders in countries around the world, Bush said. U.S. and coalition forces will keep pressure on terrorist networks until the networks are broken and the leaders are held accountable for their murders, he said.

The best way to prevent terrorists from gaining new recruits is to replace hatred and resentment with democracy and freedom, Bush said, because the value of free societies has been proven by history.

"If the peoples of that region are permitted to choose their own destiny and advance by their own energy and participation as free men and free women, then the extremists will be marginalized and the flow of radical extremism to the rest of the world will slow and eventually end," he said.

The work ahead in the war on terror involves great risk, Bush said, adding that some of America's best men and women have already been lost. However, the best way to honor their sacrifices is to complete the mission and protect the freedom of Americans now and in the future, he said.

"By advancing the hope of freedom and democracy for others, we make our own freedom more secure," he said.

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