Bush Says Saudi Attack Shows Terrorists Still on Move
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2004 Today's attack on the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, must serve to remind Americans "that the terrorists are still on the move," President Bush said today.
Bush spoke following a meeting with interim Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar at the White House.
News reports said five people were killed in the attack on the consulate. Four others were wounded. Saudi police killed three of the terrorists and captured two others.
Bush said the terrorists want to sap the will of free countries. "They want us to leave Saudi Arabia," he said. "They want us to leave Iraq. They want us to grow timid and weary in the face of their willingness to kill randomly and kill innocent people."
Bush and Yawar said that is precisely why the elections in Iraq must go on as scheduled Jan. 30. "Right now, we are faced with the armies of darkness, who (have) no objective but to undermine the political process and incite civil war in Iraq," Yawar said. "But I want to assure the whole world that this will never, ever happen -- that we in Iraq are committed to move along. After all these sacrifices, there's no way on Earth that we will let it go in vain."
Yawar said the insurgents are a mix of people with one thing in common: "hatred to the Iraqi society and hatred to democracy, people who are trying to stop us from having our first elections."
Bush said the election for a national assembly to write the constitution of Iraq will send a message to insurgents that they cannot stop the march to democracy. "It will give the Iraqi people the chance to become invested in the future of that vital country," he said.
The coalition will do all it can, working with the Iraqi security forces and interim government, to make the polling places more secure, the president said. The elections are so important that he has approved an increase in the number of American forces in Iraq.
Still, the enemy will try to disrupt the voting process, Bush said. "You can never guarantee a hundred percent security, but the Iraqi people have a chance to say to the world, 'We choose democracy over terrorism,'" Bush said. "And it's going to be defining moment in that country."
Yawar said the insurgents have no ideologies to offer or roots in Iraqi society. "Victory is not only possible, it's a fact," he said. "We can see it. It's there. We are committed. We see that we have all the reasons to prevail."