Terror War 'Inescapable Calling of Our Generation,' Bush Says
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 20, 2004 In his weekly radio address to the nation today, President George W. Bush told the American people that the war on terror isn't a figure of speech, "it's the inescapable calling of our generation."
Bush noted that terrorists are offended not merely by coalition policies. "They're offended by our existence as free nations," he said. "No concession will appease their malice. No accommodation will satisfy their endless demands. No course of therapy will cure them of their hatred.
"There can be no separate peace with the terrorist enemy," the president continued. "Whatever it takes, we will seek and find and destroy the terrorists."
Bush said one year ago, ground forces of a strong coalition entered Iraq to liberate that country from the rule of a tyrant. "For the Iraqi people, it was the beginning of their deliverance," he said. "For the world, it was the moment when years of demands and pledges turned to decisive action."
The liberation of Iraq was good for the Iraqi people, good for America, and good for the world, the president said. "The fall of the Iraqi dictator has removed a source of violence, aggression and instability from the Middle East," he said. "The Iraqi people are now receiving aid, instead of suffering under sanctions. And men and women across the Middle East, looking to Iraq, are getting a glimpse of what life in a free country can be like."
Bush emphasized that helping Iraq emerge as a free nation is a global responsibility, and the nations of the world are meeting their responsibilities. He said troops from Britain, Poland and Japan are securing important areas of the country. Special Forces from El Salvador, Macedonia and other nations are helping to find and defeat Baathist and terrorist killers.
"In all," the president continued, "more than 50 nations are helping the Iraqi people emerge from decades of tyranny and realize a democratic future."
But he added that there are still violent thugs and murderers in Iraq, and the coalition is dealing with them. "Not long ago," Bush continued, "we intercepted a planning document being sent to leaders of al Qaeda by a terrorist named Zarqawi. Along with the usual threats, he had a complaint: 'Our enemy,' said Zarqawi, 'is growing stronger and his intelligence data are increasing day by day. This is suffocation!'
"Zarqawi is getting the idea," Bush said. "The resolve of our coalition is firm. We will never turn over Iraq to terrorists who intend our own destruction. We will not fail the Iraqi people, who have placed their trust in us.
"Whatever it takes, we will fight and work to assure the success of freedom in Iraq," he added.
Bush said terrorists hate and target a free Iraq. They also hate and target every country that stands for democracy, tolerance and freedom in the world. The murders in Madrid have revealed, once again, the agenda and the nature of the terrorist enemy.
"They kill the innocent -- they kill children and their mothers on a commuter train -- without conscience or mercy," he noted. "They cause suffering and grief, and rejoice in it."
The president mentioned his trip March 18 to Fort Campbell, Ky., where he met with special operations forces and members of the 101st Airborne Division, recently redeployed from Iraq.
"These men and women are defending their fellow citizens against ruthless enemies," Bush said. "They have liberated millions from oppression and added to the momentum of freedom across the world. Like all of their brothers and sisters in uniform, they are making America safer and more secure. Because of their service and sacrifice, I know that justice and freedom will prevail over terror and tyranny."