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Bush Calls New Generation to Great Challenges

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2003 – President Bush told soldiers and their families at Fort Carson, Colo., today that a new generation has been called to great challenges.

He said the post's soldiers have been called on to serve in the first war of the 21st century.

The war started Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked America and killed thousands, the president said. "The events of that morning changed our nation," he told the soldiers and their families. "We awakened to new dangers and we accepted new responsibilities.

"That day we saw what our enemies intend for us, and last week we saw their cruelty again with their murders in Istanbul," he continued. "Today, America, Britain, Turkey and all responsible nations are united in a great cause: We will not rest until we bring these committed killers to justice."

Bush said the terrorists will not listen to reason, so the only course open to freedom-loving people is to continue to take the fight to the enemy. The United States fights in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas of the world to hunt terrorists down. The United States also is working with other nations to drain the terrorists' bank accounts and deny them safe havens, the president said.

Bush thanked the soldiers all service members for their service. "Thanks to our great military, Iraqi citizens no longer have to fear the dictator's secret police or ending in a mass grave," he said. "Thanks to our military, the torture chambers are closed and the prison cells for children are empty. Thanks to our American military, we have captured many members of the former regime and the rest of them have a lot to worry about."

The president said the coalition is working with Iraqi security forces to "strike hard against the forces of murder and chaos." Bush said anyone who strikes or even attempts to strike American personnel will be hunted down.

Bush said the service members in Iraq and Afghanistan know what the mission is. "America's military is fighting to secure the freedom of more than 50 million people who recently lived under two of the cruelest dictatorships on Earth," he said. "America's military is fighting to help democracy, and peace and justice rise in a troubled and violent region. And because we're fighting terrorist enemies thousands of miles away in the heart and center of their power, we are making the United States of America more secure."

The commander in chief told the crowd that the stakes in Iraq and Afghanistan are high. "The failure of democracy in Iraq would provide new bases for the terrorist network and embolden terrorists and their allies around the world," Bush said.

If democracy fails in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorists will be convinced that America backs down under attack. "Yet democracy will succeed in Iraq, because our will is firm and our word is good," the president said. "Democracy will succeed because every month more and more Iraqis are fighting for their own country. People we have liberated will not surrender their freedom. Democracy will succeed because the United States of America will not be intimidated by a bunch of thugs."

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