Bush Vows 'No Retreat' In Global Anti-Terror Campaign
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2003 President George Bush vowed today to continue the almost two-year-old war against global terrorism.
America and its allies have achieved many victories against global terrorists since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Bush declared at the American Legion's national convention in St. Louis.
The president noted that al Qaeda no longer is using Afghanistan as a haven, and that Saddam Hussein's brutal and terrorist-friendly regime was kicked out of power in Iraq.
Terrorists, Bush pointed out, hate societies that promote tolerance and freedom, because "freedom is a threat to their way of life."
Saddam and his minions, Bush said, will not return to power in Iraq. Yet, he acknowledged Iraq remains a dangerous place as Saddam remnants, anti-Western foreign fighters, and criminals continue to attack U.S. and coalition forces and perform sabotage "to undermine the advance of freedom."
Al Qaeda and other worldwide terror networks "recognize that the defeat of Saddam Hussein's regime is a defeat for them," Bush said.
The establishment of a democratic Iraq in the heart of the Middle East, the president continued, represents "a further defeat for their ideology of terror."
"The more progress we make in Iraq, the more desperate the terrorists will become," Bush said.
Terrorists in Iraq have murdered innocent people, the president pointed out, including women, children and humanitarian aid workers, some of whom were killed in the Aug. 19 bombing of the U.N. headquarters building in Baghdad.
By committing such atrocities, Bush said, it's evident that global terrorists have "declared war on the entire civilized world."
However, the president stressed that terrorists will not intimidate the civilized world into backing off, noting that to acquiesce would only invite additional and bolder attacks.
As the campaign against global terrorism continues, Bush noted Iraqi citizens are providing more intelligence information to U.S. and coalition troops, leading to the capture of Saddam loyalists and the seizing of weapons caches.
"There will be no retreat," Bush vowed, noting U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq are continuing "the offensive against Saddam loyalists, the foreign fighters and the criminal gangs."
Recent U.S.-coalition military operations in Iraq have included more than 200 raids, Bush he noted, while netting more than 1,100 detainees.
Of the key Saddam Hussein operatives on the "55" most- wanted card list, Bush noted 42 have been captured or killed - including the recent deaths of the deposed dictator's two sons.
The search continues for other former leaders of the Hussein regime, Bush said, declaring, "We will find them."
Since May 1, when major combat operations in Iraq were declared ended, "we have seized more than 8,200 tons of ammunition, thousands of AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons," the president said.
The Iraqi people, Bush noted, can rest assured "that the regime of Saddam Hussein is gone and it is never coming back."