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Bush: Premature Iraq Pullout Would Place America at Peril

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2006 – An early withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would give victory to the terrorists and put the American people in danger, President Bush said here yesterday.

“If America were to pull out before Iraq can defend itself, the consequences would be disastrous,” Bush said during his weekly radio address to the nation. “We would be handing Iraq over to the terrorists, giving them a base of operations and huge oil riches to fund their ambitions.”

Bush said violent terrorist groups such as al Qaeda want to overthrow western-style democracies in the Middle East -- and beyond -- and then install their oppressive, backward and twisted concept of Islam.

“If we give up the fight in the streets of Baghdad, we will face the terrorists in the streets of our own cities,” Bush said. “The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq.

“So, America will not leave until victory is achieved.”

U.S officials believe the radical Islamic terrorists’ game plan was fully unveiled during the al Qaeda-masterminded terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, in which nearly 3,000 innocent people were murdered in New York City, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa.

Bush has often said the terrorists want to chase the United States out of the Middle East, take over, and then expand their ideology outward. If that occurs, then future generations of Americans would be in for a grim time, the president said.

“Our children will face a region dominated by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons,” Bush predicted.

Therefore, America’s only correct course, Bush said, is to continue to work with allies to provide support to moderate Middle East governments, like Iraq, and to confront and defeat terrorists wherever they may be.

“The path to victory will be uphill and uneven,” the president acknowledged, “and it will require more patience and sacrifice from our nation.”

Yet, Americans can be assured of eventual triumph over the terrorists, Bush said, “because America will not waver – and because the direction of history leads toward freedom.”

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