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President Makes Case For Continued Commitments In Iraq, Afghanistan

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2004 – Three years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States is still on the offensive to confront terrorist threats to the country, President Bush told radio listeners today during his weekly address.

"We're acting to protect the homeland, to track and disrupt terror networks across the world, and to hold to account the sponsors of terror," he said. "We're staying on the offensive, striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home."

The president said that Americans understand that the long-term security of the country requires a "broader commitment," and that the United States is determined to fulfill that commitment by spreading "hope and economic progress and freedom as the alternatives to hatred, resentment, and terrorist violence."

He also said the United States and other nations are building a better world "by standing with the liberated peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan as they move toward democracy."

During his address, the president noted that more than 10 million Afghan citizens have now registered to vote in next month's election. In addition, he pointed out, Iraq is progressing towards free elections in January.

However, the president said, "terrorist enemies are trying to stop the progress of both those countries." And he warned that "their violent and merciless attacks may increase as elections draw near."

He said the U.S. will keep its commitment in both countries because the security of the United States will be better served by a more stable Middle East.

"Our long-term security -- the safety of our children and grandchildren -- will be served when the broader Middle East is home to stable, democratic governments that fight terror," Bush said.

In New York this week, the president said he will make additional proposals to the United Nations in an effort to "expand prosperity and accelerate the march of freedom in our world."

"Never in the history of the United Nations have we faced so many opportunities to create a safer world by building a better world," he said.

"For the sake of our common security, and for the sake of our common values, the international community must rise to this historic moment," Bush said. "And the United States is prepared to lead."

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President George W. Bush

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