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Bush Cites Ongoing Success Against WMDs, Terror

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2004 – --President Bush cited Libya's agreement to stop building weapons of mass destruction as evidence that the United States and its coalition allies are making steady progress in the war on terror.

During a visit today to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Bush viewed centrifuge parts and processing equipment for uranium that eight months ago were part of Libya's secret nuclear weapons program. He called the materials "sobering evidence of a greater danger" and told workers at the lab, "Today, Libya, America and the world are better off because these components are safely in your care."

The president credited "quiet diplomacy" between the United States, Great Britain and Libya for Libya's decision to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missile programs.

But the progress, he said, was set in motion by policy declared publicly to all the world: "The United States, Great Britain and many other nations are determined to expose the threats of terrorism and proliferation, and to oppose those threats with all our power."

Bush said Libya's decision to abandon these pursuits "is serving the interests of its own people and adding to the security of all nations."

America's resolve to oppose these threats was fixed on Sept. 11, 2001, Bush said, when the American people experienced firsthand the cruelty of terrorists and their efforts to strike the United States "to the limits of their power." Weapons of mass destruction will enable them to kill Americans "on an even greater scale," the president said.

But Americans "refuse to live in fear," Bush said, and instead "are waging a broad and unrelenting war against terror and an active campaign against proliferation."

America and its coalition partners are following a three-part strategy to address these threats, the president said. They are taking the fight to the enemy, isolating and confronting terrorists and outlaw regimes, and supporting the rise of democracy as an alternative to hatred and terror throughout the Middle East.

"We have followed this strategy defending the peace, protecting the peace and extending the peace for nearly three years," Bush said. "We have been focused and patient, firm and consistent, and the results are all now clear to see."

The president cited progress in countering the terrorist threat in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and most recently, in Libya.

"Three years ago, the world was very different," he said. "Terrorists planned attacks with little fear or discovery or reckoning. Outlaw regimes supported terrorists and defied the civilized world without shame and few consequences." In addition, he said, "Weapons proliferators sent their deadly shipments and grew wealthy, encountering few obstacles to their trade."

But the world changed on Sept. 11, 2001, the president said, "and since that day, we have changed the world."

Today, he said, the coalition is leading "a steady, confident, systematic campaign" against terrorism. "There are still terrorists who plot against us, but the ranks of their leaders are thinning, and they know what fate awaits them," Bush said.

America remains a nation at risk, threatened by what the president called an enemy "that plots in secret to cause terrible harm and grief." But at the same time, he said, the United States remains a nation at war, "fighting for our security, our freedom and our way of life."

It's a war the president said "won't end in a draw," but rather, "in victory."

"Americans have a history of rising to every test, and our generation is no exception." Bush said. "We've not forgotten September the 11th, 2001. We will not allow our enemies to forget it, either."

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