Terror War Being Fought on Many Fronts, President Says
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2004 The challenges of the United States and coalition nations in the war on terrorism extend beyond Iraq, President Bush said today in his national weekly radio address.
"The war on terror is being fought on many fronts," he reminded listeners.
Bush noted that since Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists have struck in places from Morocco to Indonesia, but the center of terrorist conflict remains the Middle East. "If that region is abandoned to dictators and terrorists, it will be a constant source of violence and alarm, exporting killers of increasing sophistication and destructive power," the president pointed out.
However, he added, "If that region grows in democracy, prosperity and hope, the terrorist movement will lose its sponsors, lose its recruits, and lose the festering grievances that keep terrorists in business. It is our work to win this struggle.
"This is no time for impatience or self-defeating pessimism," he said. "We have work to do in the defense of our country and for the good of humanity, and by doing our duty and holding firm to our values, this generation will give the world a lesson in the power of liberty."
The president noted that the past week has been important for the future of Iraq and the Middle East and for America's security.
He told listeners that the naming of Iraq's new president and members of the new interim government June 1 reflects "new leadership drawn from a broad cross-section of Iraqis."
New Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and the then-Iraqi Governing Council named Ghazi al-Yawar, an engineer from northern Iraq, as the country's new president. Joining al-Yawar are two deputy presidents and a 33-member cabinet. The IGC disbanded itself to allow the new interim government to begin its work.
Bush said the new government brings together men and women of varied backgrounds who represent Iraq's "ethnic and religious" diversity. "Five were regional officials, six are women, and all are Iraqi patriots, dedicated to building a brighter future for their country."
The president emphasized that naming Iraq's new government advances the administration's plan to help Iraq achieve democracy. "It brings us closer to realizing the hope of millions of Iraqis, a fully sovereign nation with a representative government to protect their rights and serve their interests," he explained. "It brings us closer to seeing a Middle East that knows the blessings of liberty, and it brings us closer to defeating a ruthless enemy that has killed thousands of innocents and still threatens the peace of the world."
He said the new government will follow the political process outlined in the Transitional Administrative Law, and prepare Iraq for national elections by January 2005.
In that election, Bush explained the people of Iraq will choose a transitional national assembly that will be the first "freely elected, truly representative national governing body in Iraq's history."
"Iraq is on the path to democracy and freedom, and the international community is helping Iraq complete the journey," he added.
The president also stated that the United States is working with allied governments and with Iraq's new leaders on a new U.N. Security Council resolution to help gain international support for Iraq's interim government, and to "reaffirm the world's security commitment to the Iraqi people." In addition, the resolution will encourage other U.N. members to join rebuilding efforts, he said.
Later this month, the president said that he plans to travel to foreign capitals and international summits to discuss with world leaders "our common responsibility to help a free Iraq succeed."
Bush said he will also attend the U.S.-European Union Summit in Ireland, and the NATO summit in Turkey in June. He said these meetings will provide an opportunity for world leaders "to show their solidarity with the Iraqi people as they build a free and democratic government."