U.S. Faces Struggles Similar to Churchill's, Bush Says
By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2004 The struggles and challenges the United States and its allies face in the war on terror are similar to those British Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew in World War II, President Bush said here today.
"Today we are engaged in a different struggle," he said at the Library of Congress, which is featuring an exhibit on Churchill. "Instead of an armed empire, we face stateless networks. Instead of massed armies, we face deadly technologies that must be kept out of the hands of terrorists and outlaw regimes," he said.
"The outcome of the war on terror depends on our ability to see danger, and to answer it with strength and purpose," the president said. "One by one, we are finding and dealing with the terrorists, drawing tight what Winston Churchill called a closing net of doom."
Bush said this war also is a conflict of visions. "In their worship of power, their deep hatreds, their blindness to innocence, the terrorists are successors to the murderous ideologies of the 20th century," he said. "And we are the heirs of the tradition of liberty, defenders of the freedom, the conscience and the dignity of every person. Others before us have shown bravery and moral clarity in this cause."
The president said the United States accepts the responsibilities of history. "The tradition of liberty has advocates in every culture and in every religion," Bush noted. "Our great challenge is to support the momentum of freedom in the greater Middle East. The stakes could not be higher.
"As long as that region is a place of tyranny and despair and anger," he continued, "it will produce men and movements that threaten the safety of Americans and our friends. We seek the advance of democracy for the most practical of reasons, because democracies do not support terrorists or threaten the world with weapons of mass murder."
America is pursuing a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East, said the president. "We're challenging the enemies of reform, confronting the allies of terror and expecting a higher standard from our friends," he said. "For too long, American policy looked away while men and women were oppressed, their rights ignored and their hopes stifled. That era is over, and we can be confident. As in Germany and Japan and Eastern Europe, liberty will overcome oppression in the Middle East."
The president talked about the progress the United States and its allies have made in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We know that success of freedom in these nations would be a landmark event in the history of the Middle East, in the history of the world," he said.
"Across the region, people would see that freedom is the path to progress and national dignity," he continued. "A thousand lies would stand refuted, falsehoods about the incompatibility of (democratic) values and Middle Eastern cultures. And all would see -- in Afghanistan, in Iraq -- the success of free institutions at the heart of the greater Middle East.
"Achieving this vision," Bush continued, "will be the work of many nations over time, requiring the same strength of will and confidence of purpose that propelled freedom to victory in the defining struggles of the last century." The president said America will do whatever it takes to win the war on terror.
"We will not leave until the job is done," he said as the crowd applauded. "We will succeed because, when given a choice, people everywhere, from all walks of life, from all religions, prefer freedom to violence and terror. We will succeed because human beings are not made by the Almighty God to live in tyranny. We will succeed because of who we are, because even when it is hard, Americans always do what is right. And we know the work that has fallen to this generation."