Monday, July 11, 2005

Moving Forward, BushCo Style

With acknowledgements to Democratic Underground, a summary of the 'War On Terra' so far:

"Our strategy in the war on terror is based on a clear understanding of the enemy, and a clear assessment of our national interest." - Dick Cheney, July 2003

"Either we take the war to the terrorists and fight them where they are – at this moment in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere – or at some point we will have to fight them here at home." - Donald Rumsfeld, August 2003

America is more secure. The world is safer." - George W. Bush, January 2004

"...we are making ourselves more secure, because we cannot fight the terrorists in New York; we've got to fight them out there." - Condoleezza Rice, February 2004

"The question is do we fight them over there - or do we fight them here. I choose to fight them over there." - Gen. Tommy Franks, September 2004

"The number of serious international terrorist incidents more than tripled last year, according to U.S. government figures, a sharp upswing in deadly attacks that the State Department has decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week." - The Washington Post, April 2005

"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." - Dick Cheney, May 2005

"In total, for the year from the handover of sovereignty on June 28, 2004, until June 23, 2005, there were at least 479 car bombs, killing 2,174 people and wounding 5,520. ... Last month was the most violent for Iraqi civilians since the U.S.-led invasion to remove Saddam Hussein from power in March 2003." - Associated Press, June 2005

"There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them before they attack us at home." - George W. Bush, June 2005

"...the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda." - classified CIA report, June 2005

"This shows that president Bush is doing exactly the right thing, or they wouldn't be making these kinds of attacks." - CSPAN caller, July 2005

"There were nearly 3,200 terrorist attacks worldwide last year, the Bush Administration said yesterday, using a broader definition that increased fivefold the number of incidents that Washington had previously tallied for 2004." - The London Times, July 2005

Once again - why is it taking so long for everyone to realize that these people have no clue what they're doing?


Blogger Management said...

Vice President's Remarks on War on Terror at AEI

12:13 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Please. Thank you very much, and good afternoon to all of you. It's a pleasure to be back at AEI, where I spent a considerable period of time, and among so many friends. AEI, of course, is home to some of our nation's most distinguished scholars - one of whom also serves as the scholar in residence at the Naval Observatory. (Laughter.) If you think Lynne gives good lectures here, you should stop over at our house sometime. (Laughter.)

But I do want to thank Danielle Pletka for her introduction this afternoon, and I want to thank all of you for being here. And I bring good wishes to all of you from President Bush, who spoke to your annual dinner in February. In his remarks that evening, the President said that the United States "must look at security in a new way, because our country is a battlefield in the first war of the 21st century". For the last 22 months, the United States has been fighting this war across the globe. We have seen many challenges, and many victories. Those victories have come exactly as President Bush said they would - sometimes in pitched battle; sometimes in the stealth of special operations; sometimes in sudden, decisive strikes -- like the one witnessed two days ago by the late Uday and Qusay Hussein.

This worldwide campaign began after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, a watershed event in the history of our nation. We lost more people that morning than were lost at Pearl Harbor. And this was the merest glimpse of the violence terrorists are willing to inflict on this country. They desire to kill as many Americans as possible, with the most destructive weapons they can obtain. They target the innocent as a means of spreading chaos and fear, and to shake our national resolve. This enemy holds no territory, defends no population, is unconstrained by rules of warfare, and respects no law of morality. Such an enemy cannot be deterred, contained, appeased, or negotiated with. It can only be destroyed, and that's the business at hand.

For decades, terrorists have attacked Americans - and we remember every act of murder, including 17 Americans killed in 1983 by a truck bomb at our embassy in Beirut; and 241 servicemen murdered in their sleep in Beirut; an elderly man in a wheelchair, shot and thrown into the Mediterranean; a sailor executed in a hijacking; two of our soldiers slain in Berlin; a Marine lieutenant colonel kidnapped and murdered in Lebanon; 189 Americans killed on a PanAm flight over Scotland; six people killed at the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; 19 military personnel killed at the Khobar Towers; 12 Americans killed at our embassies in East Africa; 17 sailors murdered on the USS Cole; and an American diplomat shot dead in Jordan last year.

All of these were terrible acts that still cause terrible grief. Yet September 11th signaled the arrival of an entirely different era. We suffered massive civilian casualties on our soil. We awakened to dangers even more lethal - the possibility that terrorists could gain weapons of mass destruction from outlaw regimes and inflict catastrophic harm. And something else is different about this new era: Our response to terrorism has changed, because George W. Bush is President of the United States. For decades, terrorists have waged war against this country. Now, under the leadership of President Bush, America is waging war against them.

Our strategy in the war on terror is based on a clear understanding of the enemy, and a clear assessment of our national interest. Having lost thousands of Americans on a single morning, we are not going to answer further danger by simply issuing diplomatic protests or sharply worded condemnations. We will not wait in false comfort while terrorists plot against innocent Americans. We will not permit outlaw states and terror groups to join forces in a deadly alliance that could threaten the lives of millions of Americans. We will act, and act decisively, before gathering threats can inflict catastrophic harm on the American people.

From the first hour, we've known that the war on terror would be long and difficult. It would test our resolve, demand many sacrifices - above all, from the fine young men and women who defend this country.

The skill and courage of our military have brought a series of major successes in this war. With the best of allies at our side, America took the battle directly to the terrorists hiding in Afghanistan. The Afghan people have reclaimed their country from a depraved regime, and the violent rule of the Taliban has been ended forever.

America and our allies have continued the relentless pursuit of the global terror network. Of those directly involved in organizing the September 11th attacks, many are now in custody or confirmed dead. The leadership of al Qaeda has sustained heavy losses. We must recognize, however, that terrorism is a long-term challenge, and fighting terrorism will require a long-term commitment. The loose and decentralized networks of terrorism are still finding recruits, still plotting attacks. A hateful ideology, which defiles a great religion, has taken root in many parts of the world. Terrorists have conducted attacks since September 11th in Bali, Mombassa, Casablanca, and Riyadh. The terrorists intend to strike America again. Yet no one should doubt the intentions of our nation: One by one, in every corner of the world, we will hunt the terrorists down and destroy them.

In Iraq, we took another essential step in the war on terror. The United States and our allies rid the Iraqi people of a murderous dictator, and rid the world of a menace to our future peace and security.

Events leading to the fall of Saddam Hussein are fresh in memory, and do not need recounting at length. Every measure was taken to avoid a war. But it was Saddam Hussein himself who made war unavoidable. He had a lengthy history of reckless and sudden aggression. He bore a deep and bitter hatred for the United States. He cultivated ties to terrorist groups. He built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction. He refused all international demands to account for those weapons.

Twelve years of diplomacy, more than a dozen Security Council resolutions, hundreds of UN weapons inspectors, and even strikes against military targets in Iraq - all of these measures were tried to compel Saddam Hussein's compliance with the terms of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire. All of these measures failed. Last October, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly to authorize the use of force in Iraq. Last November, the UN Security Council passed a unanimous resolution finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations, and vowing serious consequences in the event Saddam Hussein did not fully and immediately comply. When Saddam Hussein failed even to comply then, President Bush, on March 17th, gave him and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq. Saddam's decision to defy the world was among the last he made as the dictator of that country.

I have watched for more than a year now as President Bush kept the American people constantly informed of the dangers we face, and of his determination to confront those dangers. There was no need for anyone to speculate what the President was thinking; his words were clear, and straightforward, and understood by friend and enemy alike. When the moment arrived to make the tough call - when matters came to the point of choosing, and the safety of the American people was at stake - President Bush acted decisively, with resolve, and with courage.

Now the regime of Saddam Hussein is gone forever. And at a safe remove from the danger, some are now trying to cast doubt upon the decision to liberate Iraq. The ability to criticize is one of the great strengths of our democracy. But those who do so have an obligation to answer this question: How could any responsible leader have ignored the Iraqi threat?

Last October, the Director of Central Intelligence issued a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's Continuing Programs of Weapons of Mass Destruction. That document contained the consensus judgments of the intelligence community, based upon the best information available about the Iraqi threat. The NIE declared -- quote: "We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of UN Resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons, as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions. If left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade." End quote.

Those charged with the security of this nation could not read such an assessment and pretend that it did not exist. Ignoring such information, or trying to wish it away, would be irresponsible in the extreme. And our President did not ignore that information - he faced it. He sought to eliminate the threat by peaceful, diplomatic means and, when all else failed, he acted forcefully to remove the danger.

Consider another passage from last October's National Intelligence Estimate; it reported -- quote: "all key aspects - the R&D, production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive [biological weapons] program are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War." End quote.

Remember, we were dealing here with a regime that had already killed thousands of people with chemical weapons. Against this background, to disregard the NIE's warnings would have been irresponsible in the extreme. And our President did not ignore that information - he faced it, and acted to remove the danger.

Take a third example. The NIE cautioned that quote: "Since inspections ended in 1998, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort, energized its missile program, and invested more heavily in biological weapons; in the view of most agencies, Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program." End quote.

Here again, this warning could hardly be more blunt, or disturbing. To shrug off such a warning would have been irresponsible in the extreme. And so President Bush faced that information, and acted to remove the danger.

A fourth and final example. The National Intelligence Estimate contains a section that specifies the level of confidence that the intelligence community has in the various judgments included in the report. In the NIE on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the community had "high confidence" in the conclusion that "Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to U.N. Resolutions." The Intelligence Community also had high confidence in the judgment that - and I quote: "Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material." End quote.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is some of what we knew. Knowing these things, how could we, I ask, have allowed that threat to stand?

These judgments were not lightly arrived at - and all who were aware of them bore a heavy responsibility for the security of America. When the decision fell to him, President Bush was not willing to place the future of our security, and the lives of our citizens, at the mercy of Saddam Hussein. And so the President acted. As he said in the announcement of military action: "We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our own cities."

Critics of the liberation of Iraq must also answer another question: what would that country look like today if we had failed to act? If we had not acted, Saddam Hussein and his sons would still be in power. If we had not acted, the torture chambers would still be in operation; the prison cells for children would still be filled; the mass graves would still be undiscovered; the terror network would still enjoy the support and protection of the regime; Iraq would still be making payments to the families of suicide bombers attacking Israel; and Saddam Hussein would still control vast wealth to spend on his chemical, biological, and nuclear ambitions.

All of these crimes and dangers were ended by decisive military action. Everyone, for many years, wished for these good outcomes. Finally, one man made the decision to achieve them: President George W. Bush. And the Iraqi people, the people of the Middle East, and the American people have a safer future because Saddam Hussein's regime is history.

Having now liberated Iraq, the United States and our allies are determined to see all our commitments through. The leader of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Ambassador Paul Bremer, was at the White House yesterday and to brief us on the progress that the Coalition Provisional Authority is making. Nineteen nations now have provided more than 13,000 troops to help stabilize Iraq - and additional forces will soon arrive. In the relief and reconstruction effort we are renovating schools, and restoring basic services. Coalition authorities are training Iraqi police forces to help patrol Iraqi cities and villages, and will soon establish a new civilian defense force. Iraq will also have its own new army - a military force that defends the Iraqi people instead of bullying and terrorizing them. A governing council of Iraqis, recognized by the United Nations, is now operating, naming ministers, and drawing up a budget for the country. All major cities in Iraq now have municipal councils. The process of drafting a constitution will soon be underway, and this will prepare the way eventually for elections.

We still have many tasks to complete in Iraq, and many dangers remain. There are still some holdouts of the regime, joined by terrorists from outside the country, who are fighting desperately to prevent progress of any kind for the Iraqi people. These killers are being systematically dealt with, as we saw in Mosul on Tuesday. That action also showed the great skill and bravery of our men and women serving in Iraq today. America is proud of all the men and women serving and sacrificing in this cause - and they will have all the resources they need to complete the vital work that we've asked them to do.

Our ongoing mission is not easy, but it is essential for our security and for the peace of the world. We will help the Iraqi people to build a free, sovereign, and democratic nation. That free nation will stand as an example to the entire Middle East, proving that freedom and the hope of peace have far more power and appeal than ideologies of hate and terror. And a more peaceful, stable Middle East will contribute directly to the security of America and our friends.

The United States of America has been called to hard tasks before. Earlier generations of Americans defeated fascism and won the long twilight struggle against communism. Our generation has been given the task of defeating the purveyors of terrorism, who are a direct threat to our liberty and our lives. We will use every element of our national power to destroy those who seek to do us harm. But, as in the past, we will do far more than merely defeat our enemies. In Afghanistan and Iraq and in other places where tyranny has been a fertile breading ground for terror, we will help those who seek to build free, more tolerant, and more prosperous societies.

America's commitment and generosity in rebuilding ravaged lands in Europe and Asia was a hallmark of our foreign policy in the 20th century. It was a good investment for America then -- it is just as wise now. We do this not only because it is right, but because it is essential to our own security, the security of our friends and allies, and to our eventual victory in the war against terrorism. Our soldiers serving so bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan today know they are ensuring a safer future for their own children and for all of us.

In the 22 months since that clear September morning when America was attacked, we have not lost focus, or been distracted, or wavered in the performance of our duties. We will not rest until we have overcome the threat of terror. We will not relent until we have assured the freedom and security of the American people.

Thank you. (Applause.)

END 12:30 P.M. EDT

11:26 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Rumsfeld Says Country Faces Two Options in War on Terror

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2003 – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told service members at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, today that only two options faced the United States in its war on terror: Fight the terrorists where they live today, or fight them in America tomorrow.

Rumsfeld said the war on terrorism is unlike any war the United States fought in the past. Sept. 11 ushered in a new age of asymmetric warfare. "The threats we have faced have not been so much large armies, large navies and large air forces locked in great battle, but suicide bombers, cyberterrorists and low- intensity warfare and the spreading contagion of weapons of mass destruction," he said.

These unconventional dangers threaten the safety and security of Americans and free people around the world as certain as the totalitarian regimes the World War II generation confronted. "Like the greatest generation that saved the world from the tyranny of their time, your generation has been called to greatness as well," Rumsfeld said.

"Our freedom, our future depends on the courage and the determination of our forces and what they bring to this world. All across the globe, people long for what we have, for what each of you has volunteered to defend – liberty, democracy, tolerance and a future without fear."

Rumsfeld said the United States did not ask for the war on terrorism. "But it is a war we have to fight and we have to win," he said. "There is no safe, easy, middle ground. Either we take the war to the terrorists and fight them where they are – at this moment in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere – or at some point we will have to fight them here at home.

"This war is real, it is difficult, it is dangerous and it is far from over, but we are making good progress," he said.

In the 22 months since the attacks in New York and Washington, the United States has made great strides against the shadowy enemy, Rumsfeld noted. "Two terrorist regimes have been removed and two peoples have been freed from years of fear and years of oppression," he said. "We're working to lay the foundations of freedom and helping to build the pillars upon which liberty and representative government will rest."

The 100-plus days since Iraq's liberation have been days of difficulty, but also progress, he said. The secretary mentioned the establishment of the Iraqi Governing Council, the formation of dozens of local city councils, the establishment of a central bank and the resumption of oil exports as examples of the progress.

The secretary observed that setbacks in the war on terror will continue. "But there will be more successes and the outcome is not in doubt," he said. The fact that enlistments and retention figures are up is indication of the morale and dedication of the U.S. military. "They are doing important work," he said.

Rumsfeld said he did not know how long the United States will remain in Iraq. He said the answer is "not knowable" today. "I wish it were, but it really depends on when the Iraqi people are able to get themselves on a path towards a sovereign and representative government," he said. "This much is certain: The president said we will stay as long as it takes to finish the job and not a day longer. Our task is to lift the threat of terrorist violence from our people and our future."

Rumsfeld answered some questions from the estimated 3,000 assembled service members.

One asked about proposals to raise the military retirement age. Rumsfeld said he has not made a specific recommendation but noted there are some jobs that people need to serve in longer. He said quick turnovers mean turmoil, more permanent change of stations and so forth. "It also creates a situation where people move through jobs so fast they don't have a chance to clean up their own mistakes," he said. "That's an important learning experience."

He also spoke of proposals to "rebalance" the mix between active and reserve components. He said some high-demand skills, now concentrated in the reserve component, may need to have some units moved to the active duty side. "No one person is smart enough to know exactly what that means, but we've got … each of the services, plus the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, working on it," he said. "There should be proposals coming forward in a reasonable period of time."

Rumsfeld discussed the deployment and redeployment process and said he didn't want to call it "ugly" but rather "imperfect."

In the case of the Army, "at one point, they were averaging only five days' notice for a call-up for reserve and Guard," he said. "Now that's just not right. It's not fair to the families. It's not fair to their reservists. It's not fair to their employers.

"The people are the most important thing we have, and we've got to see that we manage that force in a way that's respectful of people and that gives them a degree of certainty, a degree of predictability," he continued. "So we've got to fix that."

Rumsfeld said the deployment process is an Industrial Age process "where either the big lever is off – it's peace, or it's on – and it's World War III."

Reality is not so black and white, and the country is much more likely to have a series of activities and requirements and contingencies that have to be addressed. The process needs to be much more nuanced, he said.

Rumsfeld said the United States is actively seeking allies for help in Afghanistan and Iraq. He said the United States is speaking with more than 70 countries about assistance. "I think the number currently is somewhere around 40 countries (that) are participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in one way or another," he said. "We do need international support and assistance. It's a big help."

He said it is not likely, however, that U.S. forces will be serving under U.N. leadership in Iraq. "That is not to say that there are not important places and roles that could be played by United Nations forces," he said.

Finally, Rumsfeld was asked about blue battle-dress uniforms the Air Force leadership is proposing. "I guess the answer is if it's as bad as you say it is, I hope it's not coming," the secretary responded. He said he'd ask Air Force chief of staff Gen. John Jumper about that when he returned "and explain to him that at least a few handfuls of folks down here have a minimum of high regard for what they think they're doing."

11:26 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Bush defends Iraq war despite weapons doubts
But president refrains from saying WMDs will eventually be found

The Associated Press
Updated: 12:57 p.m. ET Jan. 27, 2004

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Tuesday vigorously defended his decision to go to war against Iraq despite chief inspector David Kay’s conclusion that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, as the United States had believed.

Bush said he had “great confidence” in the intelligence community, which had provided prewar estimates about what Saddam had in his arsenal. But Bush refrained from saying — as he once did — that weapons of mass destruction would be discovered eventually. Bush had cited Saddam’s alleged weapons as justification for the war.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a gathering threat to America and others. That’s what we know,” Bush said.

“We know he was a dangerous man in a dangerous part of the world,” the president said.

The issue was injected into the presidential campaign when retired chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay said he had concluded, after nine months of searching, that deposed Saddam did not have stockpiles of forbidden weapons. Confronted with Kay’s statement, administration officials declined to repeat their once-ironclad assertions that Saddam had them.

Kay, in an interview with NBC’s Tom Brokaw, said, “Clearly, the intelligence that we went to war on was inaccurate, wrong.” Kay stepped down from his position Friday and went public with his doubts about Iraq’s weapons.

“There is no doubt in my mind the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein,” Bush said Tuesday. “America is more secure. The world is safer and the people of Iraq are free.”

Bush spoke with reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski.

The Polish leader defended Bush.

“It’s very difficult today to judge how it was — when he had (weapons), when he decided to continue these projects of mass destruction weapons,” Kwasniewski said.

Kwasknieswki said a top U.N. weapons inspector had told him that “absolutely, Iraq is ready to produce (weapons) if it is necessary to keep the power of the dictatorship of Saddam and to play such an important role in the region.”

A year ago, the president appeared certain about Iraq’s arsenal. “The dictator of Iraq has got weapons of mass destruction,” Bush said on Jan. 22, 2003. On Tuesday, Bush said, “It’s very important for us to let the Iraq survey group do its work so we can find out the facts and compare the facts to what was thought,” the president said.

Democrats say Bush misled the people
Democrats pounced on Kay’s conclusion as evidence that President Bush duped the nation about a principle reason for going to war.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, Sen. John Kerry, seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said Bush had misled the people. “When the president of the United States looks at you and tells you something, there should be some trust. He’s broken every one of those promises,” the Massachusetts senator said.

Howard Dean, another Democratic candidate, said, “The White House has not been candid with the American people about virtually anything with the Iraq war.”

Kay, meanwhile, was called to appear Wednesday at a public hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee and agreed to attend.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle demanded an investigation, either by the Senate Intelligence Committee or an independent commission, into the “administration’s role in the intelligence failures leading up to the war with Iraq.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman, another Democratic candidate campaigning in New Hampshire, also urged an investigation or congressional hearings “on the intelligence that some of us saw directly, and the statements that the administration was making and the emphasis the administration was putting on weapons of mass destruction.”

Vice President Dick Cheney, meeting in Rome with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, did not answer when a reporter asked if he felt prewar intelligence was faulty. Cheney has been among the administration’s most forceful advocates of war and was outspoken in describing Iraq’s alleged threat.

Kerry has questioned whether Cheney tried to pressure CIA analysts who wrote reports on Iraq’s weapon programs.

Attorney General John Ashcroft, traveling in Vienna, Austria, said the Iraq war was justified, even if banned weapons are never found, because it eliminated the threat that Saddam might again resort to “evil chemistry and evil biology.”

Even before Kay announced his conclusion, Bush had expanded his public rationale about the war as the search for weapons proved fruitless. Bush cast it as a broader war against terrorism, calling Iraq the central front, and said democracy would spread in the Middle East if it should take hold in Iraq.
© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Management said...

National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice Discusses War on Terror at Reagan Library and Museum
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Simi Valley, California
As Delivered

DR. RICE: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very, very much for that wonderful introduction and that terrific introduction. In fact, I was supposed to be here a couple of months ago and it was because of one of those telephone calls in the middle of the night that I didn't make it. That was one that told us that, in fact, we had gotten Saddam Hussein. (Applause.)

And Mrs. Reagan and I agreed that the only reason that I wouldn't make it this time was if somehow we'd gotten Osama bin Laden. (Laughter.) Unfortunately, I'm here.

I am grateful to have been invited to deliver this lecture -- first, because it gives me a chance to come back to California, something I do all too rarely. But more importantly, I'm mindful of the tremendous honor of delivering only the eighth Ronald Reagan Lecture since this institution was founded. It is humbling to be asked to join a group that includes a senator, two governors, and a Supreme Court justice.

Four years ago, when then-Governor George W. Bush sought a venue to explain his foreign policy vision to America and to the world, he came here. I remember sitting in this very room as he delivered that vision for how he would lead America if he had an opportunity to become President. And of course, we didn't know the tremendous consequential times in which he would serve.

It is fitting then that I have a chance to come back here to discuss the foreign policy vision of President George W. Bush, in a world that has changed dramatically since in 1999.

Mrs. Reagan, thank you for this invitation. But I especially want to thank you all that you've done for this country. (Applause.) You have fought drug abuse. You've represented America to the world. You've supported your husband during pivotal periods in our history. And you've preserved his legacy for Americans and for all free men and women across the world. Thank you. (Applause.)

Thanks to Fred Ryan (ph), the chairman of the board of trustees of the Reagan Library Foundation, and to Duke Blackwood, the executive director of the presidential library and foundation, and to the distinguished trustees and guests, thank you for having me here.

Clare Boothe Luce famously said that every President will be remembered with a single sentence. My friend Peggy Noonan updated that maxim, and observed that Ronald Reagan was the one President who knew the sentence he wanted -- and he got it. President Reagan lifted America's spirits and led the free world to victory in the Cold War.

Ronald Reagan was President during a pivotal period in the history of our country, and of our world. But unlike most Presidents who face great crises, Ronald Reagan, in some sense, chose his moment. He watched with alarm the rise of Soviet aggression and adventurism in the 1970s and the corresponding decline in American self-confidence and prestige. He saw clearly that if those trends continued, not just America's future, but the future of freedom itself, would be imperiled. Ronald Reagan had a vision for overcoming and reversing those trends. He would rebuild America's military strength, unleash the creativity of our economy, and tell the truth about the Soviet Union.

That vision and determination with which President Reagan pursued these goals sometimes roiled public opinion at the time. It certainly roiled the foreign policy establishment. And I know that because I came from the foreign policy establishment. (Laughter.) As an arms control and Soviet specialist just getting started, I remember those debates well. And I sometimes participated in them.

I remember one particular one when I served on a panel discussing the Zero Option -- the complete elimination of all U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range ballistic missiles. This was in San Francisco, in the early 1980s, at the height of the nuclear freeze movement. I was a young academic, just starting out. And I'd like to think that they invited because of my rising reputation. But it's entirely possible that I was the only person in the entire San Francisco Bay area who would actually support the Reagan policy. (Laughter and applause.) I defended that position as best I could, against an older gentleman who strenuously argued that President Reagan and his belligerent rhetoric were the real problems. Aggressive Soviet behavior was understandable, given the threat that Moscow perceived from Reagan. President Reagan's proposed response -- deploying American missiles to counter any increase in Soviet missiles -- would only make things worse, so on and so on. I'd like to think that I won the debate. But looking back, I have my doubts because afterwards, several women in the audience -- clearly Reagan opponents and Nuclear Freeze supporters -- approached me. They thanked me for doing so much for peace, and for standing up to that awful Reagan. (Laughter.) I think they looked at me, a young, black female and they just assumed that I was an opponent of President Reagan. After listening to me for an hour, clearly, they were unable to see past the surface of things.

But in truth, we arms controllers were having trouble seeing past the surface of things. We were fixated on a host of details: megatons, MIRVS, throw weights, and verification measures. We were absolutely determined to get the best possible deal with the Soviet Union and, in retrospect, we missed the big picture. Ronald Reagan the big picture. He challenged the whole premise of arms control and the whole premise of Soviet power. For him, arms control was a means, not an end. The end he sought were nothing less than the end of the Soviet Union, the liberation of Eastern Europe, and the victory of liberty over tyranny. To achieve these ends, he had to challenge most -- if not all -- the received wisdom of the time. That is what great leaders do -- and what only they can do.

Today, America is again fortunate enough to a leader who believes that you need to say what you mean, mean what you say, and then do it. President Bush's foreign policy is a bold new vision that draws inspiration from the ideas that have guided America's foreign policy at its best: that the spread of democracy leads to peace, that democracies must never lack the will, or the means to meet and defeat freedom's enemies, that America's power and purpose must be used to defend freedom.

These are principles that great leaders have put into practice during challenging times -- and these are challenging times. Thus, the President calls on America to use our unparalleled strength and influence to create a balance of power that favors freedom. His vision stands on three pillars. First, we will defend the peace by opposing and preventing violence by terrorists and outlaw regimes. Second, we will preserve the peace by fostering an era of good relations among the world's great powers. And third, we will extend the peace by seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across the globe.

Yet in the final analysis, President Bush's vision begins from a single, simple premise: As the President recently said, "Human beings are not made by the Almighty God to live in tyranny. When given a choice, people everywhere, from all walks of life, from all religions, prefer freedom to violence and terror."

This is a time when the defense of freedom has never been more necessary, and it is a time when the opportunity for the triumph of freedom has never been greater.

The attacks of September the 11th, 2001, were the greatest strategic shock that the United States has experienced since Pearl Harbor. These attacks crystallized our vulnerability to plots hatched in different lands, that come without warning, bringing tragedy to our shores. These attacks made clear that sweeping threats under the rug is simply not an option.

President Bush saw the implications of that immediately. The very day of the attacks -- as smoke still rose from the Pentagon, and the rubble of the Twin Towers, and that field in Pennsylvania -- he told us, his advisors, that the United States faced a new kind of war and that the strategy of our government would be to take the fight to the terrorists. That night, he announced to the world that the United States would make no distinction between the terrorists and the states that harbor them. He promised that America's words would be credible. And he has proved true to his word.

Since that day, over two-thirds of al-Qaeda's known leadership have been captured or killed. And the rest are permanently on the run. And we are working with governments around the world to bring to justice al-Qaeda associates -- from Jemya Islamiya, in Indonesia; to Abu Sayef, in the Philippines; to Ansar al-Islam, in Iraq. Under President Bush's leadership, the United States and our allies have ended terror regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our men and women in uniform have delivered freedom to more than 50 million people in the space of two-and-a-half years. All regimes are on notice -- supporting terror is not a viable strategy for the long term.

And of course, we also face every day the possibility of our worst nightmare: the possibility of sudden, secret attack by chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons, the coming together of the terrorist threat with the world's most dangerous weapons. September 11th made clear our enemies' goals and provided painful experience of how far they are willing to go. From the terrorist's own boasts, we know that they will not hesitate to use the world's most terrible weapons. In fact, they would welcome the chance to do it.

We can, therefore, not afford to allow the spread of weapons of mass destruction to continue. For so many years, the world pretended that important treaties like the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty were keeping this problem in check. For many years, the world marked time while the proliferation threat gathered. For many years, the world refused to live up to the resolutions -- resolution after resolution -- which it had passed.

Now, the United States is confronting that threat posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction with aggressive new policies from which we are already seeing results. President Bush has moved our Nation beyond antiquated theories like mutually assured destruction and moved forward with the development of ballistic missile defense. Deploying these defenses builds on the proud legacy of President Reagan, who first set forth a vision to protect our nation from missile attack in a famous speech twenty-one years ago next month.

The decision to hold the Iraqi regime accountable after twelve years of defiance is another part of an aggressive strategy to deal with the proliferation threat, because it has finally restored the credibility of the international community to do what it said. The former Iraqi regime was not just a state sponsor of terror. It was also for many years one of the world's premier weapons of mass destruction-producing states. For twelve years, Iraq's former dictator defied the international community, refusing to disarm or to even account for his illegal weapons and programs. We know he had both because he used chemical weapons against Iran and against his own people -- because, long after those attacks, he admitted having to stocks and programs to U.N. inspectors. The world gave Saddam Hussein one last chance to disarm. He did not and now he is out of power.

The President's strong policies are leading other regimes to turn from the path of seeking these terrible weapons of mass murder. Diplomacy succeeded in Libya, in part because no one can now doubt the resolve and purpose of the United States and our allies. The President's policy gives regimes a clear choice -- they can choose to pursue dangerous weapons at great peril or they can renounce such weapons and begin the process of rejoining the international community.

Libya's leader made the right choice, and other regimes should follow his example. We are working with the international community to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. And with our four partners in East Asia, we are insisting that North Korea completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear programs.

And as we advance a broad non-proliferation agenda, we also recognize that proliferators cannot always be stopped by diplomacy alone. But they can be stopped. Through the President's Proliferation Security Initiative, the United States and a growing number of global partners are searching ships carrying suspect cargo and, where necessary, seizing dangerous materials. The Proliferation Security Initiative has already proven its worth by stopping a shipment of centrifuge parts bound for Libya, just in time to reinforce the Libyan leader's decision to disarm Earlier this month, the President also announced new proposals to close a loophole that undermines the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to strengthen anti-proliferation laws and norms, and to tighten enforcement. The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, we must strengthen the world's ability to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of the world's most dangerous regimes.

We now know, however, that there are actually two paths to weapons of mass destruction -- secretive and dangerous states that pursue them and shadowy, private networks and individuals who also traffic in these materials, motivated by greed or fanaticism or, perhaps, both. And often these paths meet. The world recently learned of the network headed by A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. For years, Khan and his associates sold nuclear technology and know-how to some of the world's most dangerous regimes, including North Korea and Iran.

Working with intelligence officials from the United Kingdom and other nations, we unraveled the Khan network and we are putting an end to its criminal enterprise. Its key leaders -- including A.Q. Khan -- are no longer in business, and we are working to dismantle the entire network. Together, the civilized nations of the world will bring to justice those who traffic in deadly weapons, shut down their labs, seize their materials, and freeze their assets.

All of these efforts and many others require the close cooperation of many nations. Across a range of issues, we are seeing exactly that. Now, I will not deny that there is a lot of noise and chatter among the world's great powers. But this noise is obscuring one of the most striking facts of our time: the world's great powers have never had better relations with one another. And there has never been a lower likelihood of great power conflict -- with all the destruction and disaster that would entails -- since the birth of the nation state in the mid-17th Century.

In Europe, the threat of another catastrophic, continental war -- omnipresent through most of the last century -- has all but disappeared. Instead, the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace -- the dream of centuries -- is closer to reality than at any time in history. NATO enlargement and EU enlargement are erasing the last lines of the Cold War and advancing freedom to all of Europe. In Russia, we are seeing that the path to democracy is uneven and that the nation's success not yet assured. Yet, we are working closer than ever with Russia on common problems. And our transatlantic alliance is no longer preoccupied with existential threats and massed armies poised to strike the Central European plain. In fact, the remarkable thing is that Central and East European countries -- once members of the Warsaw Pact -- have taken up their duties in the defense of freedom in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

For many years, it was thought that it was not possible to have good relations with all of Asia's powers. It was thought that good relations with China came at the expense of good relations with our ally Japan -- that good relations with India came at the expense of constructive engagement with Pakistan. The President has changed this paradigm. Our Asian alliances have never been stronger. Forces from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines are making important contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States has negotiated free trade agreements with Singapore and Australia. We are working with the 21 nations of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum on an ambitious agenda designed to bolster economic growth and promote common security. And at the same time, we are building a candid, cooperative, and constructive relationship with China that embraces our common interests but never loses sight of our considerable differences about values.

And President Bush has brought a new approach to American policy toward Africa and Latin America, as well. He sees these regions not as problems to be solved, but as opportunities to be embraced. The Millennium Challenge Account is revolutionizing the way America provides aid to developing countries by linking new assistance to good governance, investment in people, and economic freedom. And the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- a five-year, $15 billion initiative -- will help to prevent seven million new infections, treat at least two million people with life-extending drugs, and provide care for ten million more people affected by the disease.

The administration's record of engagement with Africa is unprecedented for a first-term presidency. We are working with leaders throughout the continent to fight terror, advance democracy, spread prosperity, and solve regional conflicts. In Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan, there is hope of peace for the first time in many decades.

And in our own neighborhood, the Western hemisphere, President Bush is committed to a vision of a fully democratic Western hemisphere, bound by common values and freedom. When he goes to the Summit of the Americas, recognizing that there is an empty chair because Cuba cannot attend, since only democracies can attend, he remains committed to the day when there is a free Cuba. The commitment to freedom, the commitment to democracy, the commitment to prosperity is showing results. We have re-energized negotiations on the Free Trade of the Americas agreement, and completed free trade agreements with Chile and five other Central American democracies.

We've been busy over the last several years, but as we move forward with this ambitious agenda, day by day, we never lose site of a central truth: Lasting peace and long-term security are only possible through the advance of liberty and justice. Military power alone cannot protect us from the defining threats of our time. The War on Terror, like the Cold War, is as much a conflict of visions as a struggle of armed force. All of the early heroes of the Cold War -- Truman, and Churchill, and Adenauer -- understood this. Decades later, we seemed poised to forget it, viewing the Soviet Union as just another state with interests, and its continued existence -- even its permanence -- as inevitable. It was President Reagan who peeled back the layers of complacency surrounding detente and saw that underneath, the Soviet Union had not changed, that the moral element of the early Cold War was still relevant. President Reagan re-infused the Cold War with moral purpose. And that renewed sense of purpose allowed the free world to prevail.

The terrorist ideology is the direct heir to communism, and Nazism, and fascism -- the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. The struggle against terror is fundamentally a struggle of vision and values. The terrorists offer suicide, and death, and pseudo-religious tyranny. America and our allies seek to advance the cause of liberty and defend the dignity of every person. We seek, in President Bush's words, "the advance of freedom, and the peace that freedom brings."

That means, above all, addressing what leading Arab Intellectuals have called the freedom deficit in the Middle East. The stakes could not be higher. If the Middle East is to leave behind stagnation, and tyranny, and violence for export, then freedom must flourish in every corner of the region.

That is why the United States is pursuing a forward strategy of freedom for the Middle East. Freedom must be freely chosen -- and we will seek out and work with those in the Middle East who believe in the values, and habits, and institutions of liberty, and who desire to see the rule of law, and freedom of the press, and religious liberty, and respect for women, and limits on the power of the state, and economic opportunity thrive. We reject the cultural condescension which alleges that Arabs or Muslims are somehow not interested in freedom, or aren't ready for freedom's responsibilities. We will refuse to excuse tyranny. We will insist on higher standards from our friends. And we will enlist support from our allies in the region, and beyond.

Iraq and Afghanistan are vanguards of this effort. Fifty million people have been liberated from two of the most brutal and dangerous tyrannies of our time. With the help of over 60 nations, the Iraqi and Afghan peoples are now struggling to build democracies, under difficult conditions, in the rocky soil of the Middle East. In January, Afghanistan approved a new and progressive constitution. And later this year, the Afghan people will hold elections. Every day Iraqis take more responsibility for their nation's security -- from guarding facilities, to policing streets, to rebuilding the infrastructure that Saddam Hussein neglected for decades. The Iraqi people are making daily progress toward democracy. We are working with the Iraqi Governing Council to draft a basic law, and a bill of rights. And we are working with Iraqis and the United Nations to prepare for a transition to full sovereignty for Iraq.

The work of building democracy in these places is opposed by hold-outs from the former oppressors and by foreign terrorists. These killers seek to advance their ideology of murder by halting all progress toward democracy and a better future. They are trying to shake our will -- that of our country, that of our friends. They are killing Iraqis who are innocent. They are sowing a reign of terror. But we and the people of Iraq will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins because America and her forces will stay the course until the job is done. (Applause.)

The world is watching. The failure of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan would condemn millions to misery and embolden terrorists around the world. The defeat of terror and the success of freedom in those nations will serve the interests of our nation because free nations do not sponsor terror and do not breed the ideologies of murder. And success will serve our ideals, as free and democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan inspire hope and encourage reform throughout the world.

These principles of freedom must also apply to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. President Bush, the first American president to issue a clear call for a Palestinian state, has stated plainly that there can be no peace for either side until there is freedom for both sides. The nature of the Palestinian state and the quality of its leadership is as important as its borders. Palestinian leaders need embrace democracy, eliminate corruption, and fight terrorism. For its part, Israel must help create conditions for a Palestinian state to emerge. It must do nothing to prejudge the outcome of a final status agreement. And, it must do more to improve the lives of the Palestinian people, removing the daily humiliations that harden the hearts of future generations.

The work of building democracy in these nations is hard -- the work of building democracy is always hard. Success will require the work of a generation. Winning the Cold War wasn't easy, either -- and it took 40 years -- but the free world's alliance of strength and conviction prevailed because we never abandoned our values or our responsibilities. As in the Cold War, progress may at times seem halting and uneven. Times of great strategic importance are also times of great turbulence. It is always easier for Presidents, no less than citizens, to do the expected thing -- to follow the accepted path. Boldness is always criticized, change is always suspect, and Presidents from Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, to Harry Truman, to Ronald Reagan knew that history is, indeed, the final judge. I can tell you that, like those Presidents, this President knows that his obligation is not to the daily headlines but to securing the peace and that it is history that will be the final judge.

I had a great opportunity to serve on the National Security Council staff a dozen years ago, when the Berlin Wall fell, and the Warsaw Pact dissolved, and the Soviet Union gave way to a free Russia. It was, of course, exhilarating to be in government at such a time and a part of me felt some small measure of pride. But that pride quickly gave way to a humble awe for the giants who faced the challenges of the post-World War II moment -- the Trumans, the Marshalls, the Achesons, the Kennans -- and to those who reimagined and revitalized that struggle: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, and George Herbert Walker Bush.

These men and women -- in the most uncertain times, amidst often noisy acrimony -- made decisions that would bear fruit only years, in some cases decades, later. My colleagues and I were simply reaping the harvest of the good work that they had sown.

That harvest -- a safer, freer, better world -- is no less our hope for the decisions that the United States and our allies and friends are making today. Realizing this vision may take decades. It will certainly not happen on my watch. It will not happen on this President's watch. It will require a commitment of many years. But that is what Americans do when faced with great peril and great opportunity. We know that the effort and the wait will be worth it.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

All right, I'm happy to take a few questions, if you have them.

Q Thank you for your great speech. And my question is, is there any foreseeable time that our military from Iraq will come home, that we get our boys back and there will be an establishment of the self-government of the Iraqis?

DR. RICE: Absolutely, the United States will be able, at some point in time, to rely on the Iraqi people for the further development of their democracy.

I think that we need to think about our forces as being there until the job is done. We have not wanted to even try to speculate about time. The thing to recognize, though, is that the Iraqis are taking responsibility daily for more and more of their own security. They are patrolling their streets, they are breaking up terrorist ambitions and plots daily. We are training Iraqi policemen; we are training the Iraqi civil defense forces; we are training the Iraqi army. And we are training them in principles that they did not adhere to during Saddam Hussein's period, which is that they should be respectful of democratic values, respectful of the rights of their fellow citizens in Iraq, and that they should carry out their responsibilities with honor and with an eye to preserving Iraqi democracy.

They will be capable of doing this on their own, I am absolutely certain of it. They are a smart people, they are a sophisticated people. They come from a place of great cultural heritage and great cultural import. They need the support of the United States and the allies to get this work done.

Talking to many of the men and women in uniform who are there, they know why they are there, and they know what they are doing in support of this great cause. And so I think the best thing we can say to them as a country is, we support what you're doing; what you're doing is important to the future of the world, what you're doing is important to the security of the United States. And we will stay there to support the Iraqis in what they are doing until the job is done.

We will begin, by the way, a further move towards self-government when, at the end of June, the Iraqis -- we return sovereignty to an Iraqi transitional government arrangement of which will be able then to hold that sovereignty until a time at which they can have free and complete elections. (Applause.)

Q What are the specific diplomatic approaches towards the North Korean crisis?

DR. RICE: Thank you. Well, the most important achievement in dealing with the North Korean issue has been to mobilize a multilateral approach to the North Koreans so it's not just us and the North Koreans. The North Koreans would like nothing better than to go back to the time when the United States and North Korea were dealing bilaterally on their nuclear program.

In 1994, the Clinton administration signed an agreement with the North Koreans called the Agreed Framework. It was the right thing to do at the time. I don't think anybody can be critical of that. The problem is that within just a couple of years, the North Koreans were cheating and finding another path to a nuclear weapon. And we're not going back down that road. When you've seen that happen, you think, okay, that's happened, you're not very smart to do it again.

So what we are doing this time is that any agreement is going to have to come in the context of what we're doing with China, what we're doing with Japan, what we're doing with South Korea, what we're doing with Russia. And the North Koreans are not going to be able to divide and conquer the international community on their nuclear program in the way that they had before. So the six-party talks are extremely important.

Now, the North Koreans should also recognize that, with the unraveling of these proliferation networks, the A.Q. Kahn network, what the Libyans are now freely admitting and talking about, that their admissions and what they say is not the only source of information about what's going on in North Korea. And it's probably a good time for the North Koreans to come clean about what's going on in North Korea.

What we will do is we will take this one step at a time. We understand this may take some time. But there can be nothing less than the verifiable, complete elimination of North Korea's nuclear programs. And it's going to take place in the context in which it's not just us that insists on that, because everybody in that region wants a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. (Applause.)

Q Dr. Rice, the press is implying there is not a lot of support, public opinion support, within Iraq for our efforts over there. If there are other reports indicating that there is significant support, could you address that, please?

DR. RICE: Absolutely. The Iraqi people are going through an awakening of their politics. They've never had in their lifetimes real politics, because Saddam Hussein crushed anybody who had any differing views. And it's wonderful to see them debating the future of Iraq.

How are they going to address the role of women in their documents?

How are they going to deal with federalism, with the separation of power between various elements of the government? They're really having a real political debate. And that's a really good thing.

What is very clear is that they're really glad to have been liberated and they appreciate the fact that the United States and the allies liberated them. I'll tell you one of the most stirring speeches that I've heard in a long time was given by the Iraqi Foreign Minister, a man named Zabari, when he was up at the United Nations. And he essentially said, how could the world have let this tyrant go on for so long? How could you have let him rape and torture our people for so long and not do something about it? So the Iraqi people know that they have been liberated from a great national nightmare. And they want to have this new start.

Now, there are people who don't want Iraq to have a new start. And they come essentially in two categories: Those who oppressed their fellow Iraqis before; that is, former loyalists of Saddam Hussein's regime, who had privileges that they are trying to preserve -- that's some of the problem in Iraq. The other is, foreign terrorists like this man Zarqawi who you probably read about, who is an Al Qaeda affiliate. We've seen him before. He was in Iraq before the war. He's back in Iraq now. He's determined to try to foment trouble. He says he's going to try to cause civil war in Iraq.

Because people like Zarqawi and their Al Qaeda affiliates and their Al Qaeda colleagues know that when Iraq is stable and peaceful and prosperous and democratic, that we will blow a huge hole in their sense of inevitability for this murderous jihad that they're trying to carry out. That's why Zarqawi and those people are in Iraq. And if you think for one minute that if we weren't in Iraq, they were just going to be someplace drinking tea? No. (Laughter.) They were going to be fighting the jihad somewhere. They decide that they're going to do it in Iraq because they know it's an extremely important battle in the central front.

I've been really kind of amused that when the President said Iraq was on the central front in the war on terrorism, people said, oh, no, no, no, it doesn't have anything to do with the war on terrorism. What's Zarqawi doing in Iraq? He seems to know it has something to do with the war on terrorism. So we need to get very clear on what it is we're doing in Iraq.

Yes, we are giving the Iraqi people an opportunity for a free Iraq. After 12 years of not dealing with Saddam Hussein, the world really owes them that. But, as importantly, we are making ourselves more secure, because we cannot fight the terrorists in New York; we've got to fight them out there. We have to have an aggressive policy to go after them. We've got to change the nature of the Middle East so that you don't have ideologies of hatred that lead people to fly airplanes into buildings on a pleasant September morning. We are fighting the war in Iraq for our security, as well as for the benefit of the Iraqi people. (Applause.)

Q First, just the observation that there is a very special state-to-state relationship between California and Taiwan. And the question that I have is, we spoke about hate and we're going into this election campaign. Like with President Reagan when he brought in the cruise missile and the Pershing missile, there is a staggering amount of animosity amongst the Democratic left towards their neighbors, their coworkers, those of us who are the conservatives. And this goes back even to the time of Churchill and Chamberlain. Can you address this animosity that we're going to see in this campaign of the Democratic left, so adverse to having us take on the totalitarians of the world?

DR. RICE: Well, Americans just need to step back for a moment and ask themselves several questions about what has happened over the last two-and-a-half years. We were brutally attacked on September 11th on our own territory. We didn't know it was coming an hour before it happened. We didn't know it was coming minutes before it happened. How do you know when you have let a gathering threat go too long? You know when somebody attacks. That's not acceptable. And the President has said, he is going to do everything that he can not to put America in that position again. He tells everybody who comes into the Oval, my solemn duty is to protect the people of the United States of America. So one thing we can all agree on as Americans is we don't ever want to go through September 11th again if we can humanly avoid it.

That means that you don't get to go back to the days when we thought of terrorism as just some kind of law enforcement problem. Yes, there were people who were fighting to make us be more aggressive in Afghanistan and wipe out al Qaeda. There certainly were in the last administration and this administration. But we have not really mobilized our country for a war on terrorism. We had not mobilized the international community to recognize that, yes, you have to have broad sharing of intelligence, you have to have broad sharing of law enforcement. But you also have got to use when you must the military instrument to deprive them of sanctuary, which is what we did in Afghanistan, so that they don't have camps in Afghanistan anymore -- that you have to go after terrorist states that are a gathering threat like Saddam Hussein.

Who are we fooling? We went to war against them in 1991. I guess he was a threat; President Clinton bombed him in 1998. I guess he was a threat; he was shooting at our aircraft every day, practically, in the no-fly zones, as we flew military missions to try to keep him from harming his own people or from attacking his neighbors. He was shooting at our airplanes. He was defying the international community's calls and demands that he disarm. This was one of the most dangerous regimes of all time -- of recent times, sitting in the world's most dangerous region.

Now, are we better off that he's gone? Is the Middle East better off that he's gone? Is it worth the sacrifice to rid this region of one of the most dangerous regimes in modern times? Yes.

And so that's what we need to step back and look at. And if somebody has got a better idea of how to protect America, then I think they ought to put it forward. That's the debate that I think we will have. That's fine. That's what debate is all about. But I hope that as we have the debate, we will also try very hard to send a strong message that America is going to stay after the terrorists, that America is not going to abandon the Iraqi people, that we will be there with them through this struggle, that the United States of America finishes the jobs that it began.

That's a worthy debate for the United States of America, because the role of the United States is the major one in foreign policy. But at a time of consequence, you don't have a choice but to take the difficult and tough road sometimes, and that's what this President has done. (Applause.)

There was one -- all the way back, there's a lady, yes.

Q Dr. Rice, I have more than one question, if I may. Thank you. (Laughter.) I would like to know, how close in actuality are you in capturing Osama bin Laden? And if you could elaborate a little bit on the close ties of France and Germany with Iraq. And also, what is the agenda that the United States might have with Haiti besides sending in 50 military men to guard the embassy? That's not going to be enough.

DR. RICE: Thank you. Well, thank you. I'm glad that you particularly asked the last question about Haiti because I would like to have a chance to address that. But let me go -- look, I don't know, these people who report in papers were close to him, were just close -- I don't know what they're talking about. (Laughter.) You know, I assume that if we are so fortunate to bring -- to find Osama bin Laden, that is going to happen with one of those middle of the night phone calls like I got about Saddam Hussein, and I will be perfectly happy to take it.

But he's a very difficult target. We continue to work. It's basically a business of having people to help you to find him, and the good news is we have a lot of Afghans and others who work with us, and eventually, we will.

I just want to mention that there are others who are equally, if not more dangerous. His deputy, Zawahiri, if you see that name go down, that will be a tremendous -- of tremendous benefit. Zarqawi, who I mentioned, is somebody who is probably organizing a lot of the resistance -- a lot of the problem in Iraq. It is also the case that we have taken out much of their field-generalship. When you read names like Khalid Shaykh Muhammad or Abu Zabaydah or al Libi, you should know that what you're doing is you're taking out their field generals. And those are the people who really plan these operations.

And so it would be absolutely an important thing to get Osama bin Laden. But let's not lose sight of the fact that this is a big network that requires broad leadership and requires leadership at several levels, and taking out the leadership is important.

As to Haiti, this is an extremely difficult situation, and it is really time for all the parties to recognize that violence is getting them nowhere. We have a very strong concern, and the President issued a statement last night for the Haitian people, for the dangers that they face. We are intensifying our efforts to try to get humanitarian assistance to places that are having difficultly getting it.

But what we need is a political solution in Haiti. Colin Powell is working many, many hours with his Canadian counterpart, with his French counterpart, with his counterparts from around the region, particularly from the Caribbean area, to try and get the opposition and President Aristide to agree on a political course going forward.

At which time, incident to that, you could probably find an international security and police force to try and help stabilize the situation. But without some kind of political path forward, it's just extremely difficult to deal with the situation. But I want everybody to know that it is a problem about which we have considerable concern. We are working very hard with Haiti's neighbors, as well as with the Canadians and with the French, to see if we can get to a political solution which could then provide a basis for stability.

But every -- all of the parties in Haiti need to step back and look at where they are. President Aristide needs to take a hard look at where he is; the opposition needs to take a hard look at where they are. And hopefully we can come to some solution.

Thank you, very much. (Applause.)


11:27 PM  
Blogger Management said...

I'm Tommy Franks and I approved that message.

This convention ROCKS...

I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. But I believe in democracy. I believe in America.

After almost four decades as a Soldier I've been Independent...some would say very independent

But, here I stand tonight, endorsing George W. Bush to be the next President of the United States.

America is a land of opportunity and a land of choice.

A great war time President, Franklin Roosevelt, once said: "Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely."

Delegates and Friends I am prepared to "choose wisely."

And I choose George W. Bush.

I am honored to join the American Patriots who just stood on this stage.

Men who know as do our troopers' mothers and dads, husbands and wives, that 'Freedom is Never Free.'

These are men who stepped forward to lead America's sons and daughters selflessly. They remained loyal to their Country and the troops.

I join them in saluting our Commander in Chief George W. Bush.

America finds itself today at an important crease in history. The attacks of September 11th, brought a new enemy to our shores an enemy unlike any we've ever faced before.

Our Nation is safer today because we have hardened our defenses and taken the fight to the terrorists, but we still have work to do.

The Global War on Terrorism will be a long fight. But make no mistake we are going to fight the terrorists. The question is do we fight them over there -- or do we fight them here. I choose to fight them over there.

Some argue that we should treat this war as a law enforcement issue. Some say we should fight a less aggressive war -- that we should retreat into a defensive posture and hope that the terrorists don't attack us again.

Well, my wife Cathy and I are simply not willing to bet our grandchildren's future on the 'good will' of murderers.

I learned long ago that hope is not a strategy.

In the years ahead, America will be called upon to demonstrate character, consistency, courage, and leadership.

Lincoln once said, "Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."

Citizens and friends, I've been with this President in tough, uncertain times. George W. Bush is

"the real thing."

The past three years have been hard years, a time of hard decisions and tough choices.

I have looked into his eyes and I have seen his character.

I have seen courage and consistency the courage to stand up to terrorists and the consistency necessary to beat them.

In the battle for Afghanistan we removed a regime that provided the base of support for the al Qaeda terrorists that had been killing Americans for years.

In the battle for Iraq, we removed a brutal regime with an avowed hatred of America, a history of torturing its own people, and a history of using WMD against its neighbors and its own citizens.

We removed a regime with well documented ties to terrorists like al Qaeda murderer Abu Zarqawi.

Terrorism against our country started long before 9-11. Terrorists have been killing Americans for more than two decades. I am proud that this President has chosen to make a stand.

Today, in Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 50 million men, women and children have been liberated from tyranny and these countries are no longer safe harbors for those who would launch the next attack against America.

We see the smiles of little girls in Afghanistan who can now go to school. We see pride in the faces of a new Iraqi army as they begin to protect their new found freedoms.

We see resolve in the faces of emerging leaders of Iraq and Afghanistan as they build their new nations. And soon, in both Iraq and Afghanistan we will see free elections.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, terrorism and tyranny are being replaced by freedom, hope, and opportunity.

I am proud that America has given 50 million people a chance.

And we have not been in this fight alone.

President Bush has built the largest coalition in the history of the world nations united together against terrorism.

Some have ridiculed the contributions made by our allies, but I can tell you that every contribution from every nation is important.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in thanking our Coalition partners for being there when America and the world needed them most.

There can be no tougher decision than the decision to go to war the decision to put our sons and daughters into harm's way.

When George W. Bush asked America's men and women to go to war, he gave them every resource the Nation possessed.

This is a man who, before sending us into battle, personally asked each military commander if he had everything he needed.

This is a man who made sure everything possible was done to protect our troops from the WMD we all expected. This is a commander in chief who is as compassionate as he is courageous.

President Bush has increased basic pay for men and women in uniform by more than 20 percent.

He has improved military housing. And he has provided strong support for military families who sacrifice so much.

And while we celebrate the American fighting man and woman when they are in the news, who remembers the veterans when the parades are over and the cheering fades?

Who remembers the veteran's families?

President George W. Bush has provided unprecedented support for these heroes. In fact he secured a larger increase in veterans funding in four years than the previous Administration did in eight.

This President remembers our veterans and is keeping America's promise to those who have sacrificed so much for us all.

George W. Bush remembers the sacrifices of the greatest generation and those who served bravely in Korea and Viet Nam.

To all our veterans we say, "welcome home."

This President has remained loyal to those who serve and for that he has my respect.

Citizens and friends, I began tonight by reminding you that America must make a choice.

I choose George W. Bush because he is a leader we can depend on to make the tough decisions and the right decisions.

I choose George W. Bush because his vision to take the fight to the terrorists is the best way to protect our country.

I choose George W. Bush because he stands up for the American fighting man and woman and because he remembers our veterans.

I choose George W. Bush because we know the next 200 years of American history depends on the decisions we make as a Nation today.

And, I choose President George W. Bush because I believe his leadership will help ensure a better future for my grandchildren -- Anne Cathryn and Samuel Thomas Matlock.

Thank you all-- and may God bless our Country and our Commander- in-Chief.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Management said...

U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism
State Dept. Will Not Put Data in Report

By Susan B. Glasser
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 27, 2005; Page A01

The number of serious international terrorist incidents more than tripled last year, according to U.S. government figures, a sharp upswing in deadly attacks that the State Department has decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week.

Overall, the number of what the U.S. government considers "significant" attacks grew to about 655 last year, up from the record of around 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides who were briefed on statistics covering incidents including the bloody school seizure in Russia and violence related to the disputed Indian territory of Kashmir.

Terrorist incidents in Iraq also dramatically increased, from 22 attacks to 198, or nine times the previous year's total -- a sensitive subset of the tally, given the Bush administration's assertion that the situation there had stabilized significantly after the U.S. handover of political authority to an interim Iraqi government last summer.

The State Department announced last week that it was breaking with tradition in withholding the statistics on terrorist attacks from its congressionally mandated annual report. Critics said the move was designed to shield the government from questions about the success of its effort to combat terrorism by eliminating what amounted to the only year-to-year benchmark of progress.

Although the State Department said the data would still be made public by the new National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which prepares the information, officials at the center said no decision to publish the statistics has been made.

The controversy comes a year after the State Department retracted its annual terrorism report and admitted that its initial version vastly understated the number of incidents. That became an election-year issue, as Democrats said the Bush administration tried to inflate its success in curbing global terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"Last year was bad. This year is worse. They are deliberately trying to withhold data because it shows that as far as the war on terrorism internationally, we're losing," said Larry C. Johnson, a former senior State Department counterterrorism official, who first revealed the decision not to publish the data.

After a week of complaints from Congress, top aides from the State Department and the NCTC were dispatched to the Hill on Monday for a private briefing. There they acknowledged for the first time the increase in terrorist incidents, calling it a "dramatic uptick," according to participants and a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.).

The administration aides sought to explain the rise in attacks as the result of more inclusive methodology in counting incidents, which they argued made year-to-year comparisons "increasingly problematic," sources said.

In his letter urging Rice to release the data, Waxman said that "the large increases in terrorist attacks reported in 2004 may undermine administration claims of success in the war on terror, but political inconvenience has never been a legitimate basis for withholding facts from the American people."

Both Republican and Democratic aides at the meeting criticized what a GOP attendee called the "absurd" explanation offered by the State Department's acting counterterrorism chief, Karen Aguilar, that the statistics are not relevant to the required report on trends in global terrorism. "It's absurd to issue a report without statistics," said the aide, who is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. "This is a self-inflicted wound by the State Department."

Aguilar, according to Hill aides, told them that Rice decided to withhold the statistics on the recommendation of her counselor, Philip D. Zelikow. He was executive director of the Sept. 11 commission that investigated the terrorist attacks on the United States.

The terrorism statistics provided to the congressional aides were not classified but were stamped "for official use only." Last week, State Department spokesman Richard A. Boucher said the government would publish "all the facts," but at Monday's session Aguilar told the staff members that even if the NCTC decided not to release the data, the State Department would not reconsider and publicly do so itself.

A State Department spokesman said last night that he is confident the data will be officially released. He said the government is committed to "providing the public all the information it needs to have an informed debate on this issue."

Under the standards used by the government, "significant" terrorist attacks are defined as those that cause civilian casualties or fatalities or substantial damage to property. Attacks on uniformed military personnel such as the large number of U.S. troops stationed in Iraq are not included.

The data provided to the congressional aides also showed terrorist attacks doubling over the previous year in Afghanistan, to 27 significant incidents, and in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, where attacks rose to about 45, from 19 the year before. Also occurring last year were such deadly attacks as the seizure of a school in Beslan, Russia, by Chechen militants that resulted in at least 330 dead, and the Madrid train bombings that left nearly 200 dead.

The State Department did not disclose to the aides the overall number of those killed in incidents last year. Johnson said his count shows it was well over 1,000.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Iraq insurgency in 'last throes,' Cheney says

Monday, June 20, 2005; Posted: 12:19 p.m. EDT (16:19 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says, and he predicts that the fighting will end before the Bush administration leaves office.

In a wide-ranging interview Monday on CNN's "Larry King Live," Cheney cited the recent push by Iraqi forces to crack down on insurgent activity in Baghdad and reports that the most-wanted terrorist leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been wounded.

The vice president said he expected the war would end during President Bush's second term, which ends in 2009.

"I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

Cheney was among the Bush administration's most forceful advocates of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Bush, Cheney and other top officials said war was necessary because Iraq was maintaining illicit stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and concealing a nuclear weapons program from U.N. weapons inspectors and could have provided those weapons to terrorists.

No banned weapons were found after U.S. troops deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's government, though U.S. inspectors said Iraq was concealing some weapons-related research from the United Nations.

Nevertheless, Cheney said he was "absolutely convinced we did the right thing in Iraq." He said the United States was making "major progress" in Iraq, where a transitional government took power in April and was working on drafting a new constitution.

"America will be safer in the long run when Iraq, and Afghanistan as well, are no longer safe havens for terrorists or places where people can gather and plan and organize attacks against the United States," he said.

Saddam's government collapsed in just three weeks, but a persistent guerrilla campaign against U.S. troops and the fledgling Iraqi government has lasted more than two years. The number of U.S. troops killed in the conflict now tops 1,650, and estimates of the number of Iraqi deaths range into the tens of thousands.

Since the conflict, the Jordanian-born Islamic militant al-Zarqawi has been blamed for dozens of bombings that have left hundreds of people dead. Reports emerged last week that he had been wounded in combat -- but in an audiotaped statement released Monday on militant Islamic Web sites, a man claiming to be al-Zarqawi said the injury was minor.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Iraq sees increase in car bombings


Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A 12-year-old, his left leg missing below the knee, sat screaming on the sidewalk in a howling sandstorm as a man offered comfort. Laith Falah was buying bread just after daybreak Thursday when he was wounded by one of eight car bombs that struck the capital since dusk - a furious pace all too familiar in today's Iraq. Falah was lucky to be alive; 38 others were killed by the attacks over the 12-hour period.

Car bombers have struck Iraq 479 times in the past year, and a third of the attacks followed the naming of a new Iraqi government two months ago, according to an Associated Press count based on reports from police, military and hospital officials.

The unrelenting attacks, using bombs that can cost as little as a carton of American cigarettes each, have become the most-favored weapon of the government's most-determined enemies - Islamic extremists.

The toll has been tremendous, according to the AP count: From April 28 through June 23, there were at least 160 vehicle bombings that killed at least 580 people and wounded at least 1,734.

In total, for the year from the handover of sovereignty on June 28, 2004, until June 23, 2005, there were at least 479 car bombs, killing 2,174 people and wounding 5,520.

Altogether, the AP count shows that insurgents have killed at least 1,245 people since the government of new Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari took over April 28.

Last month was the most violent for Iraqi civilians since the U.S.-led invasion to remove Saddam Hussein from power in March 2003, said Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, commander of the Multinational Corps in Iraq.

There were 77 car bombs in May, killing 317 people and wounding 896.

"The terrorists attack ordinary people, teachers, doctors, newly trained police and others who are assisting the people of Iraq," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said.

So far, a series of counterinsurgency sweeps by U.S. and Iraqi forces - both inside Baghdad and in turbulent Anbar province to the west - have not been able to slow the attackers' pace appreciably.

Nevertheless, officials say they have recently gained valuable intelligence about how the car bombers operate.

As Iraqi and U.S. military officials went over plans for a recent sweep in Baghdad, they made a startling discovery: Rather than assembling car bombs outside the capital, insurgents were fitting the cars with explosives at workshops inside the city itself.

That discovery - from tips by residents - forced officials to scrap the idea of surrounding Baghdad with troops in an effort to control all 23 entrances to the city.

"This was based on the assumption that car bombs were loaded outside the city," the prime minister recently told a small group of reporters.

Instead, al-Jaafari said, the planners of Operation Lighting, launched May 29, switched to an operation that also involved setting up checkpoints inside the city and carrying out street-by-street sweeps.

The tips also led to the discovery of large car bomb factories inside Baghdad. Security forces were stunned to discover that insurgents could rig a car with explosives in one hour or less, al-Jaafari said.

In addition to the Baghdad sweeps, U.S. and Iraqi forces last weekend launched two massive campaigns - code-named Spear and Dagger - in Anbar to target foreign fighters coming into Iraq from Syria.

During Operation Spear, near the Syrian border, U.S. Marines found foreign passports and one round-trip air ticket from Tripoli, Libya, to Damascus, Syria. The travel documents included two passports from Sudan, two from Saudi Arabia, two from Libya, two from Algeria and one from Tunisia.

Building a car bomb is not hard in Iraq, which is flush with the materials needed to assemble them. Leftover stockpiles from what was once the world's fourth-largest army supply the artillery shells and explosives for the actual bombs.

Getting a car is even easier, because no one asks for registration, a driver's license or paperwork of any kind - only a couple thousand dollars in cash is required to buy one.

Hundreds of thousands of cheap, secondhand cars from Europe, the Persian Gulf region and Asia flooded into Iraq after the U.S.-led occupation of the country two years ago. Many are shipped to the Jordanian port of Aqaba and are then driven overland into Iraq on Jordanian tractor-trailer rigs.

A typical car bomb is usually a medium sized four-door sedan, usually of any make - although Baghdad residents are convinced that suicide bombers prefer Opels and BMWs. They usually have large artillery shells placed in the luggage compartment. Those high-explosive shells are then wired either to detonate when the car hits its target, or with a driver-activated electric switch, or with both.

Security experts say it's common to have a backup driver following the suicide car bomber's vehicle, often with a remote-controlled detonator to blow it up at any sign of hesitation from the driver.

Assembling a car bomb costs about the price of a carton of American cigarettes: When the Iraqi government announced the June 7 arrest of a key member of al-Qaida in Iraq, authorities said he was charging just $17 per bomb.

Jassim Hazan Hamadi al-Bazi, also known as Abu Ahmed, was part of an al-Qaida cell run by a man identified as Hussayn Ibrahim, the government said. He built and sold remote-controlled bombs from an electronics repair shop in Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Car bombs have become so prevalent that police in the northern city of Mosul last week decided to ban trunk lids on taxis. According to the U.S. military, insurgents have been using taxis in attacks, hiding weapons and explosives in the luggage compartment.


11:29 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Bush Speech Reveals Administration’s Ongoing Deceptions on Iraq

By Stephen Zunes | June 29, 2005

Editor: Erik Leaver, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)

As popular domestic opposition to the administration’s policies in Iraq reaches new highs, President George W. Bush’s efforts to justify the ongoing war seem to have reached new lows. Indeed, in the president’s nationally-televised June 28th speech from an Army base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he was clearly straining to defend his disastrous decision to invade and occupy that oil-rich Middle Eastern country.

Given that Americans from across the political spectrum have traditionally been wary of foreign military entanglements, both Republican and Democratic presidents have repeatedly tried to portray U.S. military intervention in far-away lands—no matter how weak the enemy or imperialistic the quest—as vital to the defense of the United States. President Bush has an advantage over every other U.S. president in his lifetime in that the United States was attacked under his watch. That Iraq had nothing to do with that tragedy is apparently beside the point.

In his address, President Bush spoke of the horror of 9/11 and subsequent attacks by al-Qaida and related groups elsewhere in the world. In stressing America’s determination to defend itself against future attacks, he claimed that “ Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war.” Since none of the 9/11 hijackers, none of the al-Qaida leadership, and none of the money trail has been traced to Iraq, the only connection President Bush was honestly able to make was that, “Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens.” While this may indeed be true, it is important to recognize that there was virtually no terrorism nor were there organized groups affiliated with al-Qaida and like-minded Sunni Islamist extremists in Iraq until nearly two years after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and the rise of such radical movements and the widespread use of terrorism in that country was a direct consequence of the U.S. invasion and the overthrow of Iraq’s longstanding secular nationalist government.

Speaking of the Iraqi insurgency and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida movement as a collective “them,” President Bush declared that, “There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them before they attack us at home.” Americans are killing and dying in Iraq, he insisted, “because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand,” as if the underground al-Qaida cells in Europe and the United States allegedly responsible for 9/11 thought it strategically sound to base their terrorist operations in Iraq.

The president also cited General John Vines, the Army commander in charge of U.S. military operations in Iraq, who claimed that “We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us.” This is essentially a repetition of the long-discredited line used to justify the war in Vietnam: “If we don’t fight them over there, we will have to fight them here.”

Despite this often-repeated phrase by both Republicans and Democrats in the White House, Capitol Hill, and the mainstream media during the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, not once in the thirty years since the National Liberation Front marched into Saigon has the United States had to fight the Vietnamese or any other Communists in our country.

Vietnamese stopped killing Americans when our troops got out of their country. Presumably, Iraqis would do the same. It is important to re-emphasize the fact that there was no large-scale terrorist violence in Iraq until after the United States invaded in March 2003 and the terrorist violence which followed came in reaction to that foreign invasion and occupation of their country.

Yet, turning the lessons of history upside-down, President Bush insisted that, “We will prevent al-Qaida and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban, a safe haven from which they could launch attacks on America and our friends.” In reality, the Taliban was able to take over Afghanistan as a result of the radicalization of key sectors of the population which occurred not because of an absence of a counter-insurgency campaign led by non-Muslim foreign military forces in their country but because of a counter-insurgency campaign led by a non-Muslim foreign military in their country.

Though foreign fighters are only a small percentage of the active resistance against U.S. forces in Iraq, President Bush overemphasized their presence in his speech, claiming “Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom,” citing military reports that U.S. forces had “killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq” who had come from various Islamic countries. While most of these foreign jihadists probably do subscribe to a kind of religious fascism, they did not come to Iraq to kill and die in order to “fight the advance of peace and freedom.”

Foreign fighters are in Iraq for the same reason many of the foreign fighters were in Afghanistan during the 1980s: to repel a foreign army which had invaded an Islamic country, overthrown its government, and set up a new regime that the foreign occupier hoped would be more compliant with its strategic and economic interests.

With Americans becoming increasingly skeptical of the overly-optimistic reports from the White House on the situation in Iraq, the Bush administration has desperately sought to link some positive developments elsewhere in the Middle East to its policies there, declaring “As Iraqis make progress toward a free society, the effects are being felt beyond Iraq’s borders.”

As one example, President Bush observed, “Before our coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs.” In reality, the principal U.S. and British negotiators who arranged the Libyan disarmament agreement have explicitly stated that the successful conclusion of their two-year effort was totally unrelated to the invasion. Indeed, given that Saddam Hussein had also given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs but was invaded anyway, how could the U.S. invasion of Iraq been an incentive to Libya’s Muammar Qadaffi to do the same?

President Bush went on to say how “Across the broader Middle East, people are claiming their freedom. In the last few months, we’ve witnessed elections in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. These elections are inspiring democratic reformers in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia.” Those actually familiar with these countries, however, recognize that none of these events had anything to do with the U.S. invasion of Iraq or what has transpired subsequently. The elections in the Palestinian territories in January took place because their former president died and the Lebanese elections earlier in June similarly followed that country’s normal constitutional process which has been in place for many years prior to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Meanwhile, leading reformers in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who have been struggling for many years against their countries’ U.S.-backed dictatorships have been virtually unanimous in their contention that the U.S. invasion of Iraq has actually set back their efforts for greater democratic freedoms as it has strengthened the power and influence of Islamic radicals.

There is no easy answer to the ongoing violence and destruction in Iraq and what needs to happen to create a stable, prosperous, peaceful, and democratic Iraq. But President Bush did not propose a solution in his speech. And after the lies that got us into the Iraq War it should certainly be clear that the Bush administration cannot be trusted to bring peace and prosperity to Iraq.

Stephen Zunes, Middle East editor for Foreign Policy In Focus, is a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism (Zed Press, 2003).

11:29 PM  
Blogger Management said...

CIA says Iraq is now a terrorist training ground
22 Jun 2005 19:33:10 GMT
Source: Reuters

(Adds fresh comments, paragraphs 7-9)

WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) - The CIA believes the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, officials said on Wednesday.

A classified report from the U.S. spy agency says Iraqi and foreign fighters are developing a broad range of skills, from car bombings and assassinations to coordinated conventional attacks on police and military targets, officials said.

Once the insurgency ends, Islamic militants are likely to disperse as highly organized battle-hardened combatants capable of operating throughout the Arab-speaking world and in other regions including Europe.

Fighters leaving Iraq would primarily pose a challenge for their countries of origin including Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

But the May report, which has been widely circulated in the intelligence community, also cites a potential threat to the United States.

"You have people coming to the action with anti-U.S. sentiment ... And since they're Iraqi or foreign Arabs or to some degree Kurds, they have more communities they can blend into outside Iraq," said a U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the report's classified status.

Canada also released an intelligence report saying the Sunni insurgency in Iraq posed a global problem given that most of the world's Sunni Muslims live outside the Middle East.

"The current war in Iraq is creating a whole new set of extremists," the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said in a briefing document obtained by Reuters.

Meanwhile, a Pentagon official said the CIA report appeared to be a synthesis of intelligence information already known to military commanders in the Gulf region.

Iraq has become a magnet for Islamic militants similar to Soviet-occupied Afghanistan two decades ago and Bosnia in the 1990s, U.S. officials say.

Bin Laden won prominence as a U.S. ally in the war against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He later used Afghanistan as the training center for his al Qaeda network, which is blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York.

President George W. Bush justified the invasion of Iraq in part by charging that Saddam Hussein was supporting al Qaeda. A U.S. inquiry later found no collaboration between prewar Iraq and the bin Laden network.

But since the invasion, Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has emerged as a key insurgent figure and pledged his allegiance to bin Laden.

While the Afghan war against the Soviets was largely fought on a rural battlefield, the CIA report said Iraq is providing extremists with more comprehensive skills including training in operations devised for populated urban areas.

"You have everything from bombings and assassinations to more or less conventional attacks," the counterterrorism official said.

"The urban warfare experience, for people facing fairly tight police and military activity at close quarters, should enable them to operate in a wider range of settings."

Vice President Dick Cheney has argued that the insurgency is in its last throes, despite reports that the guerrillas have grown more deadly.

CIA Director Porter Goss told Time magazine that the insurgency was not quite in its last throes, "but I think they are very close to it."

11:30 PM  
Blogger Management said...

The 28,000 victims of terrorism
From Tim Reid in Washington
New figures show dramatic increase in global attacks
THERE were nearly 3,200 terrorist attacks worldwide last year, the Bush Administration said yesterday, using a broader definition that increased fivefold the number of incidents that Washington had previously tallied for 2004.

In figures published in April, the US State Department said that there were 651 significant international terror incidents, with more than 9,000 victims.

But under the newer, less-stringent definition of terrorism, which counts domestic attacks without an international element, the National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) reported 3,192 attacks worldwide, with 28,433 people killed, wounded or kidnapped.

Iraq, with 866, had the most attacks against civilians and other non-combatants, according to the report. Under the April figures, Iraq was considered to have suffered 201 attacks in 2004.

The new tally included attacks on Iraqis by Iraqis, a category previously excluded because it was not considered international terrorism. But attacks against coalition forces were omitted, because soldiers are considered combatants. Insurgent attacks on Iraqi police, deemed non-combatants, were included.

The Bush Administration’s terrorism figures have been the subject of repeated controversies. Last year the State Department withdrew its annual report on global terrorism after claiming that terrorism incidents had been declining for three years and that 190 cases reported in 2003 represented the lowest total since 1969.

American officials trumpeted the report as evidence that the US was winning the War on Terror. But the document was found to be full of errors, and officials acknowledged that it had vastly understated the number of attacks.

This year the State Department decided not to publish the terrorism figures in its annual report. It handed the responsibility to the new NCTC. John Brennan, its interim director, said that the methodology that produced the April statistics was so flawed that the numbers were unreliable.

For example, when Chechen rebels blew up two airliners over Russia in near- simultaneous attacks last year, only one attack was counted under the old system.

On board one aircraft were 46 Russians. The other had 43 Russians and one Israeli civilian, a foreign citizen. That allowed only the second attack to meet the criteria for international terrorism, which under the old system required terrorists to claim at least one citizen from another country among their victims.

According to the NCTC figures, America suffered only five terrorism incidents last year, which included an arson attack in Utah for which the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility. Mr Brennan said that the low number of attacks on US soil reflected the good job that the Bush Administration has done in protecting the US homeland. But he noted that many attacks overseas are aimed at American and Western interests. According to the report, only 19 per cent of terrorist incidents last year were attributable to Islamic extremists.

A quarter were recorded as secular or political attacks, but it said that the motives for 56 per cent remain unknown. Asked how the NCTC distinguishes between freedom fighters and terrorists, Mr Brennan said that the centre’s database is not “black and white and perfect”.

11:30 PM  

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