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Transcript: Bush's Remarks on Conflicts in the Middle East

FDCH E-Media
Tuesday, March 8, 2005; 11:15 AM

President Bush delivers remarks at the National Defense University about the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

BUSH: Thank you all. Please be seated.

It is great to be back to this fine university. Many great military leaders of the 20th century, from Dwight Eisenhower to Colin Powell, studied on this campus.

And today, the National Defense University is training a new generation of leaders who will serve and defend this nation in a new century.

Americans are grateful for your devotion to duty and so is your commander in chief.

(APPLAUSE)

I am honored that two influential and important members of the United States Congress have joined us. First, Senator Joe Lieberman, a strong defender of freedom.

Thank you for coming, Senator.

(APPLAUSE)

And the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Duncan Hunter.

Proud you're here, Duncan. Thank you for coming.

(APPLAUSE)

In the midst of what we hope will be the final snow blizzard of 2005, I'm honored you two men slushed here to this event.

I appreciate very much Lieutenant General Michael Dunn (ph) and his wife Pam for greeting me and for serving our nation.

I want to thank all the National Defense University students for being here.

I appreciate the staff for joining us.

I want to thank the members of the diplomatic corps who have come today.

It is an honor to see you all again.

I want to thank my fellow Americans for caring about the subject of peace. And that's what I'm here to discuss.

We meet at a time of great consequence for the security of our nation, a time when the defense of freedom requires the advance of freedom, a time with echoes in our history.

Twice in six decades a sudden attack on the United States launched our country into a global conflict and began a period of serious reflection on America's place in the world.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor taught America that unopposed tyranny, even on faraway continents, could draw our country into a struggle for our own survival. And our reflection on that lesson led us to help build peaceful democracies in the ruins of tyranny, to unite free nations in the NATO alliance, and to establish a firm commitment to peace in the Pacific that continues to this day.

BUSH: The attacks of September 11, 2001, also revealed the outlines of a new world.

In one way that assault was the culmination of decades of escalating violence: from the killing of U.S. Marines in Beirut, to the bombing at the World Trade Center, to the attacks on American embassies in Africa, to the attacks on the USS Cole.

In another way, September the 11th provided a warning of future dangers, of terror networks aided by outlaw regimes and ideologies that incite the murder of the innocent, and biological and chemical and nuclear weapons that multiply destructive power.

Like an earlier generation, America is answering new dangers with firm resolve. No matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult the task, we will fight the enemy and lift the shadow of fear and lead free nations to victory.

(APPLAUSE)

Like an earlier generation, America's pursuing a clear strategy with our allies to achieve victory.

Our immediate strategy is to eliminate terrorist threats abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.

The theory here is straightforward: Terrorists are less likely to endanger our security if they're worried about their own security.


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