|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
February 18, 2004
From President Bush's remarks to military personnel, Fort Polk, Louisiana, 2/17/04
"By our actions, we have shown what kind of nation we are. We are a nation with a mission. As Americans we believe that freedom is the right of every person, and the hope of every nation." --President Bush, 2/17/04
There is no greater danger than the possibility of secret and sudden attack with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. We must confront this danger with open eyes and unbending purpose.
Recently in Iraq, we intercepted a letter sent by Abu Massad Al-Zarqawi to al-Qaida members, urging them to wage terrorist war on our coalition in Iraq. Zarqawi was harbored by Saddam Hussein's regime and operated out of Iraq.
Zarqawi ordered the murder of an American diplomat in Jordan and he fought against our troops in Afghanistan. Now, in his letter, he outlines his efforts to recruit and train suicide bombers, and boasts of 25 attacks on innocent Iraqis and the Coalition.
Zarqawi describes the terrorist strategy to tear the country apart with ethnic violence, to undermine Iraqi security forces, to demoralize our coalition and to prevent the rise of a sovereign democratic government.
Zarqawi and men like him have made Iraq the central front in our war on terror.
We have seen this enemy before -- and we know how to deal with them. Fighting alongside the people of Afghanistan, we are defeating the terrorists in that country. Fighting alongside the people of Iraq, w will defeat the terrorists there as well. Iraq, like Afghanistan, will be free.