|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
June 17, 2004
From remarks by President Bush to military personnel, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL, 6/16/04
At CENTCOM, the Coalition Village flies the flags of 65 countries that are doing their part in the war on terror. We thank our friends and allies for serving with America in the cause of freedom.
Because the United States and our allies acted, one of the most brutal, evil regimes -- that of Saddam Hussein -- is gone forever. It tortured children in front of their parents, used chemical weapons against villages, gave cash rewards to families of suicide bombers and sheltered terrorist groups.
Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan has deadly and determined enemies.
Our men and women are fighting freedom's enemies with skill and courage. They are showing great respect for the holy sites of the countries in which they are serving. They are helping to bring opportunity and security to nations that have known years of cruel oppression.
By helping the rise of democracy in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and throughout the world, these service men and women are giving people an alternative to bitterness and hatred -- which is essential to the peace of the world.
We have gone to these countries not to conquer, but to liberate people, and we will stand with them until their freedom is secure.