For Immediate Release
October 25, 2004
From NSA Rice's prepared remarks, 10/21/04
To achieve permanent victory in the War on Terror, it must be affirmed that when freedom is on the march, America is more secure. When freedom is in retreat, America is more vulnerable. This is why President Bush has broken with 60 years of excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East, in the hope of purchasing stability at the price of liberty.
As long as the broader Middle East remains a region of tyranny and despair and anger, it will produce men and movements that threaten the safety of America and its friends.
America's commitment to freedom is helping to spur a great debate throughout the broader Middle East. From Morocco to Jordan to Qatar, we are seeing elections and new protections for women, and the beginnings of political pluralism. Political, civil society and business leaders have issued stirring calls for political, economic and social change, and Afghanistan has shown an extraordinary testimony to the power of the vote.
The Taliban could not stop the advance of freedom, votes have been cast and the elections were a success. Challenges lie ahead, but Afghanistan has shown what is possible when democracy becomes an alternative to terror, repression and fear.
When Iraqis go to the polls next year to elect a government and put behind them their brutal history -- democracy's power will be affirmed again. That opportunity exists today because America and a coalition acted to remove one of the most brutal and dangerous regimes in the Middle East.
In Afghanistan and Iraq, the hard work of replacing tyranny with liberty is under way. It is turbulent but far preferable to the false stability that characterized the world in the days before the twin towers fell.