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Last Updated: Friday, 19 March, 2004, 18:32 GMT
Extracts: Bush speech on terror
On the first anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, President George W Bush addressed diplomats on the continuing war on terror. Extracts from his White House speech follow:

As we meet, violence and death at the hands of terrorists are still fresh in our memory. The people of Spain are burying their innocent dead. These men and women and children began their day in a great and peaceful city, yet lost their lives on a battlefield, murdered at random and without remorse.

George W Bush
Bush noted the sacrifices made over the past year
Americans saw the chaos and the grief, and the vigils and the funerals, and we have shared in the sorrow of the Spanish people...

The murders in Madrid are a reminder that the civilised world is at war. And in this new kind of war, civilians find themselves suddenly on the front lines... No nation or region is exempt from the terrorists' campaign of violence...

There is a dividing line in our world, not between nations, and not between religions or cultures, but a dividing line separating two visions of justice and the value of life.

On a tape claiming responsibility for the atrocities in Madrid, a man is heard to say, "We choose death, while you choose life."

We don't know if this is the voice of the actual killers, but we do know it expresses the creed of the enemy. It is a mind set that rejoices in suicide, incites murder, and celebrates every death we mourn.

No concessions

And we who stand on the other side of the line must be equally clear and certain of our convictions. We do love live, the life given to us and to all. We believe in the values that uphold the dignity of life, tolerance, and freedom, and the right of conscience...

Because the Taleban chose defiance, our coalition acted to remove this threat - and now the terror camps are closed
The war on terror is not a figure of speech. It is an inescapable calling of our generation. The terrorists are offended not merely by our policies - they are offended by our existence as free nations.

No concession will appease their hatred. No accommodation will satisfy their endless demands. Their ultimate ambitions are to control the peoples of the Middle East, and to blackmail the rest of the world with weapons of mass terror.

There can be no separate peace with the terrorist enemy. Any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence, and invites more violence for all nations. The only certain way to protect our people is by early, united, and decisive action...

Afghan changes

For years, the Taleban made Afghanistan the home base of al-Qaeda. And so we gave the Taleban a choice: to abandon forever their support for terror, or face the destruction of their regime.

No one can argue that the Iraqi people would be better off with the thugs and murderers back in the palaces
Because the Taleban chose defiance, our coalition acted to remove this threat. And now the terror camps are closed, and the government of a free Afghanistan is represented here today as an active partner in the war on terror.

The people of Afghanistan are a world away from the nightmare of the Taleban. Citizens of Afghanistan have adopted a new constitution, guaranteeing free elections and full participation by women.

The new Afghan army is becoming a vital force of stability in that country. Businesses are opening, health care centres are being established, and the children of Afghanistan are back in school, boys and girls...

No return

Today, as Iraqis join the free peoples of the world, we mark a turning point for the Middle East, and a crucial advance for human liberty.

There have been disagreements in this matter, among old and valued friends. Those differences belong to the past. All of us can now agree that the fall of the Iraqi dictator has removed a source of violence, aggression, and instability in the Middle East.

All of us are called to share the blessings of liberty
It's a good thing that the demands of the United Nations were enforced, not ignored with impunity. It is a good thing that years of illicit weapons development by the dictator have come to the end...

There are still violent thugs and murderers in Iraq, and we're dealing with them. But no one can argue that the Iraqi people would be better off with the thugs and murderers back in the palaces...

Whatever their past views, every nation now has an interest in a free, successful, stable Iraq.

And the terrorists understand their own interest in the fate of that country.

For them, the connection between Iraq's future and the course of the war on terror is very clear. They understand that a free Iraq will be a devastating setback to their ambitions of tyranny over the Middle East.

And they have made the failure of democracy in Iraq one of their primary objectives. By attacking coalition forces - by targeting innocent Iraqis and foreign civilians for murder - the terrorists are trying to weaken our will. Instead of weakness, they're finding resolve...

Meeting duties

The rise of democratic institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq is a great step toward a goal of lasting importance to the world... This task is historic, and difficult; this task is necessary and worthy of our efforts.

In the 1970s, the advance of democracy in Lisbon and Madrid inspired democratic change in Latin America. In the 1980s, the example of Poland ignited a fire of freedom in all of Eastern Europe. With Afghanistan and Iraq showing the way, we are confident that freedom will lift the sights and hopes of millions in the greater Middle East.

The establishment of a free Iraq is our fight. The success of a free Afghanistan is our fight. The war on terror is our fight. All of us are called to share the blessings of liberty, and to be strong and steady in freedom's defence.

It will surely be said of our times that we lived with great challenges. Let it also be said of our times that we understood our great duties, and met them in full.

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