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One Year Later in Iraq

President Bush marked the one year anniversary of the war with Iraq by giving a speech at the White House. Here are some excerpts.

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  • PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:

    It is the interest of every country and the duty of every government to fight and destroy this threat to our people. 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. There is no neutral ground, no neutral ground in the fight between civilization and terror, because there's no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death.

    The war on terror is not a figure of speech; it is an inescapable calling of our generation. 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 united and decisive action.

    One year ago military forces of a strong coalition entered Iraq to enforce United Nations demands to defend our security and to liberate that country from the rule of a tyrant. For Iraq it was a day of deliverance. 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.

    Whatever their past views, every nation now has an interest in a free, successful, stable Iraq. And the terrorists understand their own interests 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. The rise of democratic institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq is a great step toward a goal of lasting importance to the world. We've set out to encourage reform and democracy in the greater Middle East as the alternatives to fanaticism, resentment and terror.

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