The video for this story is not available, but you can still read the transcript below.
No image

President Outlines U.S. Plans on Winning War on Terrorism

President Bush has begun a series of speeches to boost support for the war on terrorism. A Democrat and Republican debate U.S. foreign policy and its impacts on mid-term elections.

Read the Full Transcript

  • SPENCER MICHELS, NewsHour Correspondent:

    President Bush chose a friendly audience in one of America's most conservative states — the annual American Legion Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah — to launch a series of speeches on the global war on terror and defend his strategy in Iraq.

    GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States: The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century.

    On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation, the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by their values of tyranny and extremism, the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest.

    As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They are successors to fascists, to Nazis, to communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be.


    Even though Utah is predominantly Republican, the president's visit sparked protests.


    Bring back our troops! Bring back our troops!


    Thousands of demonstrators marched through the capital's streets yesterday, led by Salt Lake City's Democratic mayor, Rocky Anderson. He called President Bush a "dishonest, warmongering, human-rights-violating president."

    ROSS ANDERSON, Mayor of Salt Lake City: Let them finally understand: Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.


    Today, President Bush said his critics need to look at the bigger picture.


    There's some in our country who insist that the best option in Iraq is to pull out, regardless of the situation on the ground. Many of these folks are sincere, and they're patriotic. But they could be — they could not be more wrong.

    If America were to pull out before Iraq can defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable and absolutely disastrous. We would be handing Iraq over to our worst enemies: Saddam's former henchmen; armed groups with ties to Iran; and al-Qaida terrorists from all over the world who would suddenly have a base of operations far more valuable than Afghanistan under the Taliban.

    If we give up the fight in the streets of Baghdad, we will face the terrorists in the streets of our own cities.


    The president's address followed warnings from other administration officials this week about the war on terror. During a speech to a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention Tuesday, Vice President Cheney linked an early withdrawal from Iraq to the possibility of a terror attack.

    And Tuesday, while also speaking to veterans, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared the current terror conflict with the years preceding World War II.

    DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. Secretary of Defense: It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among Western democracies. When those who warned about a coming crisis, the rise fascism and Nazism, they were ridiculed or ignored.

    Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated. I recount that history, because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism.


    While campaigning yesterday for Republican candidates, President Bush was asked if his speeches would have an impact on midterm elections. He replied there was nothing political about those addresses.