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Share responsibility with us in Iraq: US
T V Parasuram in Washington | September 12, 2003 23:30 IST
Last Updated: September 13, 2003 01:15 IST
Making a fresh appeal to the international community for co-operation in Iraq, US President George W Bush on Friday called upon nations that have not contributed troops or funds for Iraq so far 'not to delay their contributions further'.
"We thank all the nations who have contributed. It is time for others to join us," he said in a speech at Fort Stewart Georgia to troops, which have fought in Iraq and returned home, and their families.
"No free nation can be neutral in the fight between civilization and chaos. Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilized world, and opposing them and defeating them must be the cause of the civilized world," Bush said adding that US Secretary Colin Powell is going to Geneva on Saturday for consultations with the friends and allies of the United States and officials of the United Nations.
"All who serve," said Bush, "understand what this fight is about. Our military is confronting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other places so that our people will not have to confront terrorist violence and those who plot against America," he said.
Invoking memories of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Bush pointed out that on 'on a single day two years ago, the United States came under enemy attack and on a single morning, we suffered the highest casualties on our soil since the Civil War.
"America saw the face of a new adversary - an enemy that plots in secret, an enemy that rejects the rules of war, an enemy that rejoices in the murder of the innocent. We made a pledge that day, and we have kept it. We are bringing the guilty to justice, and we are taking the fight to the enemy.
"We are hunting Al Qaeda terrorists wherever they can hide, from Pakistan to the Philippines, to the Horn of Africa," said Bush adding that nearly two-thirds of Al Qaeda's known leaders had been captured or killed.
"Our resolve is firm; no matter how long it takes, we will bring justice to those who plot against America," he said.
US strategy in Iraq, he said, had three objectives: To destroy the terrorists by swift and decisive action, to bring in other nations to help Iraq build a free country that will make the world more secure and thirdly, encourage the orderly transfer of sovereignty and authority to Iraqi people.
In Afghanistan, said Bush, "America and our broad coalition acted against a regime that harboured Al Qaeda and ruled by terror.
"We have sent a message that is now understood throughout the world: If you harbour a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you are just as guilty as the terrorists. And the Taliban found out what we meant. Thanks to our men and women in uniform, Afghanistan is no longer a haven for terror, and as a result, the people of America are safer," he said.