Monday, October 31, 2005

USINFO - U.S. Department of State

An audio file
( of the
address can be accessed from the White House Web site.

A transcript of the president’s weekly radio address follows:

(begin transcript)


Office of the Press Secretary
October 29, 2005


THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week marked another important
milestone in carrying out our strategy in Iraq. On Tuesday, the Iraqi
election commission formerly certified the passage of the new Iraqi
constitution, after nearly 10 million Iraqis turned out to vote on it two
weeks ago. This is a moment of tremendous significance for Iraq, the
region, and the world. Three years ago, when Saddam Hussein ruled with an
iron grip, the prospect of Iraqis voting on a democratic constitution
would have been unthinkable. Now, the Iraqi people have shown that
individual rights and rule by the people are universal principles, and
that these principles can become the basis for free and decent governments
throughout the Middle East.

The new Iraqi constitution received support from Iraqis of all ethnic
and religious backgrounds. Iraq's largest Sunni political party endorsed
the constitution and urged its followers to approve the draft. Many more
Sunnis participated in this vote than in January's historic elections, and
the level of violence was also dramatically lower. Even those who voted
against the constitution are now organizing and preparing for elections in

Just 30 months removed from the rule of a dictator, and nine months
after they first elected their own leaders, the Iraqi people are resolving
tough issues through an inclusive political process. And this process is
isolating the extremists who wish to derail democracy through violence and

The terrorists were also watching the Iraqi vote. These brutal killers
follow a radical ideology that exploits Islam to serve a violent political
vision. They hope to establish a totalitarian state in Iraq that denies
all political and religious freedom, and they hope to use that country as
a base for attacks on all people -- Muslim and non-Muslim alike -- who
disagree with their twisted perversion of the Muslim faith.

The terrorists' goals leave no room for individual conscience or
democratic participation, so they threatened to kill any Iraqi who went to
the polls, including women and the elderly, and even those who opposed the
constitution. And they continue to use random bombings to try to break
the will of the Iraqi people and of coalition forces, as we saw again this
week, when the terrorists bombed two Baghdad hotels.

Instead of surrendering to intimidation, the Iraqi people once again
risked their lives for their liberty. Instead of turning against one
another, the Iraqi people turned out to express their will at the polls.
And instead of allowing their nation to become a haven for terrorists, the
Iraqis are choosing democracy and freedom for their country.

The political process in Iraq now moves forward. Iraqis will return to
the polls in December to elect a new government under their new
constitution. This government will be our ally in the war on terror, a
partner in the struggle for peace and moderation in the Muslim world, and
an inspiration for people across the Middle East to claim their liberty as

Our security at home is directly linked to a Middle East that grows in
freedom and peace. The success of the new Iraqi government is critical to
winning the war on terror and protecting the American people. Ensuring
that success will require more sacrifice, more time, and more resolve, and
it will involve more risk for Iraqis and for American and coalition

The progress we have made so far has involved great sacrifice. The
greatest burden has fallen on our military families. We've lost some of
our nation's finest men and women in the war on terror. Each of them has
left grieving families and loved ones back home. Each loss of life is
heartbreaking. Yet these patriots have also left a legacy that will allow
generations of their fellow Americans, and millions of others who have
only known oppression, to enjoy the blessings of liberty.

The best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete
the mission and win the war on terror. We will train Iraqi security
forces and help a newly elected government meet the needs of the Iraqi
people. In doing so, we will lay the foundation of peace for our children
and grandchildren.

Thank you for listening.

(end transcript)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site:

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