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White House blasts Gore’s ‘hypocrisy’

WASHINGTON - The White House accused former Vice President Al Gore of hypocrisy Tuesday for his assertion that President Bush broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without court approval.

“If Al Gore is going to be the voice of the Democrats on national security matters, we welcome it,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in a swipe at the Democrat, who lost the 2000 election to Bush only after the Supreme Court intervened.

Gore, in a speech Monday, called for an independent investigation of the administration program that he says broke the law by listening in — without warrants — on Americans suspected of talking with terrorists abroad.

Gore called the program, authorized by President Bush, “a threat to the very structure of our government” and charged that the administration acted without congressional authority and made a “direct assault” on a federal court set up to authorize requests to eavesdrop on Americans.

McClellan also said Sen. Hillary Clinton was “out of bounds” when she said Monday that the Bush administration was “one of the worst” in U.S. history and compared the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to a "plantation" where dissenting voices are squelched.

Asked about the criticism coming from the two high-profile Democrats on the same day, McClellan said, “Well, I think we know, one tends to like or enjoy grabbing headlines; the other one — sounds like the political season may be starting early.”

Clinton is running for re-election to the Senate this year and is a potential candidate for the 2008 presidential race.

Two new legal challenges
Meanwhile, two civil liberties groups — the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights —
filed federal lawsuits Tuesday seeking to block the eavesdropping program, which they called unconstitutional electronic surveillance of American citizens.

McClellan said the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames without permission from a judge. He said Clinton’s deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants.

“I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds,” McClellan said of Gore.

But at the time of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed.

Attorney general weighs in
Gore said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should name a special counsel to investigate the program, saying Gonzales had an “obvious conflict of interest” as a member of the Bush Cabinet as well as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

Gonzales, who has agreed to testify publicly at a Senate hearing on the program, defended the surveillance on cable news talk shows Monday night.

“This program has been reviewed carefully by lawyers at the Department of Justice and other agencies,” Gonzales said on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes.” “We firmly believe that this program is perfectly lawful. The president has the legal authority to authorize these kinds of programs.”

On CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Gonzales said Gore’s comments were inconsistent with Clinton administration policy.

“It’s my understanding that during the Clinton administration there was activity regarding physical searches without warrants,” Gonzales said. “I can also say it’s my understanding that the deputy attorney general testified before Congress that the president does have the inherent authority under the Constitution to engage in physical searches without a warrant. And so, those would certainly seem to be inconsistent with what the former vice president was saying today.”

‘Breaking the law’
Gore said there is still much to learn about the domestic surveillance program, but that he already has drawn a conclusion about its legality.

“What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the president of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and insistently,” he said.

Bush has pointed to a congressional resolution passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that authorized him to use force in the fight against terrorism as allowing him to order the program.

Gore, however, contended that Bush failed to convince Congress to support a domestic spying program, so he “secretly assumed that power anyway, as if congressional authorization was a useless bother.”

He said the spying program must be considered along with other administration actions as a constitutional power grab by the president. Gore cited imprisoning American citizens without charges in terrorism cases, mistreatment of prisoners — including torture — and seizure of individuals in foreign countries and delivering them to autocratic regimes “infamous for the cruelty of their techniques.”

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Democratic senator says Bush fails to outline clear Iraq strategy
President Bush has failed to outline an effective strategy for winning the war in Iraq, Sen. Jack Reed said Saturday in the Democratic Party's weekly radio address.

"The American people are eager to hear the president's plan for success in Iraq, rebuilding the country and bringing our troops home," Reed said. "Instead, the president continues to offer vague generalities and rhetoric with no specifics about what needs to be done."

The Rhode Island senator, saying the current course in Iraq is a mistake, called on Bush to offer a more candid appraisal of how the war-ravaged nation can be stabilized and put on a surer path to democracy.

"If the president has any hope of regaining the nation's support for operations in Iraq and justifying the growing cost in lives and taxpayer dollars ... he must be candid and honest about the current situation."

Reed, a former Army Ranger who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, accused the Bush Administration of assailing the patriotism of Iraq war critics.

"I have found it disturbing that the Bush administration has attacked the patriotism of those who question the administration's policies in Iraq," Reed charged. "Baseless partisan attacks won't help us win the war, won't help the troops and won't protect our nation from our enemies."

Reed, unlike some Democrats, does not support an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. His criticism comes in the wake of two major speeches on Iraq by Bush in the past two weeks aimed at rallying slumping public support for his war policies.

UN renews US 'torture' criticism

Louise Arbour speaks to journalists at the UN

Top UN human rights official Louise Arbour has repeated accusations made earlier this week that the US and other countries are easing curbs on torture.

Ms Arbour told the BBC that governments had to clarify if they were holding prisoners in secret jails, without the freedom to communicate or be visited.

The US envoy to the UN has said Ms Arbour's comments are "inappropriate".

Ms Arbour said she had a mandate to protect and defend human rights, and she would continue to do exactly that.

She said she did not believe she needed to respond to US criticism of her comments.

"I'm the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. This is what I do," she told the BBC.

Meeting with Rice

Ms Arbour said on Friday that she believed the US was among a group of countries "advocating an erosion of the total ban on torture".

She said attempts to seek diplomatic assurances that suspects would not be tortured in countries to which they had been deported constituted "a departure from the total prohibition" on torture.

On Wednesday, she said reports the US was using secret overseas sites to interrogate suspects harmed its moral authority and she wanted to inspect any such centres.

Ms Arbour, a former Canadian Supreme Court justice, told reporters in New York that the global ban on torture was becoming a casualty of the US-led "war on terror".

She singled out the reported US policies of sending terror suspects to other countries and holding prisoners in secret detention.

"Two phenomena today are having an acutely corrosive effect on the global ban on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," she said.

The issue is dogging a European tour by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Ms Arbour said she was "looking forward" to a meeting with Ms Rice, scheduled for January.

Senate looks into use of US propaganda in Iraq

The Pentagon is investigating allegations that the US military in Iraq inappropriately planted positive news stories in the Iraqi media and paid Iraqi journalists to write articles favourable to the US-led coalition.

A US military spokesman in Iraq on Friday confirmed that US forces had paid for advertising and “opinion/editorial space” in Iraqi newspapers. But he said the military was investigating reports that “the process may be functioning in a manner different than is intended or appropriate”.

The allegations first surfaced in the LA Times, which reported that the military had hired a consulting firm to help it place stories written by the US military in Iraqi newspapers. The Philadelphia Inquirer separately reported that the US was paying some Iraqi journalists $200 a month to produce positive stories for the US-led coalition.

John Warner, chairman of the Senate armed services committee, who was briefed by the Pentagon on Friday, said it was too early to determine whether the military had acted inappropriately. He said that while it was crucial for the US to get its message out in Iraq, it would be inappropriate to pay reporters to write positive stories.

“We don’t know how, when and to what extent money was given to journalists,” Mr Warner said. But he added that he hoped the controversy would not curtail the ability of the US to “get the trust and facts to the Iraqis”.

The LA Times said a US military outfit called the “Information Operations Task Force” paid Washington-based Lincoln Group to translate articles written by the US military personnel and then place them with Iraqi media.

The revelations emerged the day the White House released its strategy for victory in Iraq, which said the US was providing Iraq with assistance and training to help “support a free, independent, and responsible Iraqi media”. Part of the Iraq victory strategy also involves “countering false propaganda”.in an attempt to bring more Iraqis into the political process.

Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, on Thursday said the White House was “very concerned” about the allegations. In January, the White House came under intense criticism following revelations that two US columnists had received payments from cabinet departments to write stories that reflected positively on the Bush administration.

The latest revelations are not the first time the Pentagon has come under criticism for its methods of influencing the media. The Pentagon was forced to shut down its Office of Strategic Influence – a controversial unit created by Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defence for policy, partly to place favourable stories, including false stories, in the foreign media – in 2002 after details of its plans emerged in the media.

Lincoln Group on Friday defended its actions, saying: “Lincoln Group has consistently worked with the Iraqi media to promote truthful reporting across Iraq ... We counter the lies, intimidation and pure evil of terror with factual stories that highlight the heroism and sacrifice of the Iraqi people and their struggle for freedom and security.”

Report Warned Bush Team About Intelligence Doubts

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 ・A top member of Al Qaeda in American custody was identified as a likely fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Al Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons, according to newly declassified portions of a Defense Intelligence Agency document.

The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, was intentionally misleading the debriefers' in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda's work with illicit weapons.

The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi's credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi's information as credible evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons.

Among the first and most prominent assertions was one by Mr. Bush, who said in a major speech in Cincinnati in October 2002 that were learned that Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases.

The newly declassified portions of the document were made available by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mr. Levin said the new evidence of early doubts about Mr. Libi's statements dramatized what he called the Bush administration's misuse of prewar intelligence to try to justify the war in Iraq. That is an issue that Mr. Levin and other Senate Democrats have been seeking to emphasize, in part by calling attention to the fact that the Republican-led Senate intelligence committee has yet to deliver a promised report, first sought more than two years ago, on the use of prewar intelligence.

An administration official declined to comment on the D.I.A. report on Mr. Libi. But Senate Republicans, put on the defensive when Democrats forced a closed session of the Senate this week to discuss the issue, have been arguing that Republicans were not alone in making prewar assertions about Iraq, illicit weapons and terrorism that have since been discredited.

Mr. Libi, who was captured in Pakistan at the end of 2001, recanted his claims in January 2004. That prompted the C.I.A., a month later, to recall all intelligence reports based on his statements, a fact recorded in a footnote to the report issued by the Sept. 11 commission.

Mr. Libi was not alone among intelligence sources later determined to have been fabricating accounts. Among others, an Iraqi exile whose code name was Curveball was the primary source for what proved to be false information about Iraq and mobile biological weapons labs. And American military officials cultivated ties with Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, an exile group, who has been accused of feeding the Pentagon misleading information in urging war.

The report issued by the Senate intelligence committee in July 2004 questioned whether some versions of intelligence report prepared by the C.I.A. in late 2002 and early 2003 raised sufficient questions about the reliability of Mr. Libi's claims.

But neither that report nor another issued by the Sept. 11 commission made any reference to the existence of the earlier and more skeptical 2002 report by the D.I.A., which supplies intelligence to military commanders and national security policy makers. As an official intelligence report, labeled DITSUM No. 044-02, the document would have circulated widely within the government, and it would have been available to the C.I.A., the White House, the Pentagon and other agencies. It remains unclear whether the D.I.A. document was provided to the Senate panel.

In outlining reasons for its skepticism, the D.I.A. report noted that Mr. Libi's claims lacked specific details about the Iraqis involved, the illicit weapons used and the location where the training was to have taken place.

It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers, the February 2002 report said. Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.

Mr. Powell relied heavily on accounts provided by Mr. Libi for his speech to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, saying that he was tracing The story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to Al Qaeda.

At the time of Mr. Powell's speech, an unclassified statement by the C.I.A. described the reporting, now known to have been from Mr. Libi, as credible. But Mr. Levin said he had learned that a classified C.I.A. assessment at the time stated The source was not in a position to know if any training had taken place.

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Levin also called attention to a portion of the D.I.A. report that expressed skepticism about the idea of close collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda, an idea that was never substantiated by American intelligence but was a pillar of the administration's prewar claims.

Saddam's regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements, the D.I.A. report said in one of two declassified paragraphs. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control.

The request to declassify the two paragraphs was made on Oct. 18 by Mr. Levin and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee. In an Oct. 26 response, Kathleen P. Turner, chief of the D.I.A.'s office for Congressional affairs, said the agency can find no reason for it to remain classified.

At the time of his capture, Mr. Libi was the most senior Qaeda official in American custody. The D.I.A. document gave no indication of where he was being held, or what interrogation methods were used on him.

Mr. Libi remains in custody, apparently at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was sent in 2003, according to government officials.

The Senate intelligence committee is scheduled to meet beginning next week to review draft reports prepared as part of a long-postponed Phase II's of the panel's review of prewar intelligence on Iraq. At separate briefings for reporters on Friday, Republicans staff members said the writing had long been under way, while Senate Democrats on the committee claimed credit for reinvigorating the process, by forcing the closed session. They said that already nearly complete is a look at whether prewar intelligence accurately predicted the potential for an anti-American insurgency.

Other areas of focus include the role played by the Iraqi National Congress, that of the Pentagon in shaping intelligence assessments, and an examination of whether public statements about Iraq by members of the Bush and Clinton administrations, as well as members of Congress, were substantiated by intelligence available at the time.

Blair warned of party 'civil war'

Mr Blair in House of Commons

Tony Blair has been warned by a former senior whip that "civil war" could break out in the party if Labour MPs feel they are being ignored.

Ex-deputy chief whip George Mudie, MP for Leeds East, said the number of people threatening to rebel on education reforms "scared" him.

Ex-minister Frank Dobson predicted up to 100 Labour MPs would join a revolt.

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said backbenchers had a duty to back the government's reforms.

Calm down

Mr Mudie, who voted against the government on Wednesday over the detention of terror suspects, urged ministers to respond to rebels' concerns.

The numbers of people who said 'I am going with them on terrorism, but he has no chance on education' scares me

George Mudie, Labour MP

He told BBC Radio 4's World This Weekend programme: "Unless we all calm down, take a deep breath and reconsider how we are all acting, I can see the next four years being civil war and Tory government after four years, and whoever is prime minister is going to have a party that is probably unmanageable."

Warning government whips against strong-arm tactics he said: "If somebody is reaching automatically for the stick, that is the worst thing that could happen.

"We have got to get the Parliamentary Labour Party coming together again and trying to make everybody feel they are involved, they are being listened to and what is being said is being acted upon."

He added: "I can tell you, just from speaking to colleagues, the numbers of people who said 'I am going with them on terrorism, but he has no chance on education' scares me, because it will mean disaster."

'Serious trouble'

Mr Dobson estimated that the 49-strong ranks of Labour rebels last week could be doubled in size in votes on education.

"I think there are at least 40 or 50 people who voted with the government on the 90 days detention without charge who would vote against an Education Bill based on the education White Paper," he told ITV1's Jonathan Dimbleby.

Serial rebel Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Blair would be in "very serious trouble" and could be forced out of office if he went down to another defeat in the Commons.

And former home office minister John Denham urged the government to engage in a two-way dialogue with backbenchers, many of whom were worried about "untested" assumptions to do with policy.

He told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour: "What won't work is an approach which just says: `We have decided what we are going to do and we are just going to spend a lot more time explaining it to you'."


But Conservative leader Michael Howard raised the prospect that Mr Blair may be able to rely on Tory support to get flagship policies through Parliament.

"It won't be me making the decisions but my view would be - if what the government brings forward is in the interests of the country we should support them," he said.

Tory leadership hopeful David Cameron also told the BBC's Politics Show he would "resist the temptation" to vote against the government purely to inflict further defeats on Mr Blair.

"I think the temptation to try and bring down the government by voting against something with which you fundamentally agree, I think that is a mistake," he said.

Mr Blair has admitted he faces a "rough ride" but told the News of the World that he and the Cabinet had agreed to "continue doing what is right, not what is easy".

Think twice

He suggested the government's programme of reforms will target education, hospital waiting times, pensions and welfare benefits.

"All of this will require more difficult decisions and strong leadership....but there is no doubt it will be worth it if, as a result, Britain is better, fairer and stronger," he said.

But Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy described Mr Blair as a "wounded animal" and said his peers would be seeking to overturn his plans for ID cards in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

He told Politics Show: "When you've got a Government which is elected on 36%-37% of the popular vote and it can't carry... its own backbenchers to a sufficient extent, that's a government that needs to think twice about the way in which it goes about public policy."

Earlier, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said MPs had a duty to get behind Mr Blair on reforms set out in the Labour manifesto.

She told BBC1's Sunday AM programme: "Every single Labour MP stood on that manifesto and was elected on that manifesto. A manifesto isn't an a la carte menu that you select the bits off that you like."

Kennedy enters police terror row

Charles Kennedy
Mr Kennedy said Sir Ian should explain to a Commons committee
Charles Kennedy has said Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair "overstepped the mark" with his support for proposals to hold terrorist suspects for 90 days.

The Liberal Democrat leader will enter the row on BBC One's The Politics Show.

Defence Secretary John Reid has denied Tory claims police were "politicised" in the run-up to last week's vote.

Meanwhile, Michael Howard has written to Tony Blair asking if police need the minister's permission to appear in the media, following remarks by Mr Reid.

This week MPs voted against a proposal to allow police to detain terror suspects for up to 90 days without charge, but later backed extending the detention time limit to 28 days.

When the chief of the Metropolitan Police takes such a high profile...over a specific amendment to a piece of legislation questions have to be asked

Charles Kennedy

The Tories have called for an inquiry into alleged lobbying of MPs by chief constables in the days before the vote.

Mr Reid has said their accusations were a "smokescreen" to cover their embarrassment at blocking the proposals.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has admitted writing to the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), requesting senior officers be available to provide advice for MPs.

But in a letter to The Daily Telegraph on Saturday Mr Clarke denied claims that this had amounted to the "politicisation" of the police.

Police 'independent'

The Conservatives allege Acpo was put under pressure to back Tony Blair's campaign to secure the 90-day detention.

Mr Reid accused the opposition of a "slur on the integrity of the police".

In an interview for The Politics Show to be broadcast on Sunday, Mr Kennedy says he does not think it was "legitimate" for the police to take a "particular view in a particular way and put it out there in the political arena".

He said Sir Ian Blair should appear before a Commons Select Committee to explain what happened in the run-up to the vote.

"When the chief of the Metropolitan Police takes such a high profile, as he did, over a specific amendment to a piece of government legislation questions have to be asked, I think it's overstepping the mark".

He added that there was "a good case to be made" for saying the police had allowed themselves to get dragged too much into the parliamentary politics of the situation.

Meanwhile, Tory leader Michael Howard has asked the prime minister if police need authorisation from the home secretary before appearing in the media.

The letter came in response to remarks made by Mr Reid on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday, which appeared to suggest that every interview now needed specific approval.

But the Home Office has denied the suggestion, adding that the police remain "operationally independent" of the government.

On the same programme Mr Reid denied the police had been playing politics, saying they had only being providing their expert advice on public safety, something they had done for governments of all persuasions.

'Damaging perception'

He added that Mr Clarke had not dictated what the officers should say, or put pressure on them, but asked them to stand ready to give advice if they were approached by their local MPs.

Conservatives Stephen Dorrell and Peter Lilley have tabled a parliamentary motion condemning ministers for "embroiling them in politics".

They say MPs received telephone calls, emails and letters from chief constables.

Former chief constable of Humberside, David Westwood, said a damaging perception had arisen that police were trying to influence the parliamentary process.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with inviting MPs to consult their chief constable. The problem in this instance was the closeness in time to the parliamentary vote."

Blair plans terror law compromise

Armed police
Terror suspects should be held for up to 90 days

Tony Blair is preparing to "give ground" on new anti-terror plans after Downing Street conceded he may struggle to get the measures through Parliament.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Charles Clarke is set to hold talks with his Conservative and Lib Dem counterparts in a fresh bid for their backing.

Plans to allow terror suspects to be held for up to 90 days without charge has proved a sticking point for MPs.

Both main opposition parties and several Labour MPs oppose the measure.

A Downing Street spokeswoman told the BBC News website: "The prime minister very much favours the 90 days as the right thing to do."

But she said: "He acknowledges the need to negotiate and/or compromise."

'Woeful complacency'

The concession is a bitter blow for Prime Minister Tony Blair who has argued that the added powers are essential for police dealing with the threat of international terrorism.

Mr Blair told the Sunday Telegraph it would be a "defeat" for UK security if plans to detain suspects for up to 90 days without trial was blocked.

He accused opponents of the government's anti-terror plans of "woeful complacency".

"The police told me, and the security services back them up, that they may have stopped two further attempts since July 7," he said.

"I find it really odd that we're having to make the case that this is an issue, when virtually every week, somewhere in the world, terrorists loosely linked with the same movement are killing scores of people."

But shadow home secretary David Davis said the Conservatives would not accept the proposals, while Lib Dem president Simon Hughes told the BBC the prime minister should concentrate on "realistic alternatives".

New talks

Police can currently hold terror suspects for 14 days under the present legislation.

In the Commons last week Home Secretary Charles Clarke was forced to promise new talks after it became clear the measures faced defeat in the Commons.

He is due to meet Mr Davis and his Liberal Democrat counterpart Mark Oaten on Monday after weekend telephone discussions.

The bill creates several new offences, including encouraging or glorifying terrorism, preparing terrorist acts and attending terrorist camps.

And it says those offences can be prosecuted in UK courts even if they are committed abroad.

Sheehan Returns To Bush Ranch

"We will keep pressing and we won't give up until our troops are brought home."

Cindy Sheehan

The mother of a fallen soldier who led a vigil against the war in Iraq outside President Bush's ranch returned to Texas, saying she is "heartbroken" that the troops are not home.
When Cindy Sheehan arrived at the Waco airport Thursday, three dozen supporters erupted into cheers and tears and grabbed her for lengthy embraces. Before they whisked her back to Crawford, the group chanted, "Stop the war! Bring them home now!"
"I feel happy to be back here with all my friends ... but I'm heartbroken that we have to be here again," said Sheehan, who hoped to arrive earlier in the week, but was delayed by a family emergency. "We will keep pressing and we won't give up until our troops are brought home."
Sheehan asked protesters to return to Crawford this week during Bush's family Thanksgiving gathering. She was unknown when she set up camp outside Bush's ranch during his August vacation, but as the vigil drew thousands, she attracted national attention.
Friday, Sheehan's itinerary included attending a dedication of a garden at the Crawford Peace House in honor of her 24-year-old son, Casey, who died in Iraq last year. An anti-war rally was scheduled at a downtown park Saturday.
The memorial to Casey was unveiled. Engraved into the stone are the words "Sheehan's Stand," which protesters also portrayed as a tribute to Sheehan's stand against the war. While unveiling the stone, Sheehan broke into tears and was embraced by supporters.
A few miles away in a field beside the main road leading to Bush's ranch, a Bush supporter set up camp Thursday with a tent and signs saying "A Noble Cause" showing pictures of smiling Iraqi children.
The war protesters' camp this week is at the same 1-acre private lot that a landowner let them use in August when Sheehan's original campsite became too crowded. The grassy lot is about a mile from Bush's ranch.
Before Sheehan's arrival, more than 100 protesters at the camp ate a traditional Iraqi meal for Thanksgiving salmon, lentils, rice with almonds and a salad of parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers and bulgur wheat. They said they wanted to call attention to the innocent Iraqi victims in addition to the more than 2,100 U.S. soldiers killed since the war began in March 2003.
"It's significant because the people of Iraq are suffering under our occupation, and for people in America it's business as usual stuffing themselves on fat turkeys," said Tammara Rosenleaf, whose husband is an Army soldier to be deployed in a few weeks.

Hillary Clinton disagrees with immediate withdrawal

RYE BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would be "a big mistake."
                                             think that would cause more problems for us in America," the NY senator says about a premature pullout of Iraq."I think that would cause more problems for us in America," the NY senator says about a premature pullout of Iraq.

The New York Democrat said she respects Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., the Vietnam veteran and hawkish ex-Marine who last week called for an immediate troop pullout. But she added: "I think that would cause more problems for us in America."

"It will matter to us if Iraq totally collapses into civil war, if it becomes a failed state the way Afghanistan was, where terrorists are free to basically set up camp and launch attacks against us," she said.

At the same time, Clinton said the Bush administration's pledge to stay in Iraq "until the job is done" amounts to giving the Iraqis "an open-ended invitation not to take care of themselves."

Clinton, who is running for re-election to the Senate and is seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2008, suggested that the United States wait for Iraq's Dec. 15 elections for an indication about how soon the Iraqis can take over.

"Until they vote for a government, I don't know that we will have adequate information about how prepared they are," she said.

She blamed the problems facing the United States in Iraq on "poor decision-making by the administration," but added: "My view is we have to work together to fix these problems."

White House spokesman Ken Lisaius responded Monday: "Reasonable people can disagree about the conduct of the war ... but members of Congress saw the same intelligence and reached the same conclusions about going into Iraq."

Bill Clinton: Iraq A 'Big Mistake'

Iraqi Detainees Found Starving

Former President Bill Clinton told Arab students Wednesday the United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq, stoking the partisan debate back home over the war.

Mr. Clinton cited the lack of planning for what would happen after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

"Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done," Mr. Clinton told students at a forum at the American University of Dubai.

"It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."

Mr. Clinton's remarks came when he was taking questions about the U.S. invasion, which began in 2003. His response drew cheers and a standing ovation at the end of the hour-long session.

Mr. Clinton said the United States had done some good things in Iraq: the removal of Saddam, the ratification of a new constitution and the holding of parliamentary elections.

"The mistake that they made is that when they kicked out Saddam, they decided to dismantle the whole authority structure of Iraq. ... We never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or seal the borders," he said.

As the borders were unsealed, "the terrorists came in," he said.

Mr. Clinton said it would have been better if the United States had left Iraq's "fundamental military and social and police structure intact."

Democrats are accusing President Bush of having misled the American public about the urgency of the Iraqi threat before his order to invade, and Mr. Bush on Monday threw back at Democratic critics the worries they once expressed about Saddam.

"They spoke the truth then and they're speaking politics now," Mr. Bush charged.

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld continued Mr. Bush's attack, citing the words of Clinton and others from his administration as saying Saddam was a security threat to the United States and its allies.

At a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld noted the Iraq Liberation Act that Congress passed in 1998 had said it should be U.S. government policy to support Saddam's removal from power. He noted that Clinton signed the act and ordered four days of bombing in December 1998.

Recent opinion polls show Mr. Bush as having the lowest approval rating of his presidency. In AP-Ipsos polling, a majority of Americans say Mr. Bush is not honest and they disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the war on terrorism.


Full text of Tony Blair's speech

Here is the full text of Prime Minister Tony Blair's keynote speech to the Labour Party's 2005 conference in Brighton:

Thank you for the hard work, faith and courage that means I stand before you as the first leader in the Labour Party's history to win three full consecutive terms in office.

Amid all the change and progress since our first election victory, it was interesting to see in the film there the pictures of the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998, and then finally, yesterday, the completion of IRA decommissioning.

It has taken many years, and a lot of hard work, but every minute of every hour of every all-night negotiation will have been worth it if it brings lasting peace to Northern Ireland.

And there is a lesson from Northern Ireland. Nothing good comes easy. And in Government, whatever the noise around you, you just have to persevere with the things that really matter.

The question now:

How do we secure the future

For our party and

For our country?

The answer lies in understanding why we can celebrate these victories.

New Labour was never just a clever way to win.

It was a fundamental re-casting of progressive politics so that the values we believed in, became relevant to the time we lived in.

In the late 20th century the world had changed, the aspirations of the people had changed; we had to change.

We did. We won.

And Britain is stronger, fairer, better than on 1st May 1997.

So what now?

The world is on the move again: the change in the early 21st century even greater than that of the late 20th century.

So now in turn, we have to change again. Not step back from New Labour but step up to a new mark a changing world is setting for us.

The danger of government is fatigue; the benefit, experience.

I tell you my conclusion after 8 years of being Prime Minister.

The challenge we face is not in our values. It is how we put them into practice in a world fast forwarding to the future at unprecedented speed.

Over these eight years we have won the battle of values. The age we live in is democratic not deferential.

We believe in solidarity.

We believe in social justice; in opportunity not for a privileged few but for all, whatever their start in life.

We believe in tolerance and respect, in strong communities standing by and standing up for the weak, the sick, the helpless.

We all believe this. It's what makes us Labour, from Dennis Skinner through to Tony Blair, though there I'm sure Dennis would want me to say, the similarity ends.

In our values, we are united.

And the British people share these values.

Values don't change. But times do. And now, as before, our values have to be applied anew in changing times.

The challenge is policy and not just item by item, but attitude by attitude, direction by direction, in the bold strokes that define the picture not only the small movements that paint the detail.

And here the battle is not yet won to secure the future.

It is here that the new realities come upon us, snuffing out the lights of victory celebration and urging us to renew yet again.

It is true: we have laid sound foundations.

There is only one Government since the war that has cut unemployment, created 2 million more jobs, had 8 years of growth without recession and halved interest rates from the previous Government.

And cut waiting lists in hospitals, improved cancer and heart care, achieved the best ever school results, halved the number of failing schools, seen a five-fold increase in the best ones; achieved record numbers of police and cut crime.

Only one Chancellor to have delivered that economic record.

This one.

Only one Cabinet to have delivered these changes.

This one.

Only one Government to do it all. Your third term Labour Government.

By the end of 2008 for the first time in decades Britain will be investing twice as much in our school children and three times as much in the NHS than ten years before. Only a Labour Government would have done it.

No Government but a Labour one would have introduced the New Deal and given one million young people the chance of a decent job.

Only a Labour Government would have stopped the scandal of pensioner poverty or introduced the winter fuel allowance.

Only a Labour Government would have made a record increase to Child Benefit, or made Sure Start a vital part of some of the poorest communities in the country. Only a Labour Government would ever have brought in a minimum wage, and increased it, and made it such a part of our national life that no Tory will ever dare or even threaten to get rid of it.

And wasn't it an inspiration to hear the Prime Minister of Mozambique yesterday pay tribute to your Labour Government and think that only this Labour Government would have put Africa at the heart of the summit of the richest nations on earth; agreed action on HIV/AIDs and malaria, on debt relief and trade and got them to double aid, trebling it ourselves.

I want to make one thing clear.

When we resume the talks on world trade this December, our job, Europe's job, America's job, is to be on the side of opening the markets of the rich to the poorest of the world.

Look at Britain's cities. A decade ago in decline. Today, for all the problems that remain, thriving, waterfronts and canals renewed, business up, employment down and slowly, part by part, the regeneration of the inner city underway. Visit the centre of Birmingham. See Liverpool - European City of Culture for 2008. Or Manchester - site of the Commonwealth Games. Visit the Tyne by the Baltic Centre or Glasgow's magnificent Pacific Quay or Cardiff Bay.

And then London, scene of triumph and tragedy in successive days in July. And throughout both, it remained indomitable.

It is a privilege to be Prime Minister of such a country with such a capital city. The city of the Olympic Games for Britain in 2012.

And let me tell you what won the bid.

Yes, we had a magnificent team led by Seb Coe, a great London Mayor who backed it to the hilt, a country behind us. But what won it was London itself. A London with pride in its past, but with eyes fixed on the future. A London that said to the world: We're proud of our diversity: proud to stand before you on our merits; proud we are an open, dynamic, outward-going city full of life, locking horns with modernity and doing it with enthusiasm.

And when terrorism struck, the same pride and confidence asserted itself, to the envy and awe of the watching world.

London, that day, did Britain proud.

This is a country today that increasingly sets the standard.

Not for us the malaise of France or the angst of Germany.

It's a national pastime to run ourselves down, so occasionally it's worth saying: Britain is a great country and we are proud of it.

So what is the challenge? It is that change is marching on again.

Perhaps our children more readily understand this and embrace it than we do. How quickly has the ipod entered the language and the reality of our lives? With what sense of near wonder was the fax machine greeted, just a few years ago, and already overtaken?

A baby is born. The father takes a photo on his mobile. In seconds relatives around the world can see, and celebrate. A different world to the one we were born into. Faster, more exciting, yet with that come threats too.

The pace of change can either overwhelm us, or make our lives better and our country stronger.

What we can't do is pretend it is not happening.

I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalisation. You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer.

They're not debating it in China and India. They are seizing its possibilities, in a way that will transform their lives and ours.

Yes, both nations still have millions living in poverty. But they are on the move. Or look at Vietnam or Thailand. Then wait for the South Americans, and in time, with our help, the Africans.

All these nations have labour costs a fraction of ours.

All can import the technology.

All of them will attract capital as it moves, trillions of dollars of it, double what was available even 10 years ago, to find the best return.

The character of this changing world is indifferent to tradition.

Unforgiving of frailty.

No respecter of past reputations.

It has no custom and practice.

It is replete with opportunities, but they only go to those swift to adapt, slow to complain, open, willing and able to change.

Unless we "own" the future, unless our values are matched by a completely honest understanding of the reality now upon us and the next about to hit us, we will fail.

And then the values we believe in, become idle sentiments ripe for disillusion and disappointment.

In the era of rapid globalisation, there is no mystery about what works: an open, liberal economy, prepared constantly to change to remain competitive.

The new world rewards those who are open to it.

Foreign investment improves our economy.

Or take immigration.

We know we need strict controls. They are being put in place, along with Identity Cards, also necessary in a changing world.

But one of the most satisfying things about the election was that the country saw through the Tories nasty, unprincipled campaign on immigration. People who come to work and make their lives here make Britain not weaker but stronger.

But there is a lesson here too.

The temptation is to use Government to try to protect ourselves against the onslaught of globalisation by shutting it out; to think we protect a workforce by regulation; a company by Government subsidy; an industry by tariffs.

It doesn't work today.

Because the dam holding back the global economy burst years ago.

The competition can't be shut out, it can only be beaten.

And the greatest error progressive politics can make, is, to think that somehow this more open and liberal world makes our values redundant, that the choice is either to cling onto the European social model of the past; or be helpless, swept along by the flow.

On the contrary, social solidarity remains the only way to secure the future of a country like Britain.

However, today its purpose is not to resist the force of globalisation but to prepare for it, and to garner its vast potential benefits.

That's why education is Government's number one priority, why we are investing:

7 times the amount the Tories were each year in school buildings; and in computers and teachers and skills.

Why we are doubling the science budget.

Why we reformed universities funding so they had the resources to keep up with the world's best. And yes it was tough. And yes, the Lib Dems exploited it with their usual ruthless opportunism but it was the right thing to do.

Because the only secure economic future for Britain lies in one thing,

Not low wages

Not old-fashioned conflict

But knowledge, skills, intelligence, the talents Britain has in abundance if only we set them free.

In the first two terms we corrected the weaknesses of the Tory years.

Boom and bust economics.

Chronic under-investment in public services.

Mass unemployment.

But our job was never simply to repair the Tory damage; it was to create an inheritance for future generations by taking the tough decisions needed to secure our future. That is the task in the years ahead.

We know how hard it is for families to balance work and home life.

Over the next few years, we will open up for the first time ever, a new frontier of the welfare state, affordable, wrap-around childcare between the hours of 8am - 6pm for all who need it.

We will get more people off benefit and into work.

Let's be frank about why so many people are on incapacity benefit. Under the Tories, it was used to conceal unemployment. Next month, we will publish proposals radically to reform the benefit for the future and help people who can work, back into the work force where they belong.

In December, we receive the report of the Pensions Commission. Next year we will publish our plans for reform.

There will be a proper basic state pension; and alongside it, because, in the modern world the state cannot provide it all, a simple easy way for people to save and to reap the rewards of their savings.

Next year too, building on Britain's Kyoto commitments, we will publish proposals on energy policy.

Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.

And for how much longer can countries like ours allow the security of our energy supply be dependent on some of the most unstable parts of the world?

For both reasons the G8 Agreement must be made to work so we develop together the technology that allows prosperous nations to adapt and emerging ones to grow sustainably; and that means an assessment of all options, including civil nuclear power.

In transport, we will continue to develop proposals for a fundamental change in its funding, including road pricing.

And next year too we will address the future of local government. A new and ambitious blueprint strengthening the leadership of our cities, giving good councils new freedoms and devolving more power to neighbourhoods.

Over the Parliament our aim is to increase home ownership by one million and in particular help young families struggling to be first-time buyers. Twenty years ago we gifted the ground of aspiration to the Tories. Today we've got it back and we'll never yield it up to them again.

And to back all this up, to ensure our future priorities in spending can be secured, we will publish next July the Fundamental Savings Review of all Government spending: where we can save, where we need to spend more; how we keep investment flowing in to our priorities but keep our tax system competitive for our economy and help hard-working families to increase their prosperity.

The truth is command public services today are no more acceptable than a command economy.

The 21st century's expectations in public services are a world away from those of 1945.

People demand quality, choice, high standards. Why? Because in every other walk of life they demand them.

And they are paying their taxes, so they feel they are entitled to them.

If we misunderstand this, we will make a mistake of the proportions of council house sales in the 1980's.

We know what makes a good school. Good leadership; great teachers; strong discipline; a love of learning.

We know what makes good healthcare. Quick access; committed care; clean, comfortable surroundings.

But what happens if you can't get them?

If you've the money, you buy better.

That is an affront to every progressive value we believe in.

There's a great myth here: which is that we don't have a market in services now. We do. It's called private schools and private healthcare.

But it's only open to the well-off.

There is another myth: choice is a New Labour invention.

Wrong. Choice is what wealthy people have exercised for centuries. The Tories have always been comfortable with that. But for Labour choice is too important to be the monopoly of the wealthy.

A final myth: the way to keep universal services universal is to make them uniform.

Again, wrong. The way to keep services universal is to make them of such quality that enough of those who can afford to go private, opt to stay in the public service.

I will never return us to selection aged 11 in our schools.

I will never allow the NHS to charge for treatment.

Under the Warwick accord we are ending the two-tier workforce.

But it isn't fair when parents have no option but to send their child to a poor local school.

Or a patient can't get diagnostic tests done in six months when the technology and the capacity exist to deliver it in days.

The wealthy by their wealth can change that in their lives. I want decent hardworking families to have the same power.

Every time I've ever introduced a reform in Government, I wish in retrospect I had gone further.

Specialist schools, denounced at the time, have performed better than traditional comprehensives. Fact.

City Academies are massively over-subscribed. Fact.

And the beneficiaries are not fat cats. They are some of the poorest families in the poorest parts of Britain.

We only got big falls in waiting times after introducing competition for routine surgery. Fact.

That is why the NHS reforms, to break down the old monolith, bring in new providers, allow patients choice, must continue. Money alone won't work. Money and reform will and if we stick with it, by 2008 we will, for the first time in the NHS's history, offer booked appointments at the patient's convenience and a maximum wait of 18 weeks from the GP to the operating theatre with an average wait of 9 weeks. Not the 18 months just to get off the consultants' list, we inherited from the Tories but 18 weeks for the whole thing.

Now if reform delivers that change for our people, regardless of wealth, tell me how we justify refusing to do it?

This autumn, we will publish our Education White Paper. It will open up the system to new providers and new partners, allow greater parental choice, expand Foundation, Academy and extended schools. Again reform, again some of it difficult. But all with one purpose: to let nothing block the way to higher standards, and greater achievement for our children. The greatest injustice I know is when good education is the preserve of the privileged. We are changing that injustice.

Yes, we have lifted many children out of poverty, many families too, but we haven't decisively altered the balance of advantage away from background to merit.

The wealth of your parents is still the biggest decider of your future.

If there's one thing above all that motivates me it is to redeem the pledge I made to give the chance of a first-class education not only for Britain's elite but for all Britain's children.

The same adjustment to the modern world challenges traditional thinking on law and order.

It is true: crime overall is down, burglary and car crime by big numbers.

But it's not the point.

Respect is about more than crime. It's about the loss of a value which is a necessary part of any strong community; proper behaviour; good conduct; the unselfish notion that the other person matters.

The roots of this are deep and are formed partly by the same forces of change at work in our economy: the break up of traditional communities and family structures, changing lifestyles.

The bonds of cohesion have been loosened. They cannot be tied again the same way.

But, in a different way they can and, again based on my experience, I want to say how I think it can be done.

For 8 years I have battered the criminal justice system to get it to change.

And it was only when we started to introduce special ASB laws, we really made a difference.

And I now understand why. The system itself is the problem. We are trying to fight 21st century crime - ASB, drug-dealing, binge-drinking, organised crime - with 19th century methods, as if we still lived in the time of Dickens.

The whole of our system starts from the proposition that its duty is to protect the innocent from being wrongly convicted.

Don't misunderstand me. That must be the duty of any criminal justice system.

But surely our primary duty should be to allow law-abiding people to live in safety.

It means a complete change of thinking.

It doesn't mean abandoning human rights.

It means deciding whose come first.

I believe three things work.

First, a radical extension of summary powers to police and local authorities to take on the wrong doers.

We will publish plans to do this by the end of the year. They will tackle specifically binge-drinking, drug-dealing and organised crime; and develop existing laws on ASB.

Second, we need a uniformed presence on the street in every community. Officers on the beat is what the public have wanted for years and they're right. I have seen teams of police and CSOs in action. It works. We want them across the whole of Britain over the next few years.

Third, give our young people places to go so that they're off the street.

Invest in our youth services.

More competitive sport in schools.

Give Head Teachers the full disciplinary powers they want.

End the farce of half a dozen agencies all spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on problem families.

Identify these families early, have them handled by one lead agency and give it whatever powers it needs to affect change or impose sanctions.

And give local communities the powers they need to hold people to account.

Today is not the era of the big state; but a strategic one: empowering, enabling, putting decision making in the hands of people not government.

One day when I am asked by someone whose neighbourhood is plagued with anti-social behaviour; or whose local school is failing or hospital is poor, "what are you going to do about it?", I want to be able to reply: "We have given you the resources. We have given you the powers. Now tell me what you are going to do about it."

Today, of course, we face a new challenge: global terrorism.

Let us state one thing.

These terrorists do not, never have and never will represent the decent, humane and principled faith of Islam.

Muslims, like all of us, abhor terrorism. Like all of us, are its victims.

It is, as ever, only fringe fanatics we face.

But we need to make it clear.

When people come to our country, they have and should have the full rights we believe in. There should be no second-class citizens in Britain. But citizenship comes with a duty: to give loyalty to our nation, its values and our way of life.

If people have a grievance, politics is the answer. Not terror.

Terrorism brings home to us this now obvious truth of the modern world. Nations, even the largest, need to work together for their common good.

Isolationism is as backward as protectionism. For a country the size of Britain, there is no securing our future without strong alliances.

When I became Prime Minister I took a decision: always be at the forefront where decisions are made not at the back where they're handed down.

That is why at every point, no matter how difficult we remain strong partners in Europe. By all means let us fight for reform in Europe; but to isolate ourselves from the world's largest commercial market in which over 50% of our trade is done, is just a crazy policy for Britain in the 21st century.

Britain should also remain the strongest ally of the United States. I know there's a bit of us that would like me to do a Hugh Grant in Love Actually and tell America where to get off. But the difference between a good film and real life is that in real life there's the next day, the next year, the next lifetime to contemplate the ruinous consequences of easy applause.

I never doubted after September 11th that our place was alongside America and I don't doubt it now.

And for a very simple reason. Terrorism struck most dramatically in New York but it was aimed then, and is aimed now, at us all, at our way of life.

This is a global struggle.

Today it is at its fiercest in Iraq.

It has allied itself there with every reactionary element in the Middle East.

Their aim: to wreck this December's first ever direct election for the Government of Iraq.

I know there are people, good people, who disagreed with the decision to remove Saddam by force.

But for two years, British troops whose bravery and dedication we salute, along with those of 27 other nations, have been in Iraq with full United Nations authority and in support of the Iraqi Government.

Yes, several hundred people stoned British troops in Basra.

Yes, several thousand run the terrorist insurgency around Baghdad.

And yes, as a result of the fighting, innocent people tragically die.

But 8 ス million Iraqis showed which future they wanted when they came out and voted in January's elections.

And the way to stop the innocent dying is not to retreat, to withdraw, to hand these people over to the mercy of religious fanatics or relics of Saddam, but to stand up for their right to decide their Government in the same democratic way the British people do.

Ten days ago, after years of struggle, finally in Afghanistan, 6 million people voted freely to decide their own future.

How dare the terrorists justify their campaign of hate by claiming they are angry about Afghanistan? Was it better under their Taleban?

They use Iraq and Afghanistan, just as they use the cause of Palestine, whilst trying to destroy by terror the only solution that will ever work: a secure Israel living side-by-side with a viable independent and democratic Palestine.

Just as they chose the day of the G8 when the world was trying to address the heartbreaking poverty of Africa, to kill innocent people in London.

Strip away their fake claims of grievance and see them for what they are: terrorists who use 21st century technology to fight a pre-medieval religious war that is utterly alien to the future of humankind.

I know we could have hidden away at the back after September 11th and let others take the strain.

But that is not Britain at its best.

Nor is it this Party.

When we campaign for justice in Africa, that is a progressive cause.

When we push for peace in Palestine, it is a progressive cause.

When we act against global warming, it is a progressive cause.

And when we fight behind the standard of democracy in Afghanistan or Iraq or Kosovo or Sierra Leone, for me that too is a progressive cause.

In each case, Britain in these last 8 years has been at the front. Not always succeeding, but never a spectator. In the modern world, for all the pain it can bring, it is the only place to be.

It's a daunting agenda isn't it; and in every area of policy we are called upon to adjust our sights, re-think, renew.

But have confidence.

We are well up to it.

No-one else is.

The Conservatives remain lost in the fog of ancient memories; though at some point, be warned, they will emerge.

Who would have thought that the Conservatives would still be debating which way to go after 8 years in opposition?

Or the Liberals, still debating which way to go after 80 years in opposition?

The Tories without a leader.

The Lib Dems too.

I say this to any true social democrat in the Lib Dems: "You've lost. You're in the old Liberal Party now."

Street fighters in local politics. Utterly unserious on the national stage.

The seats we lost to them at the last election will not be won back by aping them but by exposing them, for what they are: a party of protest. Never a party of Government.

My advice: never underestimate the Tories; never over-estimate the Lib Dems.

We are a Party of Government, a third term Government.

Without New Labour we might have won once. Even twice. But not three times and now still dominant. Why?

New Labour was first and foremost about disentangling ends and means.

Political parties love to tie themselves up in doctrine.

They develop comfort zones.

Policy becomes ideology, sometimes theology. To challenge it, is heresy.

To agree it, is a sign you belong.

But real people in the real world think instinctively, free from doctrine. Not free from values. But free to apply them differently in different times.

New Labour reconnected us to them.

We have become a grown up Party capable of leading a grown up nation.

But that is not all New Labour stands for.

One thing I've learnt, and I learnt it from Neil Kinnock and it is now so ingrained it's like a strip of granite running through my being.

It's about leadership. Not mine alone. Ours together. It's about facing hard challenges and meeting them. Without it you can govern as a reflex to an unpopular Conservative Government; but you can't lead a generation in the progressive way.

Government is not a state of office but a state of mind. A willingness to accept the burden of true leadership.

And when you govern, so much can be done.

Think of the things the headlines rarely touch.

The first ever proper law on domestic violence.

1 million pensioners homes insulated.

350,000 miners with compensation.

Paid holidays for all workers.

Equalising the law on consent and civil partnerships.

And do you know how many visits to Britain's museums last year? 34 million. Why? Free museum entry.

The achievements of Government are not always measured by the causes that decide elections but in the quiet advances that decide the character and culture of a nation.

In Government, we can change lives.

When I listened on Sunday to the tributes to Jim Callaghan, I recalled the 90th birthday party we gave for him in Downing Street a few years back

Around the room. Denis Healey talking to Roy Jenkins. Tony Benn with Shirley Williams, Michael Foot, Jack Jones. What brilliance; and what a pity. Because the seeds of 18 years of opposition were not sown in 1979, but in the 1960s when great challenges came upon us. And instead of understanding we were simply being tested by the forces of change, we lived out a sad episode of charges of betrayal, questioning integrity and motives.

They were great people. But we were not ready then to see change was coming,

accept it and then shape it to progressive ends. United, we should have been the advocates of economic and industrial change in the changing world. And if we had been, how many fewer lives would have been destroyed? How much harsh and bitter medicine for some of the poorest in our society might have been avoided?

People suffered in those 18 years because we let them down.

We did so not because we meant to, but because we forgot that the first rule of any party with aspirations to Government is to understand first the aspirations of people and how they change with time.

Today, the fresh challenges beckon.

In 1997, we responded.

In 2005, we have to respond again.

Some day, some party will make this country at ease with globalisation.

Let it be this one.

Some day, we will forge a new consensus on our public services.

Let it be us who believe in them and let us do it now.

Some day, some party will respond to the public's anger at the defeatism that has too often gripped our response to social disorder. Let it be the Party that understands compassion as well as firmness is the only way a true community can be made.

Let ours be the Party, the one with the values of social justice, equality, fairness, that helps Britain turn a friendly face to the future.

When we made a decision about bidding for the Olympics, I'll be honest.

I didn't think we could do it.

But I also thought, come on, at least give it a try.

And it was a risk.

But we proved something important in taking it.

That Britain was a country not just with memories but with dreams.

But such nations aren't built by dreamers.

They rise by the patient courage of the change-maker.

That's what we have been in New Labour. The change-makers.

That's how we must stay.

Then the fourth Election can be won and the future will be ours to share.

Tony Blair On Terror

Blair says radical Muslim groups have taken advantage of tolerant policies to set up hate groups on British soil. In a news conference Friday, he mentioned two by name: Hizb ut-Tahrir and its related organization, Al Muhajiroun. Blair says the government will compile a list of extremist Web sites, bookstores, networks, centers and organizations. "Active engagement with any of these will be a trigger" for deportation, he said. Such deportations may violate the country's human rights and free speech protections, says Gareth Crossman, director of policy for Liberty, a civil liberties organization in Britain. If the deportations are challenged in court and the courts reject them, Blair says he would consider asking Parliament to rewrite Britain's human rights law to more closely parallel the European treaty on human rights, under which other European governments, such as France and Germany, have deported radical clerics. "The rules of the game are changing," Blair said Friday.


Key points from British Prime Minister Tony Blair's proposed anti-terror measures:

--Expanded grounds for deporting foreigners, including fostering hatred, advocating violence to further a person's beliefs or justifying such violence.

--Creating a new crime of condoning or glorifying terrorism.

--Refusing asylum to anyone with terrorism links.

--Expanding the government's powers to strip citizenship from naturalized citizens if they participate in extremism.

--Consider expanding police powers to hold terrorist suspects for three months without charge. The current time limit is 14 days.

--Banning the extremist Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Mr Blair denied the attacks were a result of the Iraq war. He said the "roots of this are deep" and terror attacks went back more than a decade. Mr Blair again denied the London attacks were a result of the Iraq war and said terrorism would only be defeated by "going after the ideas of these people ... taking them on and defeating them.  It doesn't change us. It is not going to change what we do. To react in any other way is to engage in the game they want us to engage in."

 It would be a "misunderstanding of a catastrophic order" to think that if the developed world changed its behaviour, extremists would change theirs. If it is the plight of the Palestinians that drives them, why, every time it looks as if Israel and Palestine are making progress, does the same ideology perpetrate an outrage that turns hope back into despair? If it is Afghanistan that motivates them, why blow up innocent Afghans on their way to their first-ever election? If it is Iraq that motivates them, why is the same ideology killing Iraqis by terror in defiance of an elected Iraqi government?  What was 11 September 2001 the reprisal for?"  

It was reasonably clear the blasts were a terrorist attack designed to coincide with the G8 summit in Gleneagles.  It's the will of all the leaders of the G8 however, that the meeting should continue in my absence, that we should continue to discuss the issues that we are discussing and reach the conclusions that we were going to reach. Each of the countries around that table have some experience of the effects of terrorism and all the leaders ... share our complete resolution to defeat this terrorism. It is particularly barbaric this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa and the long term problems of climate change and the environment. Just as its reasonably clear this is a series of terrorist attacks, it's also reasonably clear, that it is designed and meant to coincide with the G8."

I think if I was to say that I was going to cure all the evils of the world in one Summit, no that would be an exaggeration. I think what we are able to do is to make a significant attack on poverty in Africa to deal with the killer diseases, to make sure that we are trying to help those countries get on their feet again, to at least give a signal that we need to open up our markets to their trade, and on climate change. The aim set us is still a high one but slightly more modest in saving the planet is simply to make sure that we can get a fresh process going which allows there to be a consensus, including with America, on trying to tackle the issue of climate change.


Transcript: Bush Discusses War on Terrorism

President Bush, speaking at the National Endowment for Democracy Thursday, said that the United States and its allies have disrupted 10 al Qaeda plots since Sept. 11, 2001, including three plots to attack inside the United States. Here is a transcript of Bush's remarks.

BUSH: Thank you for the warm welcome.

I'm honored once again to be with the supporters of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Since the day President Ronald Reagan set out the vision for this endowment, the world has seen the swiftest advance of democratic institutions in history. And Americans are proud to have played our role in this great story.

Our nation stood guard on tense borders. We spoke for the rights of dissidents and the hopes of exiles. We aided the rise of new democracies on the ruins of tyranny.

BUSH: And all the costs and sacrifice of that struggle has been worth it because from Latin America to Europe to Asia we've gained the peace that freedom brings.

In this new century, freedom is once again assaulted by enemies, determined to roll back generations of democratic progress. Once again, we're responding to a global campaign of fear with a global campaign of freedom. And once again, we will see freedom's victory.


Again, I want to thank you for inviting me back. Thank you for the short introduction.


I appreciate Carl Gershman.

I want to welcome former Congressman Dick Gephardt, who is a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy.

It's good to see you, Dick.

BUSH: And I appreciate Chris Cox, who's the chairman of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission and a board member for the National Endowment of Democracy, for being here as well.

And I want to thank all the other board members.

I appreciate the secretary of state, Condi Rice, who has joined us. Alongside her, our secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

Thank you all for being here.

I'm proud as well that the newly sworn-in chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the first Marine ever to hold that position, is with us today, General Peter Pace.


And I thank members of the diplomatic corps who are here, as well.

BUSH: Recently, our country observed the fourth anniversary of a great evil and looked back on a great turning point in our history.

We still remember a proud city covered in smoke and ashes, a fire across the Potomac, and passengers who spent their final moments on Earth fighting the enemy. We still remember the men who rejoice in every death, and Americans in uniform rising to duty. And we remember the calling that came to us on that day and continues to this hour.

We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire or rest until the war on terror is won.


The images and experience of September the 11th are unique for Americans.

BUSH: Yet the evil of that morning has reappeared on other days in other places -- in Mombasa and Casablanca and Riyadh and Jakarta and Istanbul, in Madrid, in Beslan, in Taba and Natanya and Baghdad and elsewhere.

In the past few months, we've seen a new terror offensive with attacks in London, Sharm el-Sheikh and a deadly bombing in Bali once again.

All these separate images of destruction and suffering that we see on the new can seem like random and isolated acts of madness. Innocent men and women and children have died simply because they boarded the wrong train or worked in the wrong building or checked into the wrong hotel.

And while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane.

Some call this evil Islamic radicalism. Others militant jihadism.

BUSH: Still, others Islamo-fascism.

Whatever it's called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent political vision: the establishment, by terrorism and subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom.

These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews and Hindus and also against Muslims from other traditions that they regard as heretics.

BUSH: Many militants are part of global borderless terrorist organizations like Al Qaida, which spreads propaganda and provides financing and technical assistance to local extremists and conducts dramatic and brutal operations like September 11th.

Other militants are found in regional groups often associated with Al Qaida; paramilitary insurgencies and separatist movements in places like Somalia and the Philippines and Pakistan and Chechnya and Kashmir and Algeria.

Still others spring up in local cells inspired by Islamic radicalism but not centrally directed.

BUSH: Islamic radicalism is more like a loose network with many branches than an army under a single command. Yet these operatives fighting on scattered battlefields share a similar ideology and vision for our world.

We know the vision of the radicals because they've openly stated it in videos and audiotapes and letters and declarations and Web sites.

First, these extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace and stand in the way of their ambitions.

Al Qaida's leader, Osama bin Laden, has called on Muslims to dedicate, quote, "their resources sons and money to driving infidels out of their lands."

BUSH: Their tactic to meet this goal has been consistent for a quarter century: They hit us and expect us to run.

They want us to repeat the sad history of Beirut in 1983 and Mogadishu in 1993, only this time on a larger scale with greater consequences.

Second, the militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country, a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments.

BUSH: Over the past few decades, radicals have specifically targeted Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and Jordan for potential takeover.

They achieved their goal for a time in Afghanistan. Now they've set their sights on Iraq.

Bin Laden has stated the whole world is watching this war and the two adversaries: It's either victory and glory or misery and humiliation.

The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity, and we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror.

Third, the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia.

BUSH: With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda: to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people and to blackmail our government into isolation.

Some might be tempted to dismiss these goals as fanatical or extreme. Well, they are fanatical and extreme and they should not be dismissed.

BUSH: Our enemy is utterly committed. As Zarqawi has vowed, "We will either we achieve victory over the human race or we will pass to the eternal life."

And the civilized world knows very well that other fanatics in history, from Hitler to Stalin to Pol Pot, consumed whole nations in war and genocide before leaving the stage of history.

Evil men obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience must be taken very seriously, and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply.

Defeating a militant network is difficult because it thrives like a parasite on the suffering and frustration of others.

The radicals exploit local conflicts to build a culture of victimization in which someone else is always to blame and violence is always the solution.

They exploit resentful and disillusioned young men and women, recruiting them through radical mosques as the pawns of terror.

And they exploit modern technology to multiply their destructive power. Instead of attending faraway training camps, recruits can now access online training libraries to learn how to build a roadside bomb or fire a rocket-propelled grenade.

BUSH: And this further spreads the threat of violence, even within peaceful democratic societies.

The influence of Islamic radicalism is also magnified by helpers and enablers. They have been sheltered by authoritarian regimes: allies of convenience like Syria and Iran that share the goal of hurting America and moderate Muslim governments and use terrorist propaganda to blame their own failures on the West and America and on the Jews.

The radicals depend on front operations such as corrupted charities which direct money to terrorist activity. They are strengthened by those who aggressively fund the spread of radical, intolerant versions of Islam in unstable parts of the world.

The militants are aided as well by elements of the Arab news media that incite hatred and anti-Semitism, that feed conspiracy theories and speak of so-called "American war on Islam" with seldom a word about American actions to protect Muslims in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Somalia, Kosovo, Kuwait and Iraq.

BUSH: Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals.

I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001, and Al Qaida attacked us anyway.

The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse.

The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet militants killed more than 180 Russian school children in Beslan.

BUSH: Over the years, these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence: Israeli presence on the West Bank or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia or the defeat of the Taliban or the crusades of a thousand years ago.

In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with unalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world.

BUSH: No act of ours invited the rage of the killers, and no concession, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.

On the contrary, they target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence.

Against such an enemy there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in and never accept anything less than complete victory.


BUSH: The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century.

Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses.

Osama bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers.

BUSH: He assures them that this is the road to paradise, though he never offers to go along for the ride.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy teaches that innocent individuals can be sacrificed to serve a political vision. And this explains their cold-blooded contempt for human life.

We've seen it in the murders of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg and Margaret Hassan and many others.

In a courtroom in the Netherlands, the killer of Theo Van Gogh turned to the victim's grieving mother and said, "I do not feel your pain because I believe you are an infidel."

And in spite of this veneer of religious rhetoric, most of the victims claimed by the militants are fellow Muslims.

BUSH: When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple; the total rejection of justice and honor and moral and religion.

These militants are not just the enemies of America or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of humanity.


BUSH: We have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before, in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags and the Cultural Revolution and the killing fields.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy pursues totalitarian aims. Its leaders pretend to be in an aggrieved party, representing the powerless against imperial enemies.

In truth, they have endless ambitions of imperial domination and they wish to make everyone powerless except themselves.

Under their rule, they have banned books and desecrated historical monuments and brutalized women.

BUSH: They seek to end dissent in every form and to control every aspect of life and to rule the soul itself.

While promising a future of justice and holiness, the terrorists are preparing for a future of oppression and misery.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy is dismissive of free peoples, claiming that men and women who live in liberty are weak and decadent.

Zarqawi has said that Americans are, quote, "the most cowardly of God's creatures," but let's be clear: It is cowardice that seeks to kill children and the elderly with car bombs and cuts the throat of a bound captive and targets worshipers leaving a mosque.

BUSH: It is courage that liberated more than 50 million people. It is courage that keeps an untiring vigil against the enemies of a rising democracy. And it is courage and the cause of freedom that once again will destroy the enemies of freedom.


BUSH: And Islamic radicalism, like the ideology of communism, contains inherent contradictions that doom it to failure.

By fearing freedom, by distrusting human creativity and punishing change and limiting the contributions of half the population, this ideology undermines the very qualities that make human progress possible and human society successful.

The only thing modern about the militants' vision is the weapons they want to use against us. The rest of their grim vision is defined by a warped image of the past, a declaration of war on the idea of progress itself.

BUSH: And whatever lies ahead in the war against this ideology, the outcome is not in doubt: Those who despise freedom and progress have condemned themselves to isolation decline and collapse.

Because free peoples believe in the future, free peoples will own the future.


We didn't ask for this global struggle, but we're answering history's call with confidence and a comprehensive strategy.

Defeating a broad and adaptive network requires patience, constant pressure, and strong partners in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and beyond.

BUSH: Working with these partners, we're disrupting militant conspiracies, destroying their ability to make war, and working to give millions in a troubled region of the world a hopeful alternative to resentment and violence.

First, we're determined to prevent the attacks of terrorist network before they occur. We're reorganizing our government to give this nation a broad and coordinated homeland defense. We're reforming our intelligence agency for the incredibly difficult task of tracking enemy activity, based on information that often comes in small fragments from widely scattered sources here and abroad.

We're acting, along with the governments from many countries, to destroy the terrorist networks and incapacitate their leaders.

Together, we've killed or captured nearly all of those directly responsible for the September the 11th attacks, as well as some of bin Laden's most senior deputies, Al Qaida managers and operatives in more than 24 countries: the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing who was chief of Al Qaida operations in the Persian Gulf, the mastermind of the Jakarta and the first Bali bombings, a senior Zarqawi terrorist planner who was planning attacks in Turkey, and many of Al Qaida's senior leaders in Saudi Arabia.

BUSH: Overall, the United States and our partners have disrupted at least 10 serious Al Qaida terrorist plots since September the 11th, including three Al Qaida plots to attack inside the United States. We've stopped at least five more Al Qaida efforts to case targets in the United States or infiltrate operatives into our country.

Because of the steady progress, the enemy is wounded. But the enemy is still capable of global operations.

BUSH: Our commitment is clear: We will not relent until the organized, international terror networks are exposed and broken and their leaders held to account for their acts of murder.

Second, we're determined to deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes and to their terrorist allies who would use them without hesitation.

The United States, working with Great Britain, Pakistan and other nations, has exposed and disrupted a major black market operation in nuclear technology led by A.Q. Khan.

Libya has abandoned its chemical and nuclear programs as well as long-range ballistic missiles.

In this last year, America and our partners in the Proliferation Security Initiative have stopped more than a dozen shipments of suspected weapons technology, including equipment for Iran's ballistic missile program.

This progress has reduced the danger to free nations, but it has not removed it.

BUSH: Evil men who want to use horrendous weapons against us are working in deadly earnest to gain them. And we're working urgently to keep weapons of mass destruction out of their hands.

Third, we're determined to deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes. State sponsors like Syria and Iran have a long history of collaboration with terrorists, and they deserve no patience from the victims of terror.

The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them, because they're equally as guilty of murder.


BUSH: Any government that chooses to be an ally of terror has also chosen to be an enemy of civilization. And the civilized world must hold those regimes to account.

Fourth, we're determined to deny the militant's control of any nation which they would use as a home base and a launching pad for terror.

For this reason, we're fighting beside our Afghan partners against remnants of the Taliban and their Al Qaida allies. For this reason, we're working with President Musharraf to oppose and isolate the militants in Pakistan. And for this reason, we're fighting the regime remnants and terrorists in Iraq.

The terrorists' goal is to overthrow a rising democracy, claim a strategic country as a haven for terror, destabilize the Middle East and strike America and other free nations with ever-increasing violence.

BUSH: Our goal is to defeat the terrorists and their allies at the heart of their power. And so we will defeat the enemy in Iraq.

Our coalition, along with our Iraqi allies, is moving forward with a comprehensive, specific military plan. Area by area, city by city, we're conducting offensive operations to clear out enemy forces and leaving behind Iraqi units to prevent the enemy from returning.

Within these areas, we're working for tangible improvements in the lives of Iraqi citizens. And we're aiding the rise of an elected government that unites the Iraqi people against extremism and violence.

This work involves great risk for Iraqis and for Americans and coalition forces.

BUSH: Wars are not won without sacrifice and this war will require more sacrifice, more time and more resolve.

The terrorists are as brutal an enemy as we've ever faced. They're unconstrained by any notion of our common humanity or by the rules of warfare.

No one should underestimate the difficulties ahead, nor should they overlook the advantages we bring to this fight.

Some observers look at the job ahead and adopt a self-defeating pessimism. It is not justified.

With every random bombing and with every funeral of a child it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots or resistance fighters. They are murderers at war with the Iraqi people themselves.

In contrast, the elected leaders of Iraq are proving to be strong and steadfast. By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress: from tyranny, to liberation, to national elections, to the writing of a constitution in the space of two and a half years.

BUSH: With our help, the Iraqi military is gaining new capabilities and new confidence with every passing month.

At the time of our Fallujah operations 11 months ago there were only a few Iraqi army battalions in combat. Today there are more than 80 Iraqi army battalions fighting the insurgency alongside our forces.

Progress isn't easy, but it is steady.

BUSH: And no fair-minded person should ignore, deny or dismiss the achievements of the Iraqi people.

Some observers question the durability of democracy in Iraq. They underestimate the power and appeal of freedom.

We've heard it suggested that Iraq's democracy must be on shaky ground because Iraqis are arguing with each other. But that's the essence of democracy: making your case, debating with those who disagree, building consensus by persuasion and answering to the will of the people.

We've heard it said that the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds of Iraq are too divided to form a lasting democracy.

BUSH: In fact, democratic federalism is the best hope for unifying a diverse population, because a federal constitutional system respects the rights and religious traditions of all citizens while giving all minorities, including the Sunnis, a stake and a voice in the future of their country.

It is true that the seeds of freedom have only recently been planted in Iraq but democracy, when it grows, is not a fragile flower. It is a healthy, sturdy tree.


As Americans, we believe that people everywhere -- everywhere prefer freedom to slavery and that liberty, once chosen, improves the lives of all.

BUSH: And so we're confident, as our coalition and the Iraqi people each do their part, Iraqi democracy will succeed.

Some observers also claim that America would be better off by cutting our losses and leaving Iraq now. It's a dangerous illusion refuted with a simple question: Would the United States and other free nations be more safe or less safe with Zarqawi and bin Laden in control of Iraq, its people and its resources?

Having removed a dictator and aided free peoples, we will not stand by as a new set of killers dedicated to the destruction of our own country seizes control of Iraq by violence.

BUSH: There's always a temptation in the middle of a long struggle to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the world, and to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder.

This would be a pleasant world, but it's not the world we live in. The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday's brutality.

The enemy considers every retreat of the civilized world as an invitation to greater violence.

In Iraq, there is no peace without victory.

BUSH: We will keep our nerve and we will win that victory.


The fifth element of our strategy in the war on terror is to deny the militants future recruits by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope across the broader Middle East.

This is a difficult, long-term project, yet there's no alternative to it. Our future and the future of that region are linked.

If the broader Middle East is left to grow in bitterness, if countries remain in misery, while radicals stir the resentments of millions, then that part of the world will be a source of endless conflict and mounting danger for our generation and the next.

BUSH: If the peoples in that region are permitted to chose their own destiny and advance by their own energy and by their participation as free men and women, then the extremists will be marginalized and the flow of violent radicalism to the rest of the world will slow and eventually end.

By standing for the hope and freedom of others we make our own freedom more secure.

America is making this stand in practical ways. We're encouraging our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to take the path of reform, to strengthen their own societies in the fight against terror by respecting the rights and choices of their own people.

We're standing with dissidents and exiles against oppressive regimes, because we know that the dissidents of today will be the democratic leaders of tomorrow.

BUSH: We're making our case through public diplomacy, stating clearly and confidently our belief in self-determination and the rule of law and religious freedom and equal rights for women; beliefs that are right and true in every land and in every culture.


As we do our part to confront radicalism, we know that the most vital work will be done within the Islamic world itself.

BUSH: And this work has begun.

Many Muslim scholars have already publicly condemned terrorism, often citing Chapter 5, Verse 32 of the Koran, which states that killing an innocent human being is like killing all humanity, and saving the life of one person is like saving all of humanity.

After the attacks in London on July the 7th, an imam in the United Arab Emirates declared, "Whoever does such a thing is not a Muslim, nor a religious person."

The time has come for all responsible Islamic leaders to join in denouncing an ideology that exploits Islam for political ends and defiles a noble faith.

Many people of the Muslim faith are proving their commitment at great personal risk. Everywhere we have engaged the fight against extremism, Muslim allies have stood up and joined the fight, becoming partners in a vital cause.

BUSH: Afghan troops are in combat against Taliban remnants. Iraqi soldiers are sacrificing to defeat Al Qaida in their own country.

These brave citizens know the stakes: the survival of their own liberty, the future of their own region, the justice and humanity of their own tradition. And the United States of America is proud to stand beside them.


With the rise of a deadly enemy and the unfolding of a global ideological struggle, our time in history will be remembered for new challenges and unprecedented dangers. And yet the fight we have joined is also the current expression of an ancient struggle between those who put their faith in dictators and those who put their faith in the people.

BUSH: Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision. And they end up alienating decent people across the globe.

Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that regimented societies are strong and pure until those societies collapse in corruption and decay.

Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that free men and women are weak and decadent until the day that free men and women defeat them.

We don't know the course of our own struggle, the course our own struggle will take, or the sacrifices that might lie ahead.

BUSH: We do know, however, that the defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice. We do know the love of freedom is the mightiest force of history. And we do know the cause of freedom will once again prevail.

May God bless you.