“My fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”
But, President George W. Bush said on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, Iraq was just one battle in a war that stretches around the world.
“The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 — and still goes on,” the president said.
Four times, the president referred to the recent Iraq action as a “battle” – contradicting what the media dubbed the “War in Iraq.” Destruction of the Afghan Taliban regime and the mop-up of al Qaeda, he said, has been the “Battle of Afghanistan.” He referred to the Afghan and Iraqi “theaters of war.”
This careful and repeated wording shows that the president views the ouster of the Baghdad regime as one battle in an ongoing war. He spoke of Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms of World War II, the Truman Doctrine and “Ronald Reagan’s challenge to an evil empire” which respectively saw the beginning and end of the Cold War – a bloody global struggle that was truly a third world war.
President Bush surveyed the globe from New York and Virginia on 9/11, to Afghanistan, and “from Pakistan to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa.”
“The war on terror is not over; yet it is not endless,” the president said. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.”
“Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world — and will be confronted.”
The Center joins the Commander in Chief in saying “Welcome Home” to those who have again defended freedom and expanded peace through strength.