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Bush attacks concept of Caliphate again

The following is an extract from the news confrerence of President Bush in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday, 11th October in which he attacks the concept of Khilafah (Caliphate).

QUESTION: Senator Warner says Iraq appears to be drifting sideways. And James Baker says a change in strategy may be needed.

Are you willing to acknowledge that a change may be needed?

BUSH: We're constantly changing tactics to achieve a strategic goal. Our strategic goal is a country which can defend itself, sustain itself and govern itself.

The strategic goal is to help this young democracy succeed in a world in which extremists are trying to intimidate rational people in order to topple moderate governments and to extend the caliphate.

The stakes couldn't be any higher, as I said earlier, in the world in which we live. There are extreme elements that use religion to achieve objectives. And they want us to leave. And they want to topple government. They want to extend an ideological caliphate that has no concept of liberty inherent in their beliefs.

They want to control oil resources and they want to plot and plan and attack us again. That's their objectives.

And so -- and our strategic objective is to prevent them from doing that. And we're constantly changing tactics to achieve that objective. And I appreciate Senator Warner going over there and taking a look.

I want you to notice what he did say is: If the plan is now not working, the plan that's in place isn't working, America needs to adjust. I completely agree. That's what I talked to General Casey about.

I said: General, the Baghdad security plan is in its early implementation. I support you strongly but, if you come into this office and say we need to do something differently, I support you. If you need more troops, I support you. If you're going to devise a new strategy, we're with you. Because I trust General Casey to make the judgments necessary to put the tactics in place to help us achieve an objective.

And I appreciate Jimmy Baker's willingness to -- he and Lee Hamilton are putting this -- they got a group they put together that -- I think it was Congressman Wolf's suggestion -- or passed into law.

We supported the idea. I think it's good to have some of our elder statesmen -- I hate to call Baker an elder statesman -- but to go over there and take a look and to come back and make recommendations.

Somebody said he said, "Well, you know, cut-and-run isn't working." That's not our policy.

Our policy is to help this country succeed, because I understand the stakes. And I'm going to repeat them one more time. As a matter of fact, I'm going to spend a lot of time repeating the stakes about what life is like in the Middle East.

It is conceivable that there will be a world in which radical forms -- extreme forms of religion fight each other for influence in the Middle East; in which they've got the capacity to use oil as an economic weapon.

And when you throw into that mix a nuclear weapon in the hands of a sworn enemy of the United States, you begin to see an environment that would cause some later on in history to look back and say, "How come they couldn't see the problem? What happened to them in the year 2006? Why weren't they able to see the problems now and deal with them before it came too late?"

And so Iraq is an important part of dealing with this problem. And my vow to the American people is I understand the stakes, and I understand what it would mean for us to leave before the job is done.

And I look forward to listening to how -- what Jimmy Baker and Lee Hamilton say about how to get the job done.

I appreciate them working on this issue, because I think they understand what I know: The stakes are high.

And the stakes are high when it comes to developing a Palestinian state so that Israel can live at peace.

And the stakes are high when it comes to making sure the young democracy of Lebanon is able to fend off the extremists and radicals that want to crater that democracy.

This is a real challenge of the 21st century. I like to tell people we're in an ideological struggle. And it's a struggle between extremists and radicals and people of moderation who want to simply live a peaceful life.

And the calling of this country and in this century is whether or not we will help the forces of moderation prevail. That's the fundamental question facing the United States of America beyond my presidency.

And you can tell I've made my choice. And I made my choice because the most solemn duty of the American president, in government, is to protect this country from harm.


See also: Bush afraid of Caliphate in Iraq


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