George Bush: We must forget past differences

From the American President's address to the nation

We are committed to expanding international co-operation in the reconstruction and security of Iraq, just as we are in Afghanistan. I recognise that not all of our friends agreed with our decision to enforce the Security Council resolutions and remove Saddam Hussein from power. Yet we cannot let past differences interfere with present duties. Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world. Members of the United Nations now have an opportunity - and the responsibility - to assume a broader role in assuring that Iraq becomes a free and democratic nation.

Iraq is ready to take the next steps toward self-government... From the outset, I have expressed confidence in the ability of the Iraqi people to govern themselves. Now they must rise to the responsibilities of a free people and secure the blessings of their own liberty.

Our strategy in Iraq will require new resources. We have conducted a thorough assessment of our military and reconstruction needs in Iraq, and also in Afghanistan. I will soon submit to Congress a request for $87bn. The request will cover ongoing military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere and will also support our commitment to helping the Iraqi and Afghan people rebuild their own nations, after decades of oppression and mismanagement.

We've been tested these past 24 months, and the dangers have not passed. Yet Americans are responding with courage and confidence. We are serving in freedom's cause - and that is the cause of all mankind.

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