John McCain: The liberation of Iraq was necessary and noble

From a speech by the senator for Arizona at the Republican conference in New York

My friends in the Democratic Party assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government's most important obligation. I don't doubt their sincerity. They emphasize that military action alone won't protect us, that this war has many fronts: in courts, financial institutions, in the shadowy world of intelligence, and in diplomacy.

They stress that America needs the help of her friends to combat an evil that threatens us all, that our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies. We agree. That is what the President believes.

Thanks to his efforts, we have received valuable assistance from many good friends around the globe, even if we have, at times, been disappointed with the reactions of some. I don't doubt the sincerity of my Democratic friends. And they should not doubt ours.

President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq. Those who criticise that would have us believe the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone. Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. We couldn't afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times.

I believe as strongly today as ever, the mission was necessary, achievable and noble. For his determination to undertake it, and for his resolve to see it through to a just end, President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration.

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