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Bush: Troops in Iraq Make America Safer


President Bush says U.S. forces in Iraq are making Americans safer. Opposition Democrats say it is time to start bringing those troops home.

President Bush says the Middle East is at a pivotal moment as people there choose between democracy and extremism.

In his weekly radio address, Mr. Bush says America will defeat terrorism by strengthening young democracies in Lebanon and Iraq.

"The way forward will be difficult, and it will require sacrifice and resolve," he said. "But America's security depends on liberty's advance in this troubled region, and we can be confident of the outcome because we know the unstoppable power of freedom."

The president says he is determined to keep U.S. troops in Iraq as he says it is better to fight terrorists abroad than to fight them at home.

In the Democratic radio address, Pennsylvania congressional candidate Joe Sestak called for a new direction for American security, saying it is time to begin pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq to better prepare for security challenges worldwide.

"We are fostering a culture of dependence in Iraq," he said. "Iraqi leaders must be responsible for their own country. They must make the difficult political compromises that will stop the civil war and bring about stability. We cannot do this work for them. Completing our mission in Iraq will also make America safer everywhere."

Sestak, who is a former Navy vice admiral, says ending the U.S. military presence in Iraq would make more resources available for strengthening homeland security. He says two days of spending in Iraq would pay for screening all air cargo on passenger planes. Five days of spending on Iraq, he says, could fund the screening of all cargo entering American ports.

President Bush says his administration is protecting America by working tirelessly to prevent attacks from terrorists who he says remain determined to destroy innocent life on a massive scale.

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