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President Bush Says Iraq Remains Main Battlefield of War on Terrorism

President Bush says the sacrifices being made by Americans in Iraq are "worth it" – and are vital to the future security of the United States.

Mr. Bush made the comment in a nationally televised address Tuesday night. He said he, like most Americans, has seen the horrifying images from Iraq of suicide bombings and other deadly acts of violence. But he said America must stay the course and fulfill its mission to hunt down the terrorists and help Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror.

President Bush made his comments from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He rejected calls for sending reinforcements to Iraq and dismissed appeals for a timetable for U.S. forces to withdraw.

He referred to Iraq as a central battlefield in the war on terrorism. And he said the only way enemies of the United States can succeed is if Americans forget the lessons of the September 11th terrorist attacks – and abandon the Iraqi people to men like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The speech marked the first anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis.

Suliman Nyang is the director of African studies at Howard University in Washington, DC. He told English to Africa reporter William Eagle President Bush made it clear that the US has a long-term commitment to Iraq – one that does not include the timetable for withdrawal wanted by some of the president’s critics. Professor Nyang added that, in his opinion, for the U.S. to defeat the insurgents, it must be ready to crack down on neighboring countries that allow them safe passage into Iraq. And, he said, the administration must effectively curtail world trafficking of weapons used by the combatants.