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Bush: U.S. drawing terrorists into a 'closing net of doom'

New Middle East television network planned

President Bush delivers his remarks during a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington for the opening of the Churchill exhibit.
President Bush delivers his remarks during a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington for the opening of the Churchill exhibit.

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George W. Bush
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- At a ceremony Wednesday marking the addition of a Sir Winston Churchill collection to the Library of Congress, President Bush echoed the words of the famous British prime minister, saying the United States is snaring terrorists in a "closing net of doom."

"The outcome of the war on terror depends on our ability to see danger and to answer it with strength and purpose. One by one, we are finding and dealing with the terrorists, drawing tight what Winston Churchill called a 'closing net of doom,'" the president said.

Bush declared that democracy is the best antidote for terrorism, and announced that he has asked Congress to double the budget for the National Endowment for Democracy, to raise its total to $80 million.

"We seek the advance of democracy for the most practical of reasons: because democracies do not support terrorists or threaten the world with weapons of mass murder."

The National Endowment for Democracy is a private, nonprofit organization created in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world, according to its Web site.

The president also said the United States next week will launch a new Middle East television network called "Alhurra," which is Arabic for "the free one."

"Through all these efforts, we are telling the people in the Middle East the truth about the values and the policies of the United States, and the truth always serves the cause of freedom," Bush said.

"As long as that region is a place of tyranny and despair and anger, it will produce men and movements that threaten the safety of Americans and our friends," he added.

Bush defended his decision to go to war in Iraq, saying the nation was "an ally of terror ruled by the cruelty and caprice of one man."

"Because we acted, nations of the Middle East no longer need to fear reckless aggression from a ruthless dictator who had the intent and capability to inflict great harm on his people and people around the world," he said.

The president's comments came as six separate government panels reviewed the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction used by the Bush administration in pushing its case for war.

The president pledged to help nations that are moving forward with democratic reforms, and promised the United States will accomplish its mission against terror.

The president also praised one of his closest allies in the war on terror, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, saying he saw Churchill's spirit in Blair.


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