Tags: Bush | Quotes | Bin | Laden | Warns | Islamic | Rule

Bush Quotes Bin Laden, Warns of Islamic Rule

Tuesday, 05 September 2006 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- In a speech laced with quotes from Osama bin Laden, President Bush said Tuesday that five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, al Qaeda wants to set up a violent, radical Islamic caliphate based in Iraq and vowed he would not let this happen on his watch.

In the speech and an updated national security strategy report on combating terrorism, Bush renewed a push to bolster support among Americans weary of the Iraq conflict by portraying it as part of a broader war on terrorism.

White House officials denied the president's report and speech were driven by election-year politics, in which Bush is accusing Democrats of being soft on terrorism, and said the report had been the product of months of work.

In remarks to the Military Officers Association of America, Bush said Islamic radicals would like to obtain nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in order to "blackmail the free world and spread their ideologies of hate and raise a mortal threat to the American people."

"If we allow them to do this, if we retreat from Iraq, if we don't uphold our duty to support those who are desirous to live in liberty, 50 years from now, history will look back on our time with unforgiving clarity and demand to know why we did not act," Bush said.

"I'm not going to allow this to happen and no future American president can allow it either," he said.

Bush, in an unusual move, quoted extensively from bin Laden's videotaped messages and writings, and compared him to global menaces like Russia's Vladimir Lenin and Germany's Adolf Hitler.

He cited in particular a letter from bin Laden to the former Taliban ruler, Mullah Omar, that coalition forces found in Afghanistan in 2002. The White House released a text of this letter.

In the letter, bin Laden wrote that an objective of al Qaeda should be to launch a media campaign to try to drive a wedge between the American people and their government and tell them that "their government would bring them more losses, in finances and in casualties," and that they are being sacrificed to serve the interests of big investors, "especially the Jews."

Bush said al Qaeda intends to create many bases worldwide "from which they can plan new attacks and advance their vision of a unified totalitarian Islamic state that can confront and eventually destroy the free world."

Bin Laden has declared Iraq "the capital of the caliphate," said Bush, who has often faced criticism for trying to tie Iraq into the broader war on terrorism spurred by the Sept. 11 attacks.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry said in response that if Bush had killed bin Laden in late 2001, "he wouldn't have to quote this barbarian's words today."

"Afghanistan is slipping back into chaos, Pakistan is one coup away from becoming a radical Islamic state with nuclear weapons, Iran is closer to a nuclear arsenal, and Iraq has become a recruitment poster for terror ... A new document may get the administration through the next news cycle, but it will not win the war on terror. We need to change course, not more of the same," Kerry said.

Bush also charged that Iran is the world's most active state sponsor of international terrorism and must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.

He said the international community had made a "reasonable offer" to Iran and added: "We will continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution, the world's free nation will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon."

White House homeland security adviser Fran Townsend told reporters she was concerned Americans were growing complacent about the threat of terrorism because there has been no large-scale attack in the United States since Sept. 11.

All 435 House seats, 34 of 100 Senate seats and 36 governorships are at stake on Nov. 7. Democrats need to pick up 15 House seats and six Senate seats to reclaim majorities.

(c) Reuters 2006. All rights reserved.

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WASHINGTON -- In a speech laced with quotes from Osama bin Laden, President Bush said Tuesday that five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, al Qaeda wants to set up a violent, radical Islamic caliphate based in Iraq and vowed he would not let this happen on his watch. In...
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Tuesday, 05 September 2006 12:00 AM
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