8.22.2005

Cheney Says United States Will Remain Relentless in Iraq

Mission critical to future security of free nations, vice president says

Washington -- The United States is not relenting in Iraq, because the mission is too vital and the future of U.S. security is too important, says Vice President Cheney.

"Iraq is a critical front in the war on terror, and victory there is critical to the future security of the United States and other free nations," Cheney told the 73rd national convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Springfield, Missouri, August 18. The Purple Heart is a medal awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces killed or wounded in combat.

"Our mission in Iraq is clear. On the military side, we are hunting down the terrorists, and training Iraqi security forces so they can take over responsibility for defending their own country."

The vice president noted that the United States and its allies are helping Iraqis on the political side "build a vital, peaceful, self-governing nation that can be an ally in the war on terror."

Cheney added that the United States has no illusions about trying to engage enemies who recognize neither the laws of warfare nor the standards of morality.

"These enemies hate us, they hate our country, and they hate the liberties for which we stand," Cheney said. "They believe that Americ[ans] will lose our nerve and let down our guard. They are sorely mistaken."

Pausing to recognize the cost being paid in lives and injuries by those who are serving in the U.S.-led coalitions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cheney said "every man and woman who fights and sacrifices in this war is serving a just and noble cause."

The transcript of the vice president's remarks

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