President Bush has repeated his contention that the battle against
terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere is necessary, worthwhile and winnable. Mr. Bush
was addressing U.S. servicemembers at an Air Force base in Alaska, during a
brief stop en route to South Korea, beginning an Asian trip that will also take
the president to Thailand and China. From Washington, VOA's Michael Bowman
In coming days, President Bush will tend to U.S.
interests in the Pacific, far removed from the Middle East. Yet, hours before
his scheduled arrival in South Korea, Mr. Bush showed that he remains focused on
America's continued engagement in Iraq as well as the broader war on
The president told service members in Alaska that the
situation in Iraq has turned from bleak to hopeful. He said, a year ago, "people
were saying, 'let us get out of there, it does not matter to our national
security.'" But President Bush told the troops that now "terrorists are on the
run. The terrorists will be denied a safe haven, and freedom is on the
Mr. Bush said his goal is to spread freedom in Iraq and elsewhere, based on
the belief that free societies make for a more peaceful world.
Next Stop, Volatile Asia
President Bush's trip to Asia, likely
to be his last as president, is designed to highlight America's engagement in
the Far East. While in South Korea, he is expected to address issues concerning
North Korean nuclear disarmament. In Thailand, Mr. Bush will meet with Burmese
activists who oppose their country's military junta.
high-profile portion of the trip will be in China, where the president will
attend the ceremonies and festivities surrounding the Olympics. While lending
added prestige to China's hosting of the summer games, President Bush says he
will speak with Chinese officials on the need for greater freedom and openness
in their country.
Mr. Bush will become the first US president to attend
the Olympic games on foreign soil.