By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
Jan. 12, 2008 - Continuing his week-long Mideast trip, President Bush today thanked U.S. troops posted in Kuwait for their service in the war against terrorism and predicted ultimate victory. "I'm here to thank you for your service. I want you to know the American people are mighty proud of you, and so am I," Bush told servicemembers gathered at Camp Arifjan.
"We can't thank you enough, and we can't thank your families enough for doing the hard work necessary to protect the United States of America," the president told the troops.
The war against terrorism is a struggle between the coalition's belief in hope, liberty and justice and the terrorists' vision of hate, Bush said.
History "will say loud and clear that ... the men and women of this military understood that we're in an ideological struggle -- that we're facing cold-blooded murderers who kill the innocent to achieve their hateful vision of a future," Bush said. "And, so I thank you for what you're doing. There is no doubt in my mind that we will succeed."
Soldiers in the Camp Arifjan audience belong to a forward-deployed component of 3rd U.S. Army, based at Fort McPherson, Ga., that supports U.S. Central Command missions in the Mideast region, including anti-terrorism operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush noted the 3rd Army has a storied history. It was commanded by Army Gen. George S. Patton during his drive through France into Germany during World War II.
Patton's soldiers "played a vital role in the destruction of the Nazi war machine," Bush said. Today's 3rd Army troops, he noted, also are making history by performing important work vital to the preservation of liberty.
Bush told the troops that history also will record that their service "was absolutely necessary to defeat an enemy overseas so we do not have to face them here at home."
The president pledged to the troops that the U.S. government "will make sure that our (military) families have a good life, with good support, when you're deployed overseas."
Bush said there is no doubt in his mind that the terrorists operating in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere will be defeated "for the good of the world."
Servicemembers are fighting and sacrificing today, Bush said, so that "the United States of America is more secure, and generations of Americans will be able to live in peace."
Bush began his Mideast trip on Jan. 9 to discuss the way ahead in the terror war with U.S. diplomatic and military officials posted in the region. Just prior to meeting with the troops at Camp Arifjan, Bush had a meeting at the base with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker and Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq. The president was accompanied by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Bush's travel schedule also includes discussions with senior leaders of several Middle East nations to find a way to obtain lasting peace in the region. Bush has visited Israel and Kuwait, and he is slated to travel on to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.