- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 13, 2006

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush yesterday urged the United Nations to swiftly enforce its resolution demanding an end to the monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, saying deployment of peacekeepers will help ensure security for the Mideast.

“Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors have brought an unwanted war to the people of Lebanon and Israel, and millions have suffered as a result,” Mr. Bush said. “I now urge the international community to turn words into action and make every effort to bring lasting peace to the region.”

The president welcomed the U.N. Security Council’s resolution, which was adopted unanimously Friday night and calls for deploying 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers, saying that disarming Hezbollah is a step to “restore the sovereignty of Lebanon’s democratic government.”

He pointedly called Hezbollah “a terrorist group.”

“Yesterday’s resolution aims to end Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel and bring a halt to Israel’s offensive military operations,” Mr. Bush said. “It also calls for an embargo on the supply of arms to militias in Lebanon, for a robust international force to deploy to southern Lebanon in conjunction with Lebanon’s legitimate armed forces, and for the disarming of Hezbollah and all other militia groups operating in Lebanon.”

Mr. Bush issued a stern warning to Hezbollah’s chief sponsors, Iran and Syria.

“These steps are designed to stop Hezbollah from acting as a state within a state, and put an end to Iran and Syria’s efforts to hold the Lebanese people hostage to their own extremist agenda,” he said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Israeli television yesterday that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was discussing a cease-fire timetable with Israel and Lebanon.

“I would hope that within no more than a day or so that there would be a cessation of the hostilities on the ground,” Miss Rice said in the interview with Israel’s Channel 1.

Also yesterday, Mr. Bush said that Hezbollah, which has targeted missiles at Israeli cities while hiding in residential areas in Lebanon, shares a “totalitarian ideology” with the suspected terrorists arrested before the weekend in a plot to blow up airliners bound for the United States from Britain.

“The terrorists attempt to bring down airplanes full of innocent men, women and children,” the president said in his weekly radio address. “They kill civilians and American servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they deliberately hide behind civilians in Lebanon. They are seeking to spread their totalitarian ideology.”

The United States, Britain and other allies “are determined to defend ourselves and advance the cause of liberty,” Mr. Bush said. “With patience, courage and untiring resolve, we will defend our freedom, and we will win the war on terror.”

Mr. Bush also said that “some have suggested recently that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage. We can have legitimate disagreements about the best way to fight the terrorists, yet there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face.”

With Congress set to debate Bush administration tactics to thwart terrorism, including indefinite detention and monitoring suspects’ bank records and phone calls, Mr. Bush said the foiled airline attacks “demonstrate the vital importance of ensuring that our intelligence and law-enforcement personnel have all the tools they need to track down the terrorists and prevent attacks on our country.”

“Because of the measures we’ve taken to protect the American people, our nation is safer than it was prior to September the 11th,” he said.

During the weekly Democratic radio address yesterday, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas said the administration isn’t doing enough.

“My fellow Democrats and I believe our government must do more to protect Americans at home and around the world,” Mr. Pryor said. “We also understand there is no time to waste. Five years after 9/11, our country is not as safe as it needs to be, or should be. More needs to be done.”

c This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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