Monday, November 21, 2005

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman Addresses AIPAC; Says 'We Must Not Revert to the Old Ways That Emboldened The Terrorists'

To: National Desk
Contact: Tracey Schmitt of the Republican National Committee Press Office, 202-863-8614; Web: http://www.gop.com
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman will address AIPAC's (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) "Salute to Congress" tonight in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The following are excerpts of Chairman Mehlman's remarks as prepared for delivery.
"For almost a generation, terrorists have declared war on free nations.
"At the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Palestinian terrorists massacred 11 Israeli athletes. Israel responded by bombing PLO bases. Soon after, the UN Security Council condemned the Israeli response, but not the terrorist slaughter of 11 civilians.
"What did the terrorists learn?
"Less than two months after that attack, a Lufthansa airliner was seized and Germany gave in to the hijacker's demands by releasing the three surviving Munich terrorists.
"What did the terrorists learn?
"In 1979, Islamic fundamentalists took almost 70 Americans hostage in Iran and held them for 444 days. There was a single undermanned and under-planned rescue attempt that ended in failure.
"What did the terrorists learn?
"In April 1983, a van filled with explosives exploded underneath the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, 17 of whom were Americans. Six months later, a terrorist smiled as he drove a Mercedes truck filled with explosives into the Marine barracks in Beirut. The explosion destroyed the building and killed 241 American servicemen. The U.S. planned attacks on terrorist barracks in response, but they never occurred.
"What did the terrorists learn?
"The 1986 West German nightclub bombing ... Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 ...
"The first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 ... Riyadh in 1995 ... Khobar Towers in 1996 ... the embassy attacks in 1998 ... and the U.S.S. Cole in 2000 ...
"We know what the terrorists learned. They learned that people paid attention to spectacular attacks ... and responded to the threat of more. They learned that they could declare war on democracy without fearing war in return.
"That war came to America on September 11, 2001.
"And on September 12, under the leadership of George W. Bush, the terrorists got war in return."
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"...While we pursue Democracy, the terrorists' strategy is clear: American forces recently intercepted a letter from Osama bin Laden's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, saying that al Qaeda is waiting for America to pull out of Iraq, just as we pulled out of Vietnam.
"A Vietnam-like pullout would not be a stalemate or an 'exit strategy' - it would be an unambiguous victory for the terrorists.
"9/11 taught us that we cannot permit a failed state, particularly in the heart of the Middle East between Syria and Iran.
"We cannot not leave Iraq at the mercy of murderers.
"We cannot allow the terrorists to seize control of a nation with the resources of Iraq - land, water, oil ... and the intellectual capital of the people.
"We cannot once again reinforce the message that the terrorists heard in Beirut, in Mogadishu and Madrid: that the reward for violence is capitulation.
"Not in Iraq, not anywhere."
Paid for by the Republican National Committee; Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.
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/© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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