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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is hailing recent moves toward
democracy in the Middle East -- declaring, "Suddenly the thaw has
begun." He says events there make clear that tyranny is "the last gasp
of a discredited past."
In a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, the president said progress toward Mideast freedom is crucial to the war on terror. He called it the "best antidote" to radicalism.
Bush pointed to recent elections in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, plus steps toward democracy in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. And he said anyone doubting freedom's power should look at Lebanon, where street protests have called for the withdrawal of Syrian troops.
Bush renewed U-S demands for a complete pullout. And he said his message to the Lebanese is, "Lebanon's future belongs in your hands" -- and that "Freedom will prevail."