COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. Drawing comparisons to World War II, President Bush Wednesday called on the United States and the world to battle against what he called the "murderous ideology" of terrorism, a threat he compared to communism and fascism in the global scale of its brutality.
"Like other totalitarian movements, the terrorists seek to impose a grim vision in which dissent is crushed, and every man and woman must think and live in colorless conformity," Bush told 981 cadets graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy here. "So to the oppressed peoples everywhere, we are offering the great alternative of human liberty."
Bush said Iraq was now a testing ground for his strategy to fight terrorism. His 47-minute speech was the second in what White House officials say will be a half-dozen addresses on Iraq. Polls show Americans say they are increasingly worried about events in Iraq as the U.S.-led coalition prepares to transfer sovereignty to an interim government on June 30.
Invoking World War II and the Cold War, Bush said the United States was leading the world in a struggle similar to the cataclysms of the 20th century, and he warned the graduates that they are joining a fight as momentous as what was waged against Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.
"This is the great challenge of our time, the storm in which we fly," Bush said. "History is once again witnessing a great clash."