President Bush has delivered his State of the Union address, vowing to continue pursuing democracy in the Middle East and pushing for changes in the US federal pension program.
Speaking to both houses of Congress Wednesday night, Mr. Bush praised recent elections in Iraq, saying they show that terrorists cannot intimidate those seeking freedom. He said the "victory of freedom in Iraq will strengthen a new ally in the war on terror and inspire democratic reforms from Damascus to Tehran." Mr. Bush said the goal of an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel is within reach. He said that to promote peace in the broader Middle East, the United States will have to confront regimes that harbor terrorists and pursue weapons of mass murder. Mr. Bush said Iran remains the primary state sponsor of terrorism, and told the Iranian people that America will stand with them as they strive for freedom and democracy. Mr. Bush also outlined his plan to revamp the federal pension program known as Social Security. He wants to allow younger workers to invest some of their contributions in private accounts. Despite calls from opposition Democrats, Mr. Bush did not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.