Bush the sequel

George Bush officially begins his second term today with a promise to spread liberty and freedom "to the darkest corners of the world."

Associated Press

"Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill and would be dishonorable to abandon," said the president, who led the nation to war in Iraq in a first term marked by terrorist attacks on the United States.

In a speech delivered before a vast throng of fellow Americans spilling away from the steps of the Capitol, Bush said he would place the nation on the side of the world's oppressed people. "All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppress, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 80 and ailing with thyroid cancer, administered the oath of office. Bush placed one hand on a family Bible and raised the other as he recited an oath as old as the Republic.

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