The fifth anniversary of the September 11th, 2001, al-Qaida attacks on the United States is a reminder of the inhumanity of terrorists.
Extemists like al-Qaida use a perverted version of Islam in an attempt to justify murder and violence. But no faith condones the deliberate killing of civilians, and no cause or grievance can ever justify it. The victims of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building outside Washington, D.C. were citizens of more than ninety countries.
Both before and after those attacks, the followers of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and others brought tragedy and destruction around the world. Terrorists struck targets in Argentina, Britain, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, the Philippines, Spain, and elsewhere.
In 2002, a U.S.-led coalition removed the Taleban regime in Afghanistan. In place of extremists who harbored al-Qaida, Afghanistan now has a new constitution and a democratically elected president and parliament. President George W. Bush says that the U.S., its friends, and allies "have taken the fight to the enemy":
"Yet this war is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the twenty-first century. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation – the right of all people to speak, worship, and live in liberty. On the other side are those driven by tyranny and extremism – the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. We did not ask for this war, but we're answering history's call with confidence – and we will prevail."
Mr. Bush says in the war on terrorism, "The path will be very uphill and uneven." But, he says, "We can be confident of the outcome, because America will not waiver – and because the direction of history leads toward freedom."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.