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5/19/03 - CHENEY ON DEFEATING TERRORISM - 2003-05-20

The terrorist bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killed thirty-four people, including citizens from the Philippines, Lebanon, Jordan, Switzerland, and the United States. As Vice President Dick Cheney said, the attacks make clear that terrorism is a worldwide threat:

This is a worldwide problem, a global problem that’s aimed primarily at the West. But these al-Qaida terrorists have killed a large number of Muslims as well, too. And if you look at the people who were killed in East Africa [in the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998], and the innocent life that was taken there, some twelve Americans, I believe, but a couple of hundred local citizens. So this is a conflict we’ve got to deal with on a worldwide basis.”

Mr. Cheney said that the attacks in Saudi Arabia will reinforce the willingness of governments around the world to cooperate in the global war against terrorism:

“The other point that needs to be made here as well, too, is to recognize the fact that the only way to deal with this threat ultimately is to destroy it. There’s no treaty [that] can solve this problem. There’s no peace agreement, no policy of containment or deterrence that works to deal with this threat. We have to go find the terrorists.”

The terrorists, said Vice President Cheney, will be dealt with:

“We do everything we can here at home and around the world to create hard targets so we’re difficult to get at. But in the final analysis the only sure way to [ensure the] security and stability and protection of our people and those of our friends and allies is to go eliminate the terrorists before they can launch any more attacks.”

As President George W. Bush put it, “These despicable acts were committed by killers whose only faith is hate. The United States will find the killers and they will learn the meaning of American justice.”