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9/7/03 - SINCE 9-11 - 2003-09-08

It has been almost two years since the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington. Since then, a U.S.-led coalition has been engaged in a global war against terrorism.

There have been many successes. The first was freeing Afghanistan. The Muslim extremist Taleban regime in that country had provided the home base for the al-Qaida terrorists responsible for the September 11th attacks. Today, Afghanistan is rebuilding and nearly two-thirds of al-Qaida’s senior leaders, operational managers, and key facilitators have been captured or killed. And the rest are on the run.

Confronting Saddam Hussein in Iraq was also essential to the war on global terror. Saddam’s regime had links to terrorists and had pursued possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction. Now that Saddam is gone, people no longer fear his weapons, his aggression, and his cruelty.

But recent bombings in Baghdad and Jerusalem confirm that terrorist remnants are still engaged in a campaign to impose a system based on tyranny and oppression. As President George W. Bush says, “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated”:

“There will be no flinching in this war on terror, and there will be no retreat. From Afghanistan to Iraq, to the Philippines and elsewhere, we are waging a campaign against the terrorists and their allies, wherever they gather, wherever they plan, and wherever they act. This campaign requires sacrifice, determination and resolve, and we will see it through. Iraq is an essential front in this war. Now we’re fighting terrorists and remnants of that regime who have everything to lose from the advance of freedom in the heart of the Middle East.”

The war on terror is being fought on the offensive. The U.S.-led coalition has taken the fight to the terrorists. As President Bush says, “Whatever the hardships, we will persevere. We will continue this war on terror until all the killers are brought to justice.”