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9/9/03 - POWELL ON TERRORISM - 2003-09-10

Terrorism has confronted nations for many years. On September 11th, 2001, the al-Qaida attacks against the United States outraged the American people. President George W. Bush initiated a global campaign against terrorism. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell points out that terrorism “is everyone’s problem”:

“Just in recent months, terrorist attacks have made far too many headlines, in far too many places. In a resort in Bali, in a bus full of children in Jerusalem, in a Bombay marketplace. At the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. In front of a sacred mosque in Najaf, Iraq. Our grief knows no borders. Neither does our determination to put an end to such outrages against innocent people.”

The war on terrorism is the number one priority of the U.S.-led coalition. And says Mr. Powell, “We are making progress”:

“The victories of our armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq form part of that success. So do quieter diplomatic victories that you may not hear about, or intelligence victories or legal victories, law enforcement victories, as we go about the world, go around the world, to go to every country and encourage them to participate in shutting down funding to terrorists, making sure that we share intelligence and law enforcement information so we can get to them, root them out, and make sure that they do not have the opportunity to conduct new terrorist attacks.”

In Afghanistan, reconstruction and humanitarian efforts are translating military victories into lasting political accomplishments. Afghanistan still remains a dangerous place, but the remnants of the oppressive Taleban regime and al-Qaida are being rooted out. In Iraq, too, it is impossible to overcome in only a few months obstacles that have been decades in the making. But every day it is made clearer how horribly the Iraqi people suffered under Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party. The mass graves now being opened bear witness to Saddam’s brutality.

As Secretary of State Powell put it, ”Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we did the right thing, that the world is better off.”