Before the al-Qaida attacks on the U.S. on September 11th, 2001, many countries tended to draw a distinction between terrorist groups and the states that supported or harbored them. “They were unwilling,” says Vice President Dick Cheney, “to hold these terror-sponsoring states accountable for their actions.”
“After nine-eleven,” says Mr. Cheney, President George W. Bush “decided that the distinction between the terrorists and their sponsors could no longer be permitted to stand. The Bush doctrine makes clear that those states that support terrorists, or provide sanctuary for terrorists, are just as guilty as the terrorists themselves of the acts they commit. So in addition to going after the terrorists, we are also taking on states that sponsor terror.”
In Afghanistan, the Taleban regime harbored the al-Qaida terrorists and brutalized the Afghan people. That regime is no more. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi regime supported terrorists and for twelve years defied the United Nations Security Council. Now, Saddam Hussein’s regime has been removed.
Vice President Cheney says the war against terrorism involves “all of the nations of the civilized world”:
“The United States is part of a worldwide coalition that is taking terrorists into custody, freezing terrorist assets, and providing military forces and other support when necessary. We’re making steady progress. Many of the senior al-Qaida leaders involved in planning or carrying out nine-eleven have been either captured or killed. More than fourteen-hundred terrorist accounts around the world have been frozen or seized, and terrorist networks have lost access to some two-hundred million dollars.”
This is “a struggle against evil,” says Vice President Cheney. “Against an enemy that rejoices in the murder of innocent, unsuspecting human beings. That is why people in every part of the world, and of all faiths, stand together against this foe. . . . And that is why we can settle for nothing less than total victory.”