September 11th, 2001, was one of the most horrific days in history. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that caused the deaths of more than three-thousand people from over ninety countries were more than assaults on civilians. They were attacks on civilization itself.
Fortunately, there has not been a terrorist attack on that scale since then. But the world cannot afford to become complacent. The fight against international terrorism, says President George W. Bush, requires sustained common purpose and strength, moral courage, and patience. Anyone who considers the events of September 11th to be merely a bad dream, he says, is dead wrong:
“The attacks that followed on Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Bombay, Mombasa, Najaf, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Baghdad, and Istanbul were not dreams. They are part of a global campaign by terrorist networks to intimidate and demoralize all who oppose them. These terrorists target the innocent and they kill by the thousands. And they would, if they gain the weapons they seek, kill by the millions and not be finished.”
Because of the extreme danger posed by international terrorists, says President Bush, the free nations must be prepared, if it becomes necessary, to retaliate by force against aggression and evil, whether from terrorists or from the countries that harbor them:
“The greatest threat of our age is nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons in the hands of terrorists and the dictators who aid them. The evil is in plain sight. The danger only increases with denial. Great responsibilities fall once again to the great democracies. We will face these threats with open eyes and we will defeat them.”
Terrorists have declared war on every free nation, and all nations must face that challenge. There cam be no flinching -- and no retreat. “From Afghanistan to Iraq, to the Philippines and elsewhere,” says President Bush, “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.