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11 March 2002

Transcript: Bush Says Second Stage in War on Terrorism Has Begun

(U.S. is helping Philippines, Georgia and Yemen, he says) (2610)
Now that the Taliban government no longer governs Afghanistan and al
Qaeda has lost its home base for terrorism, the second stage in the
war on terrorism has begun, President Bush said in a speech on the
South Lawn of the White House March 11 in observing the six-month
anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States.
"We have entered the second stage of the war on terror -- a sustained
campaign to deny sanctuary to terrorists," said Bush.
"For any terrorist looking for a base of operations, there must be no
refuge, no safe haven," he said. "By driving terrorists from place to
place, we disrupt the planning and training for further attacks on
America and the civilized world. Every terrorist must be made to live
as an international fugitive, with no place to settle or organize, no
place to hide, no governments to hide behind, and not even a safe
place to sleep."
Bush said the mission will end when the work is finished -- when
terror networks of global reach have been defeated.
The President urged governments everywhere to help remove the
terrorist cells that threaten their own countries and the peace of the
world, and said America will help with training and resources to meet
this commitment. He noted that the United States is working with the
governments of the Philippines, Georgia and Yemen to counter terrorism
in those areas.
"We are helping right now in the Philippines, where terrorists with
links to al Qaeda are trying to seize the southern part of the country
to establish a militant regime," Bush said. "They are oppressing local
peoples, and have kidnapped both American and Filipino citizens.
America has sent more than 500 troops to train Philippine forces. We
stand with President Arroyo, who is courageously opposing the threat
of terror.
"In the Republic of Georgia, terrorists working closely with al Qaeda
operate in the Pankisi Gorge near the Russian border. At President
Shevardnadze's request, the United States is planning to send up to
150 military trainers to prepare Georgian soldiers to reestablish
control in this lawless region. This temporary assistance serves the
interests of both our countries.
"In Yemen," Bush said, "we are working to avert the possibility of
another Afghanistan. Many al Qaeda recruits come from near the
Yemen-Saudi Arabian border, and al Qaeda may try to reconstitute
itself in remote corners of that region. President Saleh has assured
me that he is committed to confronting this danger. We will help
Yemeni forces with both training and equipment to prevent that land
from becoming a haven for terrorists."
Bush warned every nation in the international coalition against terror
to take seriously "the growing threat of terror on a catastrophic
scale -- terror armed with biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons."
Some states that sponsor terror are seeking or already possess weapons
of mass destruction, he said. "Terrorist groups are hungry for these
weapons, and would use them without a hint of conscience. And we know
that these weapons, in the hands of terrorists, would unleash
blackmail and genocide and chaos.
"These facts cannot be denied, and must be confronted," said Bush. "In
preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, there is no
margin for error, and no chance to learn from mistakes. Our coalition
must act deliberately, but inaction is not an option. Men with no
respect for life must never be allowed to control the ultimate
instruments of death."
Bush spoke at a memorial ceremony on the South Lawn attended by
ambassadors from the coalition of nations fighting global terrorism,
members of the Bush Cabinet, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. armed forces,
and family members of some of those killed in the attacks.
Following is the White House transcript:
(begin transcript)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 11, 2002
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE SIX-MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SEPTEMBER
11TH ATTACKS
The South Lawn
10:10 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Diplomatic representatives of the coalition of nations;
members of the Congress, the Cabinet, the Supreme Court; members of
the American Armed Forces; military coalition members from around the
world; distinguished guests; and ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the
White House.
We have come together to mark a terrible day, to reaffirm a just and
vital cause, and to thank the many nations that share our resolve and
will share our common victory.
Six months separate us from September the 11th. Yet, for the families
of the lost, each day brings new pain; each day requires new courage.
Your grace and strength have been an example to our nation. America
will not forget the lives that were taken, and the justice their death
requires.
We face an enemy of ruthless ambition, unconstrained by law or
morality. The terrorists despise other religions and have defiled
their own. And they are determined to expand the scale and scope of
their murder. The terror that targeted New York and Washington could
next strike any center of civilization. Against such an enemy, there
is no immunity, and there can be no neutrality.
Many nations and many families have lived in the shadows of terrorism
for decades -- enduring years of mindless and merciless killing.
September the 11th was not the beginning of global terror, but it was
the beginning of the world's concerted response. History will know
that day not only as a day of tragedy, but as a day of decision --
when the civilized world was stirred to anger and to action. And the
terrorists will remember September 11th as the day their reckoning
began.
A mighty coalition of civilized nations is now defending our common
security. Terrorist assets have been frozen. Terrorist front groups
have been exposed. A terrorist regime has been toppled from power.
Terrorist plots have been unraveled, from Spain to Singapore. And
thousands of terrorists have been brought to justice, are in prison,
or are running in fear of their lives.
With us today are representatives from many of our partners in this
great work, and we're proud to display their flags at the White House
this morning. From the contributions these nations have made -- some
well known, others not -- I am honored to extend the deepest gratitude
of the people of the United States.
The power and vitality of our coalition have been proven in
Afghanistan. More than half of the forces now assisting the heroic
Afghan fighters, or providing security in Kabul, are from countries
other than the United States. There are many examples of commitment:
our good ally, France, has deployed nearly one-fourth of its navy to
support Operation Enduring Freedom, and Great Britain has sent its
largest naval task force in 20 years. British and American special
operations forces have fought beside teams from Australia, and Canada,
Norway, Denmark and Germany. In total, 17 nations have forces deployed
in the region. And we could not have done our work without critical
support from countries, particularly like Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Japanese destroyers are refueling coalition ships in the Indian Ocean.
The Turkish air force has refueled American planes. Afghans are
receiving treatment in hospitals built by Russians, Jordanians,
Spanish, and have received supplies and help from South Korea.
Nations in our coalition have shared in the responsibilities and
sacrifices of our cause. On the day before September the 11th, I met
with Prime Minister John Howard of Australia, who spoke of the common
beliefs and shared affection of our two countries. We could not have
known that bond was about to be proven again in war, and we could not
have known its human cost. Last month, Sergeant Andrew Russell of the
Australian Special Air Service, died in Afghanistan. He left behind
his wife, Kylie, and their daughter, Leisa, just 11 days old. Friends
said of Sergeant Russell, "You could rely on him never to let you
down."
This young man, and many like him, have not let us down. Each life
taken from us is a terrible loss. We have lost young people from
Germany, and Denmark, and Afghanistan, and America. We mourn each one.
And for their bravery in a noble cause, we honor them.
Part of that cause was to liberate the Afghan people from terrorist
occupation, and we did so. Next week, the schools reopen in
Afghanistan. They will be open to all -- and many young girls will go
to school for the first time in their young lives. (Applause.)
Afghanistan has many difficult challenges ahead -- and, yet, we've
averted mass starvation, begun clearing mine fields, rebuilding roads
and improving health care. In Kabul, a friendly government is now an
essential member of the coalition against terror.
Now that the Taliban are gone and al Qaeda has lost its home base for
terrorism, we have entered the second stage of the war on terror -- a
sustained campaign to deny sanctuary to terrorists who would threaten
our citizens from anywhere in the world.
In Afghanistan, hundreds of trained killers are now dead. Many have
been captured. Others are still on the run, hoping to strike again.
These terrorist fighters are the most committed, the most dangerous,
and the least likely to surrender. They are trying to regroup, and
we'll stop them. For five months in Afghanistan, our coalition has
been patient and relentless. And more patience and more courage will
be required. We're fighting a fierce battle in the Shah-i-kot
Mountains, and we're winning. Yet, it will not be the last battle in
Afghanistan. And there will be other battles beyond that nation.
For terrorists fleeing Afghanistan -- for any terrorist looking for a
base of operations, there must be no refuge, no safe haven.
(Applause.) By driving terrorists from place to place, we disrupt the
planning and training for further attacks on America and the civilized
world. Every terrorist must be made to live as an international
fugitive, with no place to settle or organize, no place to hide, no
governments to hide behind, and not even a safe place to sleep.
I have set a clear policy in the second stage of the war on terror:
America encourages and expects governments everywhere to help remove
the terrorist parasites that threaten their own countries and peace of
the world. (Applause.) If governments need training, or resources to
meet this commitment, America will help.
We are helping right now in the Philippines, where terrorists with
links to al Qaeda are trying to seize the southern part of the country
to establish a militant regime. They are oppressing local peoples, and
have kidnapped both American and Filipino citizens. America has sent
more than 500 troops to train Philippine forces. We stand with
President Arroyo, who is courageously opposing the threat of terror.
In the Republic of Georgia, terrorists working closely with al Qaeda
operate in the Pankisi Gorge near the Russian border. At President
Shevardnadze's request, the United States is planning to send up to
150 military trainers to prepare Georgian soldiers to reestablish
control in this lawless region. This temporary assistance serves the
interests of both our countries.
In Yemen, we are working to avert the possibility of another
Afghanistan. Many al Qaeda recruits come from near the Yemen-Saudi
Arabian border, and al Qaeda may try to reconstitute itself in remote
corners of that region. President Saleh has assured me that he is
committed to confronting this danger. We will help Yemeni forces with
both training and equipment to prevent that land from becoming a haven
for terrorists.
In the current stage of the war, our coalition is opposing not a
nation, but a network. Victory will come over time, as that network is
patiently and steadily dismantled. This will require international
cooperation on a number of fronts: diplomatic, financial and military.
We will not send American troops to every battle, but America will
actively prepare other nations for the battles ahead. This mission
will end when the work is finished -- when terror networks of global
reach have been defeated. The havens and training camps of terror are
a threat to our lives and to our way of life, and they will be
destroyed. (Applause.)
At the same time, every nation in our coalition must take seriously
the growing threat of terror on a catastrophic scale -- terror armed
with biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. America is now
consulting with friends and allies about this greatest of dangers, and
we're determined to confront it.
Here is what we already know: some states that sponsor terror are
seeking or already possess weapons of mass destruction; terrorist
groups are hungry for these weapons, and would use them without a hint
of conscience. And we know that these weapons, in the hands of
terrorists, would unleash blackmail and genocide and chaos.
These facts cannot be denied, and must be confronted. In preventing
the spread of weapons of mass destruction, there is no margin for
error, and no chance to learn from mistakes. Our coalition must act
deliberately, but inaction is not an option. (Applause.) Men with no
respect for life must never be allowed to control the ultimate
instruments of death. (Applause.)
Gathered here today, we are six months along -- a short time in a long
struggle. And our war on terror will be judged by its finish, not by
its start. More dangers and sacrifices lie ahead. Yet, America is
prepared. Our resolve has only grown, because we remember. We remember
the horror and heroism of that morning -- the death of children on a
field trip, the resistance of passengers on a doomed airplane, the
courage of rescuers who died with strangers they were trying to save.
And we remember the video images of terrorists who laughed at our
loss.
Every civilized nation has a part in this struggle, because every
civilized nation has a stake in its outcome. There can be no peace in
a world where differences and grievances become an excuse to target
the innocent for murder. In fighting terror, we fight for the
conditions that will make lasting peace possible. We fight for lawful
change against chaotic violence, for human choice against coercion and
cruelty, and for the dignity and goodness of every life.
Every nation should know that, for America, the war on terror is not
just a policy, it's a pledge. I will not relent in this struggle for
the freedom and security of my country and the civilized world.
(Applause.)
And we'll succeed. (Applause.) There will be a day when the organized
threat against America, our friends and allies is broken. And when the
terrorists are disrupted and scattered and discredited, many old
conflicts will appear in a new light -- without the constant fear and
cycle of bitterness that terrorists spread with their violence. We
will see then that the old and serious disputes can be settled within
the bounds of reason, and goodwill, and mutual security. I see a
peaceful world beyond the war on terror, and with courage and unity,
we are building that world together.
Any nation that makes an unequivocal commitment against terror can
join this cause. Every nation of goodwill is welcome. And, together,
we will face the peril of our moment, and seize the promise of our
times.
May God bless our coalition.  (Applause.)
END 10:30 A.M. EST
(end White House transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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