15 March 2002
Bush Outlines Second Phase of Global Terrorism War
(World must take terrorist threat seriously, he says) (2990)
President Bush says the United States has completed the first phase of
the war on global terrorism and is now embarking on the second phase
of what will be a tireless, relentless campaign.
"The civilized world must take seriously the growing threat of terror
on a catastrophic scale," Bush said March 15 before a crowd of
civilians and soldiers near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home to the
U.S. Special Operations Command. "We've got to prevent the spread of
weapons of mass destruction, because there is no margin for error, and
there is no chance to learn from any mistake."
Bush was at Fort Bragg to promote the global anti-terrorism campaign
and thank the U.S. armed forces for their efforts, and also to
encourage Congress to approve his $48,000 million increase in defense
spending, which would bring the fiscal year 2003 defense budget to a
total of $379,000 million. The budget request includes pay raises for
the military, funding to acquire high technology weapons systems, and
funding to expand the missile defense program.
Bush said that in the second phase of the global terrorism war the
campaign will deny terrorists sanctuary, deny them safe haven, deny
them a place to organize, and deny them state sponsorship.
"The terrorists are now on the run, and we intend to keep 'em on the
run," Bush said. "These are trained killers who hate freedom."
He said the United States wants every terrorist to be made to live
like an international fugitive on the run, and "we're going to stay at
it for however long it takes. The American people are united and
patient and understand the nature of the struggle ahead."
On the fiscal year 2003 defense-spending package, Bush said he expects
Congress to "not only pass the budget as I submit it, I expect them to
make it the first order of business, so we can plan for this war."
Following is the transcript of Bush's remarks:
Remarks by the President in Fayetteville, North Carolina
Cumberland County Complex
Fayetteville, North Carolina
March 15, 2002
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all.
AUDIENCE: U-S-A, U-S-A!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. At ease! (Laughter and
applause.) General McNeil, thank you very much. For a warrior, you're
pretty darn articulate. Thank you all for such a warm welcome. It's
great to be here in Cumberland County, North Carolina. (Applause.)
I'm also honored to be here with fine men and women who wear our
uniform from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the world's finest fighting
soldiers. (Applause.) For generations, Fort Bragg has stood for the
best in the United States military. And now, along with those
stationed at Pope Air Force Base, you're playing a crucial role, a
vital role, a successful role in our defense of freedom, in our war
against terror. I'm proud of your service. I thank you from the bottom
of our hearts. (Applause.)
I want to thank General Holland, Commander-in-Chief, Headquarters U.S.
Special Operations Command. I want to thank General Brown. I want to
thank all the fine men and women of the 18th Airborne Corps, the
Special Forces, and the Special Operation units. (Applause.) It is
good to be with the fine folks of the 43rd Airlift Wing. (Applause.) I
am honored to be traveling with members of the North Carolina
congressional delegation, two of whom you've just heard from,
Congressman McIntyre, Congressman Hayes, Congressman Etheridge is with
us today, as is my friend, Elizabeth Dole. Thank you all for coming.
One week ago this coliseum was the scene of graduation ceremonies for
the latest group of soldiers to have earned the right to wear the
Green Beret. (Applause.) In doing so, they will join the ranks of some
of the best and bravest citizens we have. The soldiers and sailors and
airmen of the U.S. Special Operations Command are the best in the
world, and the world is seeing how tough and how brave they are today.
Our Special Operations forces know the danger that awaits them. This
is a dangerous battle that we face, a dangerous war. And I'm proud of
the courage, not only of the soldiers who volunteer for battle, but
for the loved ones who remain behind. Not only am I proud of our
soldiers, I am proud of the wives and husbands and sons and daughters
and moms and dads. And, on behalf of a grateful nation, we thank you,
as well. (Applause.) We appreciate your courage and your sacrifice.
Two young men from the Special Forces were recently laid to rest,
Chief Warrant Officer Stanley Harriman and Air Force Tech Sergeant
John Chapman. I want their families to know that we pray with them,
that we honor them, and they died in a just cause, for defending
freedom, and they will not have died in vain. (Applause.)
Because of such soldiers, a vicious regime has been toppled in
Afghanistan, and an entire people have been liberated from oppression.
Because of American soldiers and our brave allies and friends who have
fought beside them, the Taliban is out of business. (Applause.)
At the beginning of this war, I made it very clear -- as clear as a
fellow from Texas could make it -- either you're with us or you're
against us. (Applause.) And if you harbor a terrorist, if you feed a
terrorist, if you try to hide a terrorist, you are just as guilty as
the murderers who killed innocent Americans on September the 11th.
(Applause.) And thanks to the mighty United States military, the
Taliban found out exactly what I meant. (Applause.)
But the world has seen we are not conquerors; we're liberators. We
fight for freedom, and at the same time, we have saved a people from
mass starvation. We fight for freedom, but at the same time, we're
clearing away minefields, rebuilding roads, and opening up hospitals.
We fight for freedom, and yet, next week, schools will reopen in
Afghanistan and, for the first time, many young girls will go to
school for the first time in their lives. (Applause.)
We haven't been at this struggle very long. I know it seems like a
long time for those of you whose loved ones are overseas. But we've
been at it for six months, and we've made a lot of progress. And you
know what? The terrorists have now figured out they picked on the
wrong people. (Applause.) They must have thought we were soft. They
must have thought we were so materialistic that we wouldn't fight for
values that we loved. They must have thought that we were so
self-absorbed, that the word sacrifice had left the American
vocabulary. And, my, were they wrong.
Thousands of terrorists have been brought to justice. But I want you
to know, my fellow citizens, we will not relent. We will not slow down
until the threat of global terrorism has been destroyed. (Applause.)
I have made this message clear to the American people. I have made
this message clear to our vast coalition. And I've made this message
clear to our enemies -- and our military has delivered the message.
We have finished the first phase of our war against terror. You see,
when we routed out the Taliban, we completed that phase. And now we're
entering a second stage of what I think will be a long war. It's a
sustained campaign, a tireless, relentless campaign, to deny
sanctuary, to deny safe haven to terrorists who would threaten
citizens anywhere in the world, threaten our way of life, threaten our
friends, threaten our allies. These terrorists are now on the run. And
we intend to keep them on the run. (Applause.)
We know their strategy. They want to try to regroup, and they want to
hit us. We're doing everything we can to stop them. No, we know their
strategy. We also know they're the most committed, the most dangerous,
the least likely to surrender. Folks, these are trained killers who
hate freedom. And so long as they're on the loose, we're in danger.
And, therefore, in order to keep them from harming any of our citizens
again, we're going to hunt 'em down, one by one. This mighty nation
will not blink, we will not yield. We will defend the innocent lives
of the American people by bringing terrorist killers to justice.
Obviously, as you well know, we found some of them bunched up in the
Shah-I-Kot Mountains. And we sent our military in. And they're not
bunched up anymore. (Laughter.) And when we find them bunched up
again, we'll send our military in, and the same thing will happen. You
know, they've got these leaders that are so bold that they're willing
to send youngsters to their suicide while they try to hide in deep
caves. But they're going to find out there is not a cave deep enough
to escape the long arm of American justice. (Applause.)
And so as fellow citizens, you need to know the strategy of this new
phase is this: We want every terrorist to be made to live like an
international fugitive, on the run, with no place to settle, no place
to organize, no place to hide, no governments to hide behind, not even
a safe place to sleep. And we're going to stay at it. You watch, we're
going to stay at it for however long it takes. And the good news is,
the American people are united and patient and understand the nature
of the struggle ahead. And for that I'm grateful, and so are the men
and women who wear the uniform of the United States military.
At the same time, the civilized world must take seriously the growing
threat of terror on a catastrophic scale. We've got to prevent the
spread of weapons of mass destruction, because there is no margin for
error and there is no chance to learn from any mistake. The United
States and her allies will act deliberately -- we'll be deliberate --
but inaction is not an option. Men who have no respect for life must
never be allowed to control the ultimate instruments of death. I have
made it clear that we will not let the most dangerous regimes in the
world team up with killers and, therefore, hold this great nation
hostage. Whatever it takes to defend the liberty of America, this
administration will do. (Applause.)
I want you to know that, even though we have made great progress in
six short months, I am aware that history will judge us not based upon
the beginning of this campaign, but how it ends. Great challenges lie
ahead, and we're in for a long struggle. And therefore, we must make
sure that our United States military must have everything it needs to
meet the objective. (Applause.)
And just like our military has responsibilities, I have
responsibilities as the Commander-in-Chief to the military. At every
stage of the war on terror, I can assure you our actions will be
carefully planned and carefully prepared. Our objectives will be
clear. We will be deliberate, but when we act, we'll be decisive.
(Applause.) I will give clear orders, and I will make sure that you
have every tool you need to do your job.
I've asked Congress for a one-year increase of more than $48 billion
for national defense. (Applause.) This is the largest defense increase
in a generation -- because we're at war, and Congress needs to pass
this budget. And, by the way, it includes another pay raise for people
who wear the uniform. (Applause).
Nothing is more important than the national security of our country,
nothing is more important. So nothing is more important than our
defense budget. I've heard some of them talking about, it's too big up
there. Let me just make this as clear as I can make it: the price for
freedom is high, but it's never too high, as far as I'm concerned.
As you know, if you follow the budget process, oftentimes Congress
waits until the last days of the fiscal year in order to pass the
defense budget. That's bad budgeting practices in times of peace. It's
really bad budgeting practices in times of war. I expect the United
States Congress to not only pass the budget as I submitted, I expect
them to make it the first order of business, so we can plan for this
Now is not the time to play politics with the defense budget. Now is
the time to get it out first, and get it on my desk. We need to send
that clear message that not only are we in this for the long haul, but
the elected representatives of the United States people understand it,
as well. I'm proud of the bipartisan spirit that exists in our war
against terror. Now, let's just make sure we've got some good
budgeting practices to go along with it. (Applause.)
We're working hard to make sure the homeland is secure. I'll never
forget, right after September the 11th I went to see some high school
kids, and they were seniors. And it dawned on me that -- obviously on
them, too -- that this is the first high school class that had ever
seen an attack on the homeland like this, at least on the 48 states
that are contiguous. And it reminded me then, and I've never forgotten
it, that oceans no longer matter when it comes to making us safe; that
we have a giant obligation, an obligation I take very seriously here
at home, to make sure we do everything we can to protect innocent
So you need to know that any time we get a hint about somebody may be
thinking about doing something, we're on them. Every time we get a
scintilla of evidence that somebody might be trying to get in here or
burrow in our society, we're doing everything we can, everything we
can, to protect the American people. We honor our Constitution, but
we're on alert. And so are many of you all, and I want to thank you
We've got a good first responders initiative. We've got a great
initiative on bioterrorism. We're making our borders more secure. We
want to make sure we know who's coming in and who's coming out. We
want to make sure the INS is reformed. (Laughter and applause.) As you
might -- could tell by the news that day, I was plenty hot --
(laughter) -- when I read about the bureaucratic inefficiency of this
agency. We're going to do everything we can to reform it. We want to
button up the homeland as best as we can.
But my attitude is this: The best way to secure the homeland is to
unleash the mighty United States military and hunt them down and bring
them to justice. (Applause.) And the best way to fight evil at home is
to love your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself.
(Applause.) The best way to stand squarely in the face of those who
hijacked a good religion is to live a life that helps people in need.
You know, the true strength of our country is much greater than our
military. The true strength of America are the hearts and souls of
loving American citizens. And we have an obligation in our free
society to work to make our society as compassionate and as kind as it
can possibly be. (Applause.)
Today, I had the honor when I landed here to meet Jane Davis. Where
are you, Jane? There she is. Jane, thank you. (Applause.) Don't clap
yet until you hear about her. She's the wife of Colonel Gary Matteson
of Fort Bragg. The reason I mention Jane is because she is an example
of what I'm talking about, about the strength of the country. Right
after September the 11th, she left North Carolina to volunteer at
Ground Zero in New York City. (Applause.) Nobody had to tell Jane.
There wasn't a government edict, there wasn't a telegram from
Washington, D.C., directing her to go to Ground Zero; she followed her
heart. She knew it was the right thing to do.
It's the Jane Davises that really defined America for the world to
see. And you can be -- you can help a neighbor in all kinds of ways.
You can walk across a street to a shut-in and say, what can I do to
help your day? Or you can mentor a child, or you can teach in a
classroom. (Applause.) If you want to help, you can get on the
Internet and dial up usafreedomcorps.gov, and see. And we've got a
member of the Senior Corps here, which is a part of the USA Freedom
If you want to be involved, there's all kinds of ways. All you've got
to do is act. But if you're interested in joining the war against
terror, do something to make your community a more vibrant and kind
It is what I like to call the gathering momentum of millions of acts
of kindness that define America for what we are. And I'm proud to be
the President of a nation that is dedicated and firm in our defense of
liberty, that will stand strong when we defend freedom, and not blink
or tire. And likewise, I'm proud to be the President of a nation whose
true strength are the hearts and souls of citizens from all walks of
May God bless you all, and may God bless America. (Applause.)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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