Bush: U.S. Won't Stop Short of Victory Against Terror
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
"We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept less than complete victory," Bush told a servicemembers, veterans and business leaders in Norfolk, Va.
The president emphasized that the United States is not to blame for the violence it has suffered at the hands of terrorists. "No act of ours invited the rage of killers, and no consequence, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans of murder," he said.
Acquiescing to the terrorists would only encourage them and advance their efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, destroy Israel, intimidate Europe, assault the American people, and blackmail the U.S. government into isolation, he said.
"The stakes could not be higher," Bush told the group, noting that terrorists won't hesitate to strike the United States and its friends and allies around the world again if permitted.
"We did not ask for this global struggle, but we are answering history's call with confidence and a comprehensive strategy," he said.
That strategy has several fronts, Bush explained. It includes:
- Preventing terrorist attacks before they occur;
- Keeping terrorists from getting access to weapons of mass destruction;
- Denying terrorists support and sanctuary from outlaw regimes or states that sponsor terrorism; and
- Preventing militants from gaining control of any nation for use as a home base or launching pad for terrorism.
But as those efforts continue, Bush acknowledged, the fight is far from over, and the road ahead will be long and difficult. "Wars are not won without sacrifice, and this war will require more sacrifice, more time and more resolve," he said.
The United States has made a choice and won't be swayed from its commitment to defeating terrorism, the president said. "We will confront this mortal danger to our humanity, and we will not tire and we will not rest until the war on terror is won," he said.
To members of the armed forces who will carry the largest share of that burden, Bush said, "This country's with you, and the commander in chief's incredibly proud of you.
"And to the veterans, thanks for setting such a good example," the president continued. "I'm proud of your service."
No one knows exactly how the course of the war on terror will proceed, where it will take the nation, or what sacrifices lie ahead, Bush told the group. "But we do know, however, that the defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice," he said.
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