News & Policies >
Policies in Focus >
What is the War on Terrorism?
The evening of Sept. 11, President Bush spoke to the American people from the Oval Office in a nationally televised address:
"The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.
"A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
"America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining."
terrorist attacks were an act of war against the United
"The American people need to know that we're facing a different enemy than we have ever faced. This enemy hides in shadows, and has no regard for human life. This is an enemy who preys on innocent and unsuspecting people, then runs for cover. But it won't be able to run for cover forever. This is an enemy that tries to hide. But it won't be able to hide forever. This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe. But they won't be safe forever.
"This enemy attacked not just our people, but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world. The United States of America will use all our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win."
bin Laden and the al Qaeda network recruit and train
in the tactics of terror.
"This group and its leader a person named Osama bin Laden are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.
"The leadership of al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan, we see al Qaeda's vision for the world.
"Afghanistan's people have been brutalized many are starving and many have fled. Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.
"The United States respects the people of Afghanistan after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid but we condemn the Taliban regime. It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder."
The American Response to Terrorism
On October 17, President Bush said, "Ours will be a broad campaign, fought on many fronts. It's a campaign that will be waged by day and by night, in the light and in the shadow, in battles you will see and battles you won't see. It's a campaign waged by soldiers and sailors, Marines and airmen; and also by FBI agents and law enforcement officials and diplomats and intelligence officers. It's a campaign that is being waged in distant lands, and a campaign being waged by our new Office of Homeland Security.
How Long Will the Effort Take?
This is not a war against Islam or any other religion.
peace, understanding and justice exactly the opposite
of what the Taliban and the terrorists they harbor advocate.
"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war.
"When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that's made brothers and sisters out of every race."
On Sept. 20, President Bush said in a speech to Congress and the American people, "The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics -- a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children.
with Muslims and Nations with Muslim Populations
President Bush met with Muslim leaders on September 26 and said, "I want to assure my fellow Americans that when you pledge allegiance to the flag, with your hand on your heart, you pledge just as hard to the flag as I do; that the outpouring of support for our country has come from all corners of the country, including many members of the Muslim faith. And for that I am grateful."
President Bush announced a new initiative on October 25 called "Friendship Through Education," a consortium of groups expanding links between U.S. students and students in countries with Muslim populations.
Friendship Through Education will facilitate expanded student and teacher exchanges among countries throughout the globe. It will launch this effort with a commitment to expand links between US schools and those in Islamic countries, including Egypt, Indonesia, Qatar, Pakistan, Turkey, Bahrain and Afghan refugee camps.
President Bush said, "As you all know, our nation is at war right now. We're going to defend America and defend the values that we all hold dear. And our nation is united in the defense of our country. We are not at war with Muslims. We don't have a beef with Muslims. We want to be friends with Muslims and Muslim children." http://www.FriendshipThroughEducation.org