- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 8, 2001

NORFOLK President Bush yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by vowing the war in Afghanistan "will not end in a truce or treaty," but only when U.S. troops have finished ripping terrorism apart "piece by piece."
Surrounded by thousands of cheering sailors and Marines on the deck of the USS Enterprise, the first aircraft carrier to launch strikes against Afghanistan, Mr. Bush defiantly predicted there will be no mercy for the last holdouts of the Taliban.
"Many terrorists are still hiding in heavily fortified bunkers in very rugged territory," the president said. "They are said to be prepared for a long stay underground.
"But they are in for a sudden change of plans," he added wryly, spurring laughter throughout the ship, "because one by one, we're going to find them. And piece by piece, we'll tear their terrorist network apart."
Recalling the only attacks on American soil since the War of 1812, Mr. Bush drew parallels between two days that will live in infamy December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.
"This is a fitting place to mark one of the most fateful days in American history," the president said. "What happened at Pearl Harbor was the start of a long and terrible war for America.
"Yet, out of that surprise attack grew a steadfast resolve that made America freedom's defender," he added. "And that mission our great calling continues to this hour, as the brave men and women of our military fight the forces of terror in Afghanistan."
Mr. Bush described terrorist leaders as cowards who "celebrate death, making a mission of murder and a sacrament of suicide.
"Yet for some reason," he added, "only young followers are ushered down this deadly path to paradise, while terrorist leaders run into caves to save their own hides."
The president likened the Nazis and other Axis powers to the terrorists who hijacked airliners and crashed them into the Pentagon and the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
"We've seen their kind before," he said. "The terrorists are the heirs to fascism. They have the same will to power, the same disdain for the individual, the same mad global ambitions.
"And they will be dealt with in just the same way. Like all fascists, the terrorists cannot be appeased; they must be defeated.
"This struggle will not end in a truce or treaty," he vowed. "It will end in victory for the United States, our friends and the cause of freedom."
Mr. Bush, who just weeks ago was criticized for not making more progress in the war, yesterday seemed to relish disproving those who overestimated the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.
"Not long ago, that regime controlled most of Afghanistan; today, they control not much more than a few caves," said the president, drawing laughter and applause. "Not long ago, al Qaeda's leader dismissed America as a paper tiger; that was before the tiger roared.
"Throughout history, other armies have sought to conquer Afghanistan and they have failed," he added. "Our military was sent to liberate Afghanistan and you are succeeding."

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide