- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 13, 2001

President Bush yesterday said that "our nation is still in danger," but tried to assure jittery Americans that the terrorists who attacked Sept. 11 and may have since spread anthrax "will not take this country down."
Noting the fourth known case of anthrax exposure, Mr. Bush urged Americans to be vigilant even as he implored them to resume their normal lives.
"Our nation is still in danger," the president told a group of Hispanics in the East Room of the White House. "But the government is doing everything in our power to protect our citizenry."
Mr. Bush hinted that Americans should take their cue from Vice President Richard B. Cheney, who yesterday gave his first press interview after staying out of sight at a "secure location" for five days.
"The American people need to go about their lives," said the president. "We cannot let the terrorists lock our country down. We can't let terrorists, a few evildoers, hold us hostage."
He added: "They will not take this country down. We will not be cowed."
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill announced a freeze on the assets of 39 groups and individuals linked to terrorism. Last month, the administration froze the assets of 27 other groups and individuals.
"We are determined to deny terrorists the resources to carry out their acts of evil," Mr. O'Neill said at a news conference.
The new list includes Sa'd Al-Sharif, Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law and suspected director of his financial network. Also named were Amin Al-Haq, bin Laden's security chief; senior lieutenant Bilal Bin Marwan; and Omar Mahmoud Uthman, a top agent for bin Laden in Europe.
Yesterday's list also includes Yemeni bakeries and honey businesses that are suspected of serving as fronts and financial resources for bin Laden's terrorist activities. These include Al-Hamati bakeries, Al-Nur retail honey shops, and the Al-Shifa Honey Press for Industry and Commerce.
As U.S. cruise missiles and bombs pummeled Afghanistan, Taliban leaders remained silent on the president's offer to reconsider the bombing campaign if they would turn over bin Laden. The offer came during a press conference Thursday, when Mr. Bush urged the Taliban regime to "cough him up."
"The president has not received a positive response to this message," said White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
Careful to couple the military offensive with humanitarian assistance, Mr. Bush yesterday began accepting dollars from American children for their starving counterparts in Afghanistan.
"There are few places on Earth that face greater misery," Mr. Bush said during a speech to the March of Dimes. "I'm asking every child in America to give not a dime, but a dollar to a specific cause or relief effort for the children of Afghanistan."
The president also spoke at length about the nation's extraordinary unity in the wake of the attacks against the United States, which killed more than 5,000 people.
"Our country is more resolved, more united and guided by a greater sense of purpose than anytime during our lifetimes," he said. "And some important things about our culture seem to be shifting."
"After the attacks, moms and dads held their children closer and maybe for a moment longer. Millions have gone to synagogues and churches and mosques to renew their faith, to find perspective, to be reminded of the true values of life," Mr. Bush said.
"As Americans, we've mourned together, felt the same outrage and resolve, and we've helped our neighbors even when they're strangers," said the president. "People are looking to things that are precious and permanent, things like family and faith, community, love of country and love of one another. In America, it seems like we're putting first things first."
"In my inaugural address, I said that some Americans feel like they share a continent, but not a country," he said. "Today, that feeling is gone. We know we are a single nation, each a part of one another."
He added: "The terrorists did not intend this unity and resolve, but they're powerless to stop them."
Mr. Bush began yesterday by telephoning Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, to congratulate him on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The two leaders also talked about the United Nations taking charge of any "nation-building" of Afghanistan after the U.S.-led military offensive concludes. Mr. Bush is loath to leave American troops in Afghanistan for nonmilitary purposes.
"The purpose of the military is to fight and win wars," said Mr. Fleischer. "The purpose of the military is not, as [Mr. Bush] said on October 12th, during the course of the campaign, to use troops all around the world to serve as social workers or policemen or, you know, school walking guards."
He added: "That's the complaint the president had about the use of the military in nation-building."
Mr. Fleischer also expressed the president's desire for Congress to pass legislation that would federalize security operations at airports. The Senate passed the measure 100-0 on Thursday, but some members of the House have balked at expanding the role of the government.
"The president said that he wants Congress to be able to get this done," Mr. Fleischer said. "He'd like Congress to be able to figure out a way to do it."

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