- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 18, 2001

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. President Bush yesterday told flag-waving soldiers that any country that attacks the United States will "hear from our military, and they won't like what they hear."
"The people have struck us. They've tested our mettle and tested our character. But they are going to find that this nation understands we've reached a pivotal moment in history, where we will plant our flag on the ground a flag that stands for freedom and say to anybody who wants to harm us or our friends or allies, 'You will pay a serious price,'" Mr. Bush said to cheers.
"They are learning that anyone who strikes America will hear from our military, and they're not going to like what they hear," the president said, standing in front of Air Force One and a giant C-5 cargo plane its nose opened and its ramp covered by a huge U.S. flag.
Mr. Bush pledged that he will "continue to rally the world against terrorists" and to make the case to people everywhere that the Sept. 11 attacks "happened to us, sure, but it could happen to them, as well to remind them that evil knows no borders, no boundaries, and to remind them that we must take a stand; that those of us who have been given the responsibility of high office must not shirk from our duty; that now is the time to claim freedom for future generations."
On a refueling stop during his flight to Shanghai for three days of meetings with Asian leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr. Bush told the soldiers they are "among the first to be deployed in America's new war against terror."
Aircraft from the base have been used in support of the recovery efforts at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington, and in rapid deployment of personnel for the allied military strikes against Afghanistan.
The president also said that the bombing campaign in Afghanistan has set up the next phase of the effort to defeat the ruling Taliban militia and the al Qaeda terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden.
"We're paving the way for friendly troops to defeat the Taliban and root out the al Qaeda parasites that the Taliban hosts and it protects," Mr. Bush told about 3,000 enthusiastic business leaders earlier in the day at an event in nearby Sacramento.
He said that the United States was "supported by the conscience of the world."
"We are not alone in this struggle," said Mr. Bush.
Before departing the White House, Mr. Bush met with reporters and editors from Asian newspapers. He told them that the global campaign against terrorism may take more than two years, which could test Americans' patience.
"You mark my words, people are going to get tired of the war on terrorism. And by the way, it may take more than two years. There's a variety of theaters. So long as anybody's terrorizing established governments, there needs to be a war," he said.
"Now maybe the Afghan theater will be shorter than that, or that length. Who knows? But we're patient. But some people are going to start to say: 'We're tired, but President Bush keeps going on.' And when that happens, I want you to know, I will be doing it because I think it's the right thing to do. That's what I'm supposed to do," he added.
Also in Washington, the White House announced Mr. Bush is seeking to allocate $20 billion in emergency spending on terrorism, including $6.3 billion for New York recovery efforts, $7 billion for waging a war against terrorism and $6.9 billion for disaster recovery and civil defense.
In his Oval Office meeting with journalists from China, Japan and South Korea, Mr. Bush discussed his goals for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which begins in Shanghai tomorrow.
"It is very important for me to go to not only discuss our economic interests and our bilateral interests, but to continue to talk about the war on terrorism," said Mr. Bush.
The White House canceled most of a planned Asia trip to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed more than 5,000 people in New York and Washington.
While the trip to the 21-nation gathering will take Mr. Bush out of the country for five days in the midst of U.S. air strikes against Taliban targets in Afghanistan and a growing anthrax scare in the United States, Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer said modern communication technology will keep the president in control.
"He will be in frequent contact with everybody he needs to be in contact with throughout" the trip, said Mr. Fleischer.
In Shanghai which Mr. Bush visited in 1975 to meet his father the president will hold more than half a dozen bilateral meetings with Asian leaders, including Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who Mr. Bush has never met.
"I think the first priority is, of course, for Jiang Zemin to look me in the eye, take the measure of the American president," said Mr. Bush.
He said relations with China at the beginning of his administration got off to a rocky start but added both China and the United States stayed calm during a 12-day standoff over the crew of a U.S. surveillance plane forced to land on Hainan island after it was struck by a Chinese fighter jet.
"I look forward to meeting him, so he can see that I'm a sincere person when I say that I want to have good relations; that I understand there will be moments where we agree and moments where we disagree, but we'll work to have good relations," said Mr. Bush.
China has expressed surprising support for America's war on terrorism for several reasons the communist country is fighting its own battle with Muslim extremists; the Olympics, a prime target for terrorists, will be held in Beijing in 2008; and, perhaps most importantly, China hopes to improve its relationship with the United States.
In his 30-minute meeting with editors, Mr. Bush also warned North Korea not to take advantage of world focus on terrorism to renew its aggression toward South Korea.

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