Gordon L. Bowen, Ph.D.
Political Science and International Relations disciplines
Mary Baldwin College
Staunton, VA USA 24401
Reprinted from BBC News (London UK), October 7, 2001
"On my orders, the United States military has begun
strikes against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and
military installations of the Taleban regime in
These carefully targeted
actions are designed to
disrupt the use of
Afghanistan as a terrorist
base of operations and to
attack the military capability
of the Taleban regime.
We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend,
Other close friends, including Canada, Australia,
Germany and France, have pledged forces as the
More than 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe
and across Asia have granted air transit or landing
rights. Many more have shared intelligence.
We are supported by the collective will of the world.
More than two weeks ago, I
gave Taleban leaders a
series of clear and specific
demands: Close terrorist
training camps, hand over
leaders of the al-Qaeda
network, and return all
foreign nationals, including
American citizens unjustly
detained in our country.
None of these demands
were met. And now, the
Taleban will pay a price.
By destroying camps and
disrupting communications, we will make it more difficult
for the terror network to train new recruits and
co-ordinate their evil plans.
Initially the terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and
other entrenched hiding places.
Our military action is also
designed to clear the way for
and relentless operations to
drive them out and bring
them to justice.
At the same time, the
oppressed people of
Afghanistan will know the
generosity of America and
As we strike military targets,
we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the
starving and suffering men and women and children of
The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan
people, and we are the friends of almost a billion
worldwide who practise the Islamic faith.
The United States of America is an enemy of those who
aid terrorists and of the barbaric criminals who profane
a great religion by committing murder in its name.
This military action is a part of our campaign against
terrorism, another front in a war that has already been
joined through diplomacy, intelligence, the freezing of
financial assets and the arrests of known terrorists by
law enforcement agents in 38 countries.
Given the nature and reach
of our enemies, we will win
this conflict by the patient
accumulation of successes,
by meeting a series of
determination and will and
Today we focus on
Afghanistan, but the battle
Every nation has a choice to
make. In this conflict, there
is no neutral ground.
If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of
innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers
themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their
Working for peace
I'm speaking to you today from the Treaty Room of the
White House, a place where American presidents have
worked for peace.
We're a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned, so
suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a
world of sudden terror.
In the face of today's new threat, the only way to
pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it.
We did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfil it.
The name of today's military
operation is Enduring
Freedom. We defend not
only our precious freedoms,
but also the freedom of
people everywhere to live
and raise their children free
I know many Americans feel
fear today. And our
government is taking strong
All law enforcement and
intelligence agencies are
working aggressively around
America, around the world and around the clock.
At my request, many governors have activated the
National Guard to strengthen airport security. We have
called up reserves to reinforce our military capability
and strengthen the protection of our homeland.
In the months ahead, our patience will be one of our
strengths - patience with the long waits that will result
from tighter security, patience and understanding that it
will take time to achieve our goals, patience in all the
sacrifices that may come.
Today, those sacrifices are being made by members of
our armed forces who now defend us so far from home,
and by their proud and worried families.
A commander-in-chief sends America's sons and
daughters into battle in a foreign land only after the
greatest care and a lot of prayer.
We ask a lot of those who wear our uniform.
We ask them to leave their loved ones, to travel great
distances, to risk injury, even to be prepared to make
the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.
They are dedicated. They are honourable. They
represent the best of our country, and we are grateful.
To all the men and women
in our military, every sailor,
every soldier, every airman,
every Coast Guardsman,
every Marine, I say this:
Your mission is defined. The
objectives are clear. Your
goal is just. You have my
full confidence, and you will
have every tool you need to
carry out your duty.
I recently received a
touching letter that says a lot about the state of
America in these difficult times - a letter from a
fourth-grade girl with a father in the military.
"As much as I don't want my dad to fight," she wrote,
"I'm willing to give him to you."
This is a precious gift. The greatest she could give. This
young girl knows what America is all about.
Since 11 September, an entire generation of young
Americans has gained new understanding of the value
of freedom and its cost and duty and its sacrifice.
The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not
waver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not
Peace and freedom will prevail.
Thank you. May God continue to bless America."
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