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Bush vows to continue fight against terror

Last updated on: September 06, 2006 11:26 IST

Asserting that the US will persist in tracking down terrorists and never bow down to tyrants, President George W Bush on Tuesday released a document containing strategies that his administration has been using since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

In essence, kicking off the Republican campaign for the Congressional elections of 2006, Bush said US was determined to deny weapons of mass destruction to "outlaw regimes" and described the proliferation network led by former Pakistani scientist A Q Khan, which Washington helped dismantle, as the "most dangerous nuclear trading cartel" of the world.

Describing the document 'The National Strategy for Combatting Terrorism' as the "unclassified version" of the strategy followed by the administration since 9/11, he said, "America did not seek this global struggle but we're answering history's call with confidence and a clear strategy."

The US was determined to see that terrorists did not get the support of outlaw nations and determined to deny terrorist networks control of any nation or territory within a nation, he told Military Officers Association of America.

He said Washington was working to deny terrorists new recruits -- by defeating their hateful ideology and spreading the hope of freedom -- by spreading the hope of freedom across the Middle East.

On dismantling A Q Khan's nuclear blackmarket, Bush said, "Working with Great Britain and Pakistan and other nations, the United States shut down the world's most dangerous nuclear trading cartel, the A Q Khan network. This network had supplied Iran and Libya and North Korea with equipment and know-how that advanced their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons." 

Barely days ahead of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Bush reminded Americans that the terrorist danger remains, but that America will settle for nothing less than full victory in the war against terrorism.

"We're a nation at war. And America and our allies are fighting this war with relentless determination across the world. Together with our coalition partners, we've removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they're carried out," Bush said.

"We're on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront and we'll accept nothing less than complete victory," he said.

"The terrorists who attacked us on September 11, 2001, are men without conscience, but they're not madmen. They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil but not insane," he said.

"They are driven by a radical and perverted vision of Islam that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women and children in the pursuit of political power. They hope to establish a violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call Caliphate, where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology," Bush added.

Elaborating on the strategy for combating terrorism, he said the US was "taking the fight to the enemy" with a view to preventing the attacks before they actually take place.

"The enemy is living under constant pressure, and we intend to keep it that way. And this adds to our security. When terrorists spend their days working to avoid death or capture, it's harder for them to plan and execute new attacks," Bush said.  

About the telephone tapping programme ordered by him and declared unconstitutional by a US court, Bush said, "We created the terrorist surveillance programme to monitor the communications between Al Qaeda commanders abroad and terrorist operatives within our borders. If Al Qaeda's calling somebody in America, we need to know why in order to stop attacks."

As Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came under some scathing attack for his recent references to appeasement and the Second World War, Bush echoed those comments.

"History teaches that underestimating the words of evil and ambitious men is a terrible mistake," Bush said and referred to V I Lenin and Adolf Hitler.

"The world did not heed Lenin's words, and paid a terrible price. The Soviet empire he established killed tens of millions and brought the world to the brink of thermo-nuclear war," he said.

In the 1920s, a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan superstate in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews. The world ignored Hitler's words, and paid a terrible price. His Nazi regime killed millions in the gas chambers and set the world aflame in war before it was finally defeated at a terrible cost in lives," Bush pointed out.

"Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?" he added.

"America and our coalition partners have made our choice. We're taking the words of the enemy seriously. We're on the offensive. We will not rest. We will not retreat. And we will not withdraw from the fight until this threat to civilisation has been removed," Bush said.

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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