U.S.A. Forming a Global Coalition
8 (September 18th, 2001)
global coalition is being sought in the War on Terrorism. Today
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan surveyed the devastation in New
York commenting on the tragedy: "62 countries have lost nationals
here, and that’s why I say that no one can remain neutral."
Our Commander in Chief met with France’s
President Jacques Chirac in the Oval Office. Though there is no
word on when the U.S. will respond to last week’s attack’s, the
aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is preparing to join two
others in the Gulf. Thursday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair
is to work with President Bush on the matter.
BUSH: It is my honor to welcome a good friend, a good personal
friend and a good friend of America to the Oval Office. It’s the
first formal visit I’ve had with any world leader since the terrible
day a week ago.
After the incident, after that day,
I got a lot of phone calls, and one of the most meaningful phone
calls of all was from Jacques Chirac, who expressed his concern
for the American citizens. He expressed his desire to stand solidly
with America during this terrible, terrible day.
President Chirac understands that
we have entered a new type of war. It’s a war against people who
hate freedom. And I am honored to welcome our friend here to the
CHIRAC: Thank you. I’ve come here to tell you of the emotion
— the emotion of France, the French people, an emotion which has
no precedent in history before this tragedy, which does not have
a parallel. Indeed, it is a tragic event, something which is beyond
crime; there are no words to qualify it.
weathered sign displays the French and American flag in a display
of continuous friendship.
want to tell President Bush, who is my friend, that we stand in
total solidarity — we bring you the total solidarity of France
and the French people. It is solidarity of the heart.
I also wanted to say that we are completely
determined to fight by your side this new type of evil, of absolute
evil, which is terrorism. And I also wanted to say that France is
prepared and available to discuss all means to fight and eradicate
Mr. President, sir, do you expect French and British soldiers to
fight side-by-side with ours?
President Chirac, do you agree that we are in a war, and is France
in it? Will you fight side-by-side with U.S. troops?
is a new kind of war. This war will require determination and patience.
People who love freedom, such as Jacques Chirac and the people of
France, will join us. I’m confident of that, in finding those who
feel like they can terrorize nations because they hate freedom.
It’s a policy of my government not
to discuss any plans we may have as to how we intend to deal with
the terrorists and the terrorist networks that believe they can
disrupt lives, anyplace, anytime in the world. I look forward to
talking with one of our strongest allies in private about what’s
on my mind. But make no mistake about it: This administration has
got a firm goal and a determination to achieve the goal, and that
is to rally the world toward a campaign to find terrorists, to smoke
them out of their holes, and to get them, and to bring them to justice.
And there’s no doubt in my mind France
joins with us in this most important campaign. Jacques Chirac has
— this is my fourth meeting with this leader. He’s a man of vision.
He’s a man who understands what I understand, that we’ve entered
into a new era. And I feel confident that we’re going to work in
a collaborative way to achieve a common objective.
If you love freedom, you must join
with us — must join with America and France. That’s the message
of this meeting. And we will discuss ways that we can work in a
way that will achieve the goal. And there’s no doubt in my mind
that we’ll find solidarity with the French and the French government.
Will your citizens fight shoulder-to-shoulder with ours?
CHIRAC: I don’t know whether we should use the word "war,"
but what I can say is that now we are faced with a conflict of a
completely new nature. It is a conflict which is attempting to destroy
human rights, freedom, the dignity of man. And I believe that everything
must be done to protect and safeguard these values of civilization.
Therefore — and we are, naturally,
prepared to work in complete solidarity with the United States and
do everything which is necessary, in consultation with them, to
reach this target which is the elimination of terrorism. And I would
also like to add that practically all the leaders of the world are
following the same line.
Mr. President, don’t you think it’s high time for the occidental
world to review in a very tougher way its relationship with a certain
number of, let’s say, Arabic countries which have been helping or
harboring the terrorists?
my statement to our nation, I told the people of the United States
that we would not only hold those who committed these horrible acts
accountable, that we would also hold those accountable who harbored
them, who fed them, who hide them. That’s our policy.
…This is not a campaign against
Arab people. This is a campaign against terrorists. This is a campaign
against evil-doers who hate freedom.
I have had, and I’m sure Jacques,
as well, have had strong statements of solidarity from governments
in the Middle East. I’ve talked to many world leaders, Arab leaders,
all of whom are outraged by the acts of terrorism against America;
all of whom understand it could be them, as well. Terrorism knows
And so I’ve been very pleased with
the outpouring of support. And we will take the governments for
their word and will work with them to disrupt the finances, the
travel, the communications. We will find them in their hiding places,
and we’ll get them moving, and we’ll bring them to justice. Make
no mistake about it.
Do you think the Middle East cease-fire will hold? And what do you
think the next step should be for both the Israelis and the Palestinians?
BUSH: We’ve had very positive developments in the Middle East
today, and it’s one of the subjects that my friend and I will discuss.
I was very pleased by the statements by Chairman Arafat, followed
by the strong statements by the Israelis that they would stand down
And I hope in my heart of hearts that
out of this evil comes good. I think it will — I’m a very optimistic
person. And one of the goods that can come is that people involved
with the Middle East conflict, that both leaders here want to resolve,
realize that a terrorist way of life is not going to lead to a peaceful
resolution for people.
The next step, of course, is to stay
involved in the region; is to work with both the Palestinians and
the Israelis to encourage them to seize the moment; to hold Mr.
Arafat to his word that he will fight violence; and to encourage
the Israelis to sit down and have meaningful dialogue, with the
attempt to get into the Mitchell process. And it’s a glimmer of
hope that all of us hope that the parties involved will seize.
Mr. President, how will this new war be fought? This new war against
is new, and it’s important for the world to understand that there
are no beaches to storm, there are no islands to conquer, there
are no battle lines to be drawn. It’s a war that is going to take
an international effort. It’s going to take all of us to gather
the necessary intelligence, the necessary information, to be able
to find the location of terrorists; to work with governments to
smoke them out of their safe houses, to get them moving, and then
have the courage to bring them to justice.
My government will commit whatever
resources is necessary to be effective in this all-important cause.
I repeat: We’re fighting for liberty and freedom, a way of life
that is so essential for humankind, mankind to be able to realize
their full potential. And we are focused on achieving the goal.
There’s going to be a time when free
nations settle in to what is viewed as an ordinary life — and I
hope that happens soon; I hope that happens soon. But make no mistake
about it: My goal, my intentions will not diminish with time. I
am absolutely — I know that we are called to respond to terror
now. This is the time. And the world is ready for leadership. And
Jacques Chirac is ready to provide that leadership, as am I.
I want to thank you all for being