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Sunday, 7 October, 2001, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Bush's address to the nation
US President George W Bush has addressed the nation to announce the start of attacks on Afghanistan. Below is his statement in full.
On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taleban regime in Afghanistan.
We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend, Great Britain.
Other close friends, including Canada, Australia, Germany and France, have pledged forces as the operation unfolds.
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.
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.
At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies.
As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan.
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.
Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader.
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 own peril.
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.
I know many Americans feel fear today. And our government is taking strong precautions.
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.
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 fail.
Peace and freedom will prevail.
Thank you. May God continue to bless America.
07 Oct 01 | Americas
Bush opens new front
07 Oct 01 | South Asia
US begins military strike
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