Alexander's Column

You're either with us or you're against us

Mark Alexander · Nov. 9, 2001

President George Bush addressed the world on Tuesday, firming up international support for the long campaign to defeat terrorism worldwide, and he addressed the nation on Thursday, rallying the homeland militia.

Tuesday, the President noted that the goal of Islamic terrorism, is “to destabilize entire nations and regions. They are seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Given the means, our enemies would be a threat to every nation and, eventually, to civilization itself. We will not wait for the authors of mass murder to gain weapons of mass destruction. We act now, because we must lift this dark threat from our age and save generations to come.”

President Bush insisted: “We are determined to fight this evil and fight until we are rid of it. We will not wait for more innocent deaths. … All nations, if they want to fight terror, must do something. It is time for action. Over time, it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity. You’re either with us or you’re against us in the fight against terrorism.”

The President reminded: “Al Qaeda operates in more than 60 nations, including some in Central and Eastern Europe. … As I’ve said from the start, this is a difficult struggle, of uncertain duration. We hunt an enemy that hides in shadows and caves. We are at the beginning of our efforts in Afghanistan. And Afghanistan is the beginning of our efforts in the world. No group or nation should mistake America’s intentions: We will not rest until terrorist groups of global reach have been found, have been stopped and have been defeated. And this goal will not be achieved until all the world’s nations stop harboring and supporting such terrorists within their borders.”

As for pausing for Ramadan (something one might fully have expected from the previous administration) President Bush said plainly: “The enemy won’t rest during Ramadan and neither will we. We’re going to pursue this war until we achieve our objectives.”

On the Afghan front, our anti-terror fighters on the ground increased the level and ferocity of strikes against Taliban front lines this week, as al Qaeda lieutenants emerged to consolidate command over Taliban warriors – rendering any “distinctions” between the Taliban and al Qaeda meaningless. As Afghan casualties mount, Muslim mercenaries from around the world – including many from Western nations – are flocking to assist al Qaeda forces.

Many of these mercs and their Afghan brethren were introduced this week to some American airmail packages called “Daisy-Cutters,” new fuel air-blast ordnance which can ruin, in absolute terms, a terrorist’s day. These devices are so devastating that they can suck the air right out of a cave….

“In other American wars, enemy commanders have come to doubt the wisdom of taking on the strength and power of this nation and the resolve of her people,” said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “I suspect that somewhere in a cave in Afghanistan there is a terrorist leader who is at this moment considering the same thing.”

President Bush’s assurance that “We will not wait for the authors of mass murder to gain weapons of mass destruction” came not a minute too soon. Yesterday, Turkish federal police arrested two men who attempted to sell a kilogram of uranium 239 to undercover agents for $750,000. A Turkish Interior Ministry official said. “They were barely aware of what they were selling. They only knew it was a very expensive substance and wanted to make money.” For your information or edification, U-239 is bomb grade fissile material – the first public case of such a seizure. According to our sources, the material most likely came from a facility in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan. (We are awaiting independent verification that the uranium seized was, in fact, “weapon grade.”)

On the home front, in his address to the nation Thursday night, President Bush called on all American Patriots to remain vigilant: “We meet tonight after two of the most difficult and most inspiring months in our nation’s history. We have endured the shock of watching so many innocent lives ended in acts of unimaginable horror. … We are the target of enemies who boast they want to kill: kill all Americans, kill all Jews and kill all Christians. … The government has a responsibility to protect our citizens, and that starts with homeland security. … To coordinate our efforts, we have created the new Office of Homeland Security. Its director, my good friend and former Governor Tom Ridge, reports directly to me and works with all of our federal agencies, state and local governments and the private sector on a national strategy to strengthen our homeland protections. … Many ask, ‘What can I do to help in our fight?’ The answer is simple. … Our citizens have new responsibilities. We must be vigilant. … We will defend the values of our country, and we will live by them. We will persevere in this struggle no matter how long it takes to prevail.”

He closed his remarks by evoking the memory of the first American Patriots to stand in the gap in the war against Jihadistan: “Above all, we will live in a spirit of courage and optimism. … Courage and optimism led the passengers on Flight 93 to rush their murderers to save lives on the ground…led by a young man whose last known words were the Lord’s Prayer and, "Let’s roll.” … We will always remember the words of that brave man expressing the spirit of a great country. … We will no doubt face new challenges, but we have our marching orders. My fellow Americans, let’s roll!“

(Of course, if you tuned into CBS or NBC, you did not see Mr. Bush’s speech because they refused to carry it.)

Among the first major changes being implemented to improve homeland security, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced, "The attacks of Sept. 11 have redefined the mission of the Department of Justice. Defending our nation and defending the citizens of America against terrorist attacks is now our first and overriding priority,” he said, unveiling a five-year “blueprint for the comprehensive reorganization of the department to meet our new anti-terrorism mission.”