President Directs Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan
Remarks by President Bush
October 4, 2001
Thank you very much. Please be seated. Thank you all. Mr. Secretary,
I'm honored you invited me back. (Laughter.) I'm glad to be back
to be able to say thanks on behalf of the American people to the
patriots who work for our Department of State. Thanks for your
hard work. Thanks for your dedication. Thanks for your love of
I'm also here to announce an initiative to help the Afghan people
in a time of crisis and in a time of need. America will stand
strong and will oppose the sponsors of terror. And America will
stand strong and help those people who are hurt by those regimes.
Mr. Secretary, I am proud of your leadership. Last time I came,
I predicted you would be a great Secretary of State. You have
not let me down. (Applause.) And neither have the folks who work
at the State Department; not only here in Washington, but in embassies
throughout the world. America is proud of your service. And America
is comforted by the fact that we are united as we stand to fight
We are engaged in a noble cause. And that is to say loud and
clear to the evildoers that we reject you, that we will stand
firm against terror, and that this great nation, along with many
other nations, will defend freedom.
I want to thank those of you who have worked extra long hours
to help forge this fantastic coalition that we're building, a
coalition of people all around the world who understand that the
evil acts could have happened to them, just like they happened
People understand that now is the time to take a stand, to seize
this moment, to say that out of this evil act will come good.
And the State Department has helped lead the way. And I'm proud
of your efforts. And I'm proud of your hard work.
After all, many of you understand the effects of terror. We had
two of our embassies bombed. Your colleagues were injured and
died. I mean, the State Department has been on the front line
of battling terror and the front line of seeing the effects of
terror. And the American people appreciate the heroism of the
people who serve our country overseas.
This is a unique type of war. It's a war that is going to require
us building a broad coalition of nations who will contribute,
one way or the other, to make sure that we all win. Some nations
may be willing to commit troops, if that's a decision that we
make. Other nations will help in cutting off funding. Truth of
the matter is, the first shot we fired in this war against evildoers
was when the Secretary and I and the Secretary of Treasury said
we're going to find their money, and we're going to starve them
of their money.
We're going to find their bank accounts, and we will freeze them.
We're going to talk to banks all around the world, and make it
clear that if they are on our side, if they join the folks who
are fighting evil, that they've got to do everything they can
to cut off their funds. When we starve them of their funds, we
starve them of their capacity to move against freedom.
I'm proud of the coalitions that we've built. I'm proud of the
fact that the Secretary of State and the able team here at the
State Department is a results-oriented group of folks.
We've said, not only join the coalition, we've said here's what
we expect you to do. Here is your assignment. One of the things
the American people appreciate about our administration is that
we're results-oriented folks, that we expect there to be results.
We expect if you're on our team, that we want your performance.
And it's making a difference.
As I announced the other day, we've collectively rounded up 150
terrorists, people associated with the al Qaeda organization.
Thanks to the Secretary of State's work and others' work and the
work of people around the world, we've convinced those who joined
our coalition to rout out terrorists, to find them, to incarcerate
them, to question them, to find out what's in their mind and what
their future activities may be. And we're making great progress.
This is a strong coalition. It's a strong coalition because
we've got great leadership, but it's a strong coalition because
we're right. Because it's a strong coalition. Because we've made
it clear, this is not a war between Christianity or Judaism and
Islam. As a matter of fact, the teachings of Islam make it clear
that peace is important, that compassion is a part of life. This
is a war between good and evil. And we have made it clear to the
world that we will stand strong on the side of good, and we expect
other nations to join us. (Applause.)
This is not a war between our world and their world. It is a
war to save the world. And people now understand that. And I want
to thank you for all your work of making that simple, yet profound,
We have no compassion for terrorists in this country. We have
no compassion. Nor will we have any compassion for any state that
sponsors them. Oh yes, we're a compassionate nation, but our compassion
is limited. We have great compassion, however, for the millions
around the world who are victims of hate, of victims of oppressive
government, including the people who live in Afghanistan.
Today I'm announcing, along with the Secretary of State, that
America will contribute an additional $320 million in humanitarian
assistance for Afghans for more food, more medicine, to help the
innocent people of Afghanistan deal with the coming winter. This
is our way of saying that while we firmly and strongly oppose
the Taliban regime, we are friends of the Afghan people.
We will work with the UN agencies such as the World Food Program
and work with private volunteer organizations to make sure this
assistance gets to the people. We will make sure that not only
the folks in Afghanistan who need help get help, but we will help
those who have fled to neighboring countries to get help as well.
There's no question that we're an angry people about what happened
to our country. But in our anger, we must never forget we're a
compassionate people as well. We will fight evil. But in order
to overcome evil, the great goodness of America must come forth
and shine forth. And one way to do so is to help the poor souls
in Afghanistan. And we're going to do so.
I want to remind the world that helping people in need is a
central part of not only the Christian faith, but of Judaism and
the Hindu faith, and of course a central part of Islamic traditions.
And that's why our coalition is more than just one to rout terrorism
out of the world. It's one to bind together, to knit those traditions
in a way that helps people in need.
You know, I talked to a lot of world leaders, and Colin has as
well. And I told him, through our tears, we see opportunity, that
in our sadness and grief we see an opportunity to not only defend
freedom, but to make the world more peaceful.
I see an opportunity at home when I hear the stories of Christian
and Jewish women alike, helping women of cover, Arab American
women go shop because they're afraid to leave their home. I see
a great opportunity when I see moms and dads spend more time with
their children here at home.
I see out of this sadness and grief an opportunity for America
to reexamine our culture, to reexamine how we view the need to
help people in need, whether it be in our own neighborhood and
around the world.
I see out of this evil will come good, not only here at home,
as youngsters all of a sudden understand the definition of sacrifice,
the sacrifice of those brave souls on Flight 93 who, after the
23rd Psalm said, let's roll to save America.
I see an opportunity as well to bring peace to the world, the
likes of which we've never seen. I appreciate the Secretary of
State's hard work in the Middle East. It has been diligent. It
has been consistent. It has been true to the principles of America,
that in order for there to be peace, we must reduce the level
I see an opportunity to make sure the subcontinent is more peaceful.
No, in our grief and in our sadness, I see an opportunity to make
the world a better place for generations to come. And we will
seize the opportunity. I fully understand that some will grow
weary and some will tire. Not this administration, and not the
people of the State Department.
I know there will be some nations that will become frustrated
over time because we're fighting a different kind of campaign.
But we won't weary. This is a nation that has determined, made
a determination to rise up in a united way; to not only spread
goodwill around the world, but to find terrorists where they may
live and may hide, and those who harbor them, and bring them to
justice. Now is the time. (Applause.)
Now is the time for this great nation to lead. And I'm proud
of the Secretary of State and the hardworking people of the State
Department for joining us in this cause. Thank you for letting
me come by again. May God bless you all, and may God bless America.