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Bush Addresses Joint Session of Congress

Aired September 20, 2001 - 21:00   ET


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take moment just to welcome viewers from the WB network who are joining our broadcast tonight. We are glad to have you with us as we go along for the president's address.

JUDY WOODRUFF, ANCHOR: Watching all this, our Congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl. Jon, there are not many members of Congress who are going to be missing the president's remarks tonight.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as a matter of fact, there is one who will be, and that is Representative Dick Armey, the majority leader for the Republicans in the House of Representatives. As an extraordinary security precaution, the Speaker of the House has asked Mr. Armey to stay behind in a secure location. Again, a measure of the security here. You also hear helicopters circling the Capitol.

This may be the most secure location in the country right now, given that basically the entire U.S. government is assembled in that building. Judy, one thing that is going to be very interesting is immediately following this, Trent Lott and Tom Daschle, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate, will sit down together and offer their reaction to what the president said. That is something that we have really never seen before in a presidential address.

WOODRUFF: And Jonathan, we are understanding they are calling it not a response, but a reaction. And we are told it is going to be very brief.

KARL: It's going to be about five or six minutes, and it's really going to be an affirmation of what the president has said. And perhaps more important than anything they actually say in those five or six minutes will be the mere picture of them sitting there, side by side, the Democrat and the Republican that were basically at each others' throats more than a week ago, before this attack. Now working together with this president to give him every tool he could possibly get to fight terrorism.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: The president is making his way now to the chamber. He will be announced, briefly. You can see the Speaker of the House on the podium. And in that spot where Robert Byrd is standing, Senator Byrd, is where the vice president would normally sit in a moment like this. As we said, for reasons of security, he is somewhere else. WOODRUFF: This is a chamber where there have been, up until eight or nine days ago daily arguments, daily debate between Democrats and Republicans.

GREENFIELD: The president about to enter and be announced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States.

WOODRUFF: There is an expression, "rise to the occasion." And I think it is fair to say that whatever this president says tonight will be well received by the people in that chamber.

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN analyst Jeff Greenfield. Jeff, not since FDR has the American president come before Congress after an attack on American soil. Same task for a very different time and a different president?

GREENFIELD: I believe that this is the hardest task a leader of the West has faced with two possible exceptions: In 1940 Winston Churchill had to go before the House of Commons after France had fallen to the Nazis and tell them that if we lose, we will sink into the abyss of new dark age. In October of 1962, John Kennedy had to tell country -- not in speech to Congress -- that we will not shrink from a risk of worldwide nuclear war at any time it must be faced.

His speech is -- and this moment, is every bit as serious and every bit as consequential, when you consider that buried beneath the World Trade Center rubble are that bodies of more Americans who have ever died in one day in American history on American soil. Worse than Pearl Harbor, worse than any Civil War battle. And what this president faces nine months after we all assumed he was entering a time of peace and prosperity, when there was nothing much at stake, is beyond any of our imagination.

BROWN: Indeed, Jeff, the number of missing in New York jumped by nearly a thousand people today to more than 6300. It is certainly conceivable that when all is said and done, the death toll from this tragedy, both here in Washington and New York, will be about 7,000 people.

GREENFIELD: Aaron, the president also has to do so many things, not the least of which is to talk to an American population that believes itself to be vulnerable to attack. Now is that something that even Franklin Roosevelt did not have to face after Pearl Harbor, in the sense the American continent was relatively secure.

So when you realize the burden on George W. Bush's shoulders, compared to what we thought this administration and this decade would be like, as I say, it is beyond almost beyond comprehension.

BROWN: An extraordinary coming together in American life this these past nine days. The political bickering seems a long time ago.

WOODRUFF: It does. The president has enjoyed just unparalleled support and acclamation. DENNIS HASTERT, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans, in the normal course of events, presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the union. Tonight, no such report is needed; it has already been delivered by the American people.

We have seen it in the courage of passengers who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground. Passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me welcome his wife Lisa Beamer here tonight?


We have seen the state of our union in the endurance of rescuers working past exhaustion.

We've seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.

My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of union, and it is strong.


Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.


I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time.

All of America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol singing "God Bless America."

And you did more than sing. You acted, by delivering $40 billion to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military. Speaker Hastert, Minority Leader Gephardt, Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Lott, I thank you for your friendship, for your leadership and for your service to our country.


And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support. America will never forget the sounds of our national anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo.

We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America.

Nor will we forget the citizens of 80 other nations who died with our own. Dozens of Pakistanis, more than 130 Israelis, more than 250 citizens of India, men and women from El Salvador, Iran, Mexico and Japan, and hundreds of British citizens.

America has no truer friend than Great Britain.


Once again, we are joined together in a great cause.

I'm so honored the British prime minister had crossed an ocean to show his unity with America.

Thank you for coming, friend.


On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars, but for the past 136 years they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war, but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning.

Americans have known surprise attacks, but never before on thousands of civilians.

All of this was brought upon us in a single day, and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.

Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking, "Who attacked our country?"

The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are some of the murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.

Al Qaeda is to terror what the Mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money, its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.

The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.

The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children.

This group and its leader, a person named Osama bin Laden, are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries.

They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.

The leadership of Al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan we see Al Qaeda's vision for the world. Afghanistan's people have been brutalized, many are starving and many have fled.

Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.

The United States respects the people of Afghanistan -- after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid -- but we condemn the Taliban regime.


It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists.

By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder. And tonight the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban.

Deliver to United States authorities all of the leaders of Al Quaeda who hide in your land.


Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. And hand over every terrorist and every person and their support structure to appropriate authorities.


Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.

These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion.


The Taliban must act and act immediately.

They will hand over the terrorists or they will share in their fate.

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.


The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.

The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.


Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there.

It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.


Americans are asking "Why do they hate us?"

They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.

These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us because we stand in their way.

We're not deceived by their pretenses to piety.

We have seen their kind before. They're the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies.


Americans are asking, "How will we fight and win this war?"

We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.

Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.

We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest.

And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.


From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we're not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans.

Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security.

These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight, I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me, the Office of Homeland Security.

And tonight, I also announce a distinguished American to lead this effort, to strengthen American security: a military veteran, an effective governor, a true patriot, a trusted friend, Pennsylvania's Tom Ridge.

(APPLAUSE) He will lead, oversee and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism and respond to any attacks that may come.

These measures are essential. The only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it and destroy it where it grows.


Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents, to intelligence operatives, to the reservists we have called to active duty. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers.

And tonight a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready. I have called the armed forces to alert, and there is a reason.

The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud.


This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at stake is not just America's freedom.

This is the world's fight. This is civilization's fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.

We ask every nation to join us.

We will ask and we will need the help of police forces, intelligence service and banking systems around the world. The United States is grateful that many nations and many international organizations have already responded with sympathy and with support -- nations from Latin America to Asia to Africa to Europe to the Islamic world.

Perhaps the NATO charter reflects best the attitude of the world: An attack on one is an attack on all. The civilized world is rallying to America's side.

They understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror unanswered can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments.

And you know what? We're not going to allow it.


Americans are asking, "What is expected of us?"

I ask you to live your lives and hug your children.

I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat.

I ask you to uphold the values of America and remember why so many have come here.

We're in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith.


I ask you to continue to support the victims of this tragedy with your contributions. Those who want to give can go to a central source of information,, to find the names of groups providing direct help in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this investigation may need your cooperation, and I ask you to give it. I ask for your patience with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security and for your patience in what will be a long struggle.

I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity; they did not touch its source.

America is successful because of the hard work and creativity and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11, and they are our strengths today.


And finally, please continue praying for the victims of terror and their families, for those in uniform and for our great country. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead.

Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have already done and for what you will do.

And ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what you have already done and for what we will do together.

Tonight we face new and sudden national challenges.

We will come together to improve air safety, to dramatically expand the number of air marshals on domestic flights and take new measures to prevent hijacking.

We will come together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying with direct assistance during this emergency.


We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools it needs to track down terror here at home. (APPLAUSE)

We will come together to strengthen our intelligence capabilities to know the plans of terrorists before they act and to find them before they strike.


We will come together to take active steps that strengthen America's economy and put our people back to work.

Tonight, we welcome two leaders who embody the extraordinary spirit of all New Yorkers, Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudolf Giuliani.


As a symbol of America's resolve, my administration will work with Congress and these two leaders to show the world that we will rebuild New York City.


After all that has just passed, all the lives taken and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them, it is natural to wonder if America's future is one of fear.

Some speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them.

As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror. This will be an age of liberty here and across the world.


Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment.

Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us.

Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.


It is my hope that in the months and years ahead life will return almost to normal. We'll go back to our lives and routines and that is good.

Even grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. We will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.

Some will remember an image of a fire or story or rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.

And I will carry this. It is the police shield of a man named George Howard who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others.

It was given to me by his mom, Arlene (ph), as a proud memorial to her son. It is my reminder of lives that ended and a task that does not end.


I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.

The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.


Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice, assured of the rightness of our cause and confident of the victories to come.

In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom and may he watch over the United States of America.

Thank you.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Eight months exactly to the day into his presidency, George W. Bush challenged Americans to meet the terrible cause in front of them, and that is meeting the enemies who represent terror. He said, "Whether we bring the enemies to justice or justice to our enemies, justice will be done."

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The speech running about 30 minutes, interrupted almost 30 times. To our ear at least, as strong and as confident as we have ever heard George W. Bush.

WOODRUFF: And Jeff Greenfield, this president combined prayer. He combined a challenge to the American people. He gave a history lesson. And he, in effect, gave us a primer on what the American people are facing.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Judy, I think in this instance, as Aaron said, this speech definitely met the moment. Part of this speech was forged in steel, not just the demands to the Taliban, but the very tough language from this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded as a hostile nation.

There was also moments of tenderness, when he talked about the loss people have suffered. There were grace notes toward other countries, toward the Muslim religion.

And one very interesting point that may -- don't want to let pass. This is was so nuanced in terms of talking to the world, that when he listed the enemies we have defeated, he listed fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism, not Communism because he very much wants the support of China, the most populous nation on Earth and still a Communist nation, to be at his side.

So he spoke to Americans, both in terms of the grief we had and the certainty of victory, but he was also talking to the world.

BROWN: Very warm down on the floor of the House. The President patting the cheek, we saw, of Chuck Schumer. An affectionate gesture to the senator from New York, the senior senator from New York. There were hugs for Richard Gephardt, Tom Daschle. This is not clearly a moment of party. This is something different.

He said the President at one point, and repeated again, "freedom and fear are at war. We will not tire. We will not falter. We will not fail."

WOODRUFF: And Aaron, you know, I talked to a couple of Democratic consultants today, just to get a sense of what people who wouldn't ordinarily support this President were expecting tonight. They said he's got to match the passion with the words and explain what lies ahead for this country. And he did that tonight.

Though as he was reading the speech, and we know it was a speech that was written ahead of time, you felt what was in the heart of this man.

John King?

BROWN: I'm sorry. He said at the beginning -- John, just hang on one second, the world has seen the state of our union. And then emphatically he looked up and said, "and it is strong."

John King at the White House?

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The challenge here for the President going in, to define the moment, both long term and short term. He urged the American people to be patient, to try to go about their daily lives as routinely as possible, but warning them if you will, trying to rally them to the idea that this will be a very long campaign.

Yet he also framed the most important immediate moment, listing a set of demands to the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan. There has been a debate among the Muslim clerics there, perhaps of asking Osama Bin Laden to leave the country. Mr. Bush saying that is not enough. Deliver to the United States authorities all of the leaders of the Al- Quaida, the Bin Laden organization. Allow the United States in to inspect those terrorist camps, to make sure they are closed. And "these demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate."

Those lines right there will define the next 48, 72 hours of this crisis. The President making very clear specific demands of the Taliban. And as Jeff noted at the outset, also making clear this is not about one organization or about one country. Serving notice to the world that at least as long he is President, any nation that does not help him in this fight will be viewed as hostile to the United States.


WOODRUFF: And just as a demonstration of how united the two political parties are, after this speech, in fact any moment now, we expect to hear from not just the Democratic leader of the Senate, Tom Daschle, but also the Republican, the minority leader of the Senate Trent Lott.

Jeff Greenfield?

GREENFIELD: Just one quick note, one of the things that this speech did that Franklin Roosevelt did in 1941, that Churchill did, was to acknowledge what has happened. There were mincing of words. Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. Just the way FDR said, "I regret to you tell you," after Pearl Harbor, "many American lives have been lost."

He in no sense, in any sense did he try to paint this as anything but what it was, a devastating punch to the United States.

BROWN: He said, Jeff, at one point, "the hour is coming. America will act." And you, speaking of the military, "you will make us proud."

WOODRUFF: It was in -- he was playing many roles tonight. It was a call to arms. It was -- he was saying to the military, "Be ready." He was saying to Americans, "Be resolute," in effect. He was also playing the role, almost a spiritual role. He was reminding us of the victims of this terrible tragedy. You saw a President fulfilling the many, many roles that -- more roles than he's ever called on to fulfill.

BROWN: At points, almost empathetically, trying to say, "We will get there. We will be all right in the days and months and years ahead, things will return to normal."

Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, the two senators now respond.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: Earlier today, about 40 members of the Senate, Republicans and Democrats, visited ground zero in New York. It is impossible to describe the utter devastation and the feeling you get standing among the ruins.

I always thought that seeing the twin towers rising above New York was an inspiring sight. But today we saw something even more inspiring. We met some of the firefighters, the rescue workers, who continue to comb through the wreckage. We talked to survivors and family members. We saw men and women going back to work, children going back to school, people going on about their daily lives with incredible courage, refusing to be cowed by terror.

If the people of New York and New Jersey can do that, surely the rest of us can do what President Bush is asking of us. Tonight, the president asked for our unity. He asked for our support. He asked for our patience. We want President Bush to know -- we want the world to know, that he can depend on us.

We will take up the president's initiatives with speed. We may encounter differences of opinion along the way, but there is no difference in our aim. We are resolved to work together, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans.

We will do whatever is needed to protect our nation. Nothing is more urgent.

I commend the president for the work he has done in rallying the world. We are grateful to the many nations who are standing with us tonight. Together, we will defeat this most insidious of threats.

We will be fierce in the defense of our ideals.

We will not sacrifice the freedoms that have sustained this nation for more than two centuries.

We must not punish entire groups for the actions of a misguided few. Just as we are united tonight against terrorism, so too must we be united against the acts of hatred toward innocent Arab Americans and Muslims and all of those who have come to our country seeking opportunity.

Hardship and heartbreak are not new to us. We Americans have endured great challenge and struggle, yet none has ever broken us. Our greatness in times of trouble is what distinguishes us as a nation.

Tonight the president has called us again to greatness. And tonight we answer that call.

SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MINORITY LEADER: What normally happens when the president of the United States addresses a joint session of Congress, the leaders of the opposition party gives a statement and they respond. Tonight there is no opposition party. We stand here united, not as Republicans and Democrats, not as Southerners or Westerners or Midwesterners or Easterners, but as Americans.

I guess there are those in the world that thought that this would pull us apart; we would start blaming each other and we wouldn't come to each others aid. Well, we saw it in New York City today.

Firemen and policemen and volunteers, men and women from all over America and other countries were there together working to recover from this horrible, horrible incident. There's been a lot of sorrow and a lot of tears. We've all grieved together, because it was not New Yorkers or Pennsylvanians or Virginians or military men and women or these volunteers that lost their lives. It was all of us. We've all suffered.

But now we must pull together. The Congress has already started acting in concert with this president of the United States. Tonight he gave us a call to action. He said all the right things. He reached out to those that are grieving. He gave a challenge to us here in America. He asked for our patience.

And he told those that would heap terror on America and the world that we will not stand for that. We will fight for freedom here at home and all around the world.

Some people say maybe we're waving the red, white and blue, the flag too much: on our cars, on our homes, in our businesses and in our schools. It's not just about the flag. It's about those that died. It's about those that are going to fight for freedom and to stop this reign of terror. It's one way we can embrace those that have gone and those that are going to do the right thing.

It's not a trite phrase, and I've heard it all over America this last week: We are together when we ask that God bless America.

WOODRUFF: An unprecedented joint statement by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the United States Senate responding, reacting to President Bush's remarks.

Aaron, just briefly, we heard Daschle saying. And again, this is the Democratic leader saying tonight, the President has called us to greatness. Tonight we will answer that call. And then Senator Lott quickly saying, "There's no opposition party here."

BROWN: To the White House to senior White House correspondent John King.

John, anything jump out at you tonight, any passage?

KING: Well, certainly, Aaron, the remarkable unity we are seeing in the Congress and across the country for that matter, will soon be tested. And the President knew that tonight, in his address, urging the American people to be patient, also, urging them to support their military. Saying "the hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud," a reference there to the military that is increasingly by the thousands being deployed overseas.

And as he did so, in an atmosphere of great unity here in the United States, the President quite blunt, no diplomatic language in this speech at all, Mr. Bush serving notice to the nations around the world, side with United States or there will be consequences.


GEORGE W. BUSH: Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (APPLAUSE)


KING: Implicit though, as the President rallied the nation, a failure of the United States government in the past some say. Mr. Bush creating a new cabinet level department, the Department of Homeland Security. Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania to take that post, to coordinate all the agencies that are involved with intelligence gathering, law enforcement.

Officials here acknowledge those agencies because of turf battles and other matters have not communicated well enough in the past. Who can say if they could have prevented the tragedy of 11 days ago, but this administration says it is now committed to coordinating the war in on terrorism -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King. Well, the President could not have been any more clear in the demands he made of the Taliban, the ruling government, in Afghanistan.

Our Christiane Amanpour is tonight in Pakistan tomorrow morning, Friday morning in Pakistan.

Christiane, what do you expect the reaction the Taliban will be to the demand that they turn over all the leaders of terrorism?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We expect, and so do the Pakistani leaders expect, that this is simply not going to happen. But what will be an interesting reaction is to see whether people in the Middle East, particularly in the Islamic world, have taken comfort from President Bush's strong appeal to mainstream Muslims, saying that the United States respects the Islamic faith, make a clear distinction between proper religious observation and what he called murderous fanaticism.

We also will be waiting to hear reaction from those countries who have been basically put on notice that they will be considered hostile regimes if they aid and abet and harbor terrorists. He made an exceptionally -- an unprecedentedly strong condemnation of the Taliban, basically saying we condemn the Taliban regime, again saying and this will draw comfort to some people here that we respect Afghanistan people, but that they have been made to suffer for all these years from the harsh regime of the Taliban.

What a lot of people here will be thinking about is, that this is a new page in world relations with the United States. Most countries are on board with the United States. Many have their own agendas and wish lists from cooperating with the United States. And many are hoping that this will see a turning point in relations with United States. And most importantly, this is a moment for President Bush, who has been criticized in the past for going his own way, and being unilateralist around the world. Now he's made it very clear that he needs, wants, and expects cooperation from the world community -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right Christiane Amanpour in Pakistan -- Aaron.

BROWN: Over to the Pentagon. Jamie McIntyre is there.

Jamie, he talked about a number of countries, but he certainly focused on Afghanistan. How will the military hear this and deal with this?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well I think a couple of quick points. While this war against terrorism is a war that's going to be fought on many fronts, President Bush went to great lengths to point out it's not like Persian Gulf War, fought out on a grand scale with conventional military objectives, and not like the war against Yugoslavia, or to for Kosovo.

That one a war in which the United States suffered no casualties. There will be casualties in this. And clearly President Bush indicated that at some point, there will be a military option.

One other quick point, the creation of the cabinet level, a secretary for national security, that's something the Pentagon talked about, within a year or so ago of having a four star general in charge of homeland defense. The idea was scuttled because it was seen as an infringement on civil liberties. Now it'll be created under a civilian.

Back to you -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Jamie, thank you from the Pentagon.

Our Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno.

Frank, it strikes me, that the President had so much going for him tonight, that he almost could have said anything and won our support. Was it really that simple?

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, it wasn't that simple. As I think we've heard throughout the discussion this evening, Judy, the President was reaching out to a variety of constituencies.

Virtually every constituency. The military, Arab-Americans, ordinary Americans, allies, and adversaries around the world. The President needed to explain what the threat was, what the U.S. response would be, and the level of resolution that was going to be meeting that threat.

And he said this, and this is very important. He said it is my hope in the months and years ahead that life will return almost to normal. Almost to normal. It is anything but normal.

Now Judy as spoke inside, a helicopter very noisily was hovering outside. Everywhere you go, symbols of the security issue and the challenge and the threat that the country faces tonight.

BROWN: Frank, thank you. No where are these symbols clearer than in New York. Our senior Jeff Greenfield is there Jeff. GREENFIELD: Aaron, I don't think there's any question where the country is tonight. And I suppose that in some ways an even bigger test for the President is where will be 3 months, 6 months a year from now? How patient will a traditionally impatient people be? How will this three-dimensional game of chess that the President the administration have to play out all over the world work out?

What will happen when countries that we want on our side will not do what we ask of them in rolling up terrorism or support within their nations? The climate tonight was united and firm.

But as I say, the real test hasn't begun to be tested because we won't know what those tests even are, until this begins to play out, literally all over the world -- Aaron.

BROWN: Jeff, thank you. There's a lot to chew on here. And a lot of issues to deal with over the weeks and months and perhaps years to come, but clearly, the battle is joined.

WOODRUFF: Certainly is. And that is it for our special report. I'm Judy Woodruff.

BROWN: And I'm Aaron Brown. For our viewers from the WB network, local programming is coming up next. And for CNN viewers, a special edition of "LARRY KING LIVE," is coming up. Larry will have complete Congressional reaction to the President's remarks. Among his guests, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, John Warner, Joe Lieberman, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, and more. All that on "LARRY KING." For Judy and I, thanks for joining us, and good night from Washington.



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