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George W. Bush Gives Weekly Radio Address

Aired October 6, 2001 - 10:05   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We do anticipate, back here in the U.S., President Bush at Camp David this weekend, leading a videoconference with his National Security advisers this morning. Our White House correspondent, Kelly Wallace, details, quickly now, from nearby there in Camp David, waiting for that radio address, are we not, Kelly?

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are, Bill and expecting some more tough talk from President Bush in that radio address. As you noted, following up on Nic Robertson's report, the White House, the Pentagon not commenting on reports that the Taliban fired anti-aircraft fire at an American plane. Not really a surprise there, not commenting on operational details. But the administration, Bill, definitely saying that it will not negotiate with the Taliban over anything, including the release of these eight western aid workers.

And we will listen to the president in this radio address. Listen to his words, listen to them closely; they do give an indication that the president is putting out there that military action could not be very far away. Let's listen now.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning. Today, I want to update Americans on our global campaign against terror. The United States is presenting a clear choice to every nation, stand with the civilized world or stand with the terrorists. And for those nations that stand with the terrorists, there will be a heavy price.

America is determined to oppose the state's sponsor of terror. Yet, we are equally determined to respect and help the men and women, those regimes oppressed. Our enemy is not the Arab world. Many friendly Arab governments are themselves the targets of extremist terror. Our enemy is not Islam, a good and peace-loving faith that brings direction and comfort to over one billion people, including millions of Americans. And our enemy is not the people of any nation even when their leaders harbor terrorists. Our enemy is the terrorists themselves and the regimes that shelter and sustain them.

Afghanistan is the case-in-point. Its Taliban regime has made that nation into a sanctuary and training ground for international terrorists, terrorists, who have killed innocent citizens of many nations, including our own. The Taliban promotes terror abroad and practices terror against its people, oppressing women and persecuting all who dissent. The Taliban has been given the opportunity to surrender all the terrorist in Afghanistan and to close down their camps and operations. Full warning has been given and time is running out.

The Afghan people, however, are the victims of oppression, feminine and misrule. Many refugees from that unfortunate are on the move and sadly, many Afghans are on the verge of starvation. American respects the Afghan people, their long tradition and their proud independence and we will help in this time of confusion and crisis in their country.

American has long been the largest source of food and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. This week, I announced an additional $320 million in aid to the Afghan people, to those within Afghanistan and those who fled across borders. Despite efforts by the Taliban to disrupt these critical aid shipments, we will deliver food and seeds, vaccines and medicine by truck and even by draft animals. Conditions permitting, we will bring help directly to the people of Afghanistan by airdrops. This aid will help Afghans make it through the upcoming winter.

For the longer term, I urge Congress to make funds available so that one day, the United States can contribute, along with other friends of Afghanistan to the reconstruction and development of that troubled nation. Helping people in great need is a central part of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions, as well as many other faiths. It is also a central part of the American tradition. Even as we fight evil regimes, we are generous to the people they oppress. Following World War II, America fed and rebuilt Japan and Germany and their people became some of our closest friends in the world.

In the struggle ahead, we will act in accordance with American ideals. We are offering help and friendship to the Afghan people. It is their Taliban rulers and the terrorists they harbor who have much to fear.

Thank you for listening.

HEMMER: The weekly radio address from the president at Camp David this weekend, talking about three fronts - the diplomatic, the military and the humanitarian. On the diplomatic front, the president saying, "Our enemy is not the Arab world. Our enemy is not Islam." We have heard that repeatedly, the message from not only the president but also Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister.

On the military front, the president saying and quoting now - "full warning has been given. Time is running out." Relative to the humanitarian situation, the president, again, referring that food drops are a strong possibility to the Afghan people, again, a reference to Japan and Germany during the Second World War.

Back to Kelly Wallace near Camp David. And Kelly, it is remarkable and in almost every speech that we hear, this address is always brought up - our fight, our war is not against Islam, it is not against the Arab people. That is a drum that will continue to be beaten by this president and many others, correct? WALLACE: Absolutely, Bill. You are definitely right. It is something we have heard repeatedly and will continue to hear. And it is a message that the administration definitely wants to get to the people of Afghanistan, the people of neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, to try to make the case over and over again, that this is not a campaign against Islam, against Muslims and not against the people of Afghanistan but against terrorists and those who harbor them.

And Bill, as you noted, I just want to point, it is the first time President Bush has used these words, that "time is running out." You've heard the president repeatedly talk about that the Taliban, they must adhere and comply with his demands or they will face the consequences. He has said that he's not going to set any deadline, that it will be his decision about when the U.S. will act, when the U.S. decides that is the appropriate time. But, he did, for the first time, say time is running out.

I talked to an administration official about this, the significance of these words. This official saying, "Look, this part of a continuum. You have heard and you have seen us doing a variety of things on the military front, the diplomatic front, the humanitarian front." As you noted, he said it is an indication that time is running out.

When I said, should that mean that military action could be imminent, this official not responding. But clearly, the fact that the president is saying this for the first time, the president making it very clear that the Taliban, that they must adhere to these demands or they could face some action very, very soon - Bill.

HEMMER: Point well noted, Kelly. Kelly Wallace near Camp David. Again, the president there throughout the weekend but he will, we know, have meetings with his security advisers throughout the weekend. For more on that, here now is Kyra.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Today, President Bush will also be spending some time debriefing his defense secretary today. Donald Rumsfeld got back to Washington early this morning, after visiting key leaders in the Middle East and Central Asia. CNN's Kathleen Koch is at the Pentagon and has more.

Good morning, Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kyra. And I'm sure that one of the topics of their discussions this morning was this report form Afghanistan that the Taliban may have fired either anti- aircraft missiles or surface-to-air missiles at some sort of aircraft that was spotted in the air over Kabul, over the capital. We're getting a firm "no comment" on that, of course, from the Pentagon. No confirming, no denying as to what the aircraft may have been or whether it belonged to the United States.

Many possible explanations -- it possibly could have been an aircraft belonging to the Northern Alliance, which opposes the Taliban and operates out of Northern Afghanistan. Another possibility that it might have been a U-2 spy plane. The U.S. does have some operational over Iraq that have been there really performing routine surveillance since the Persian Gulf War. However, those fly at an altitude of 70,000 feet and generally, only perhaps a trail from a U-2 plane on a very clear day, that would be the only thing that would be visible to the naked eye.

But most likely, a possibility is that it is one of these drones or unmanned aerial vehicles that the United States has confirmed that it is using over Afghanistan. If you remember, just two weeks, one of them was lost over northern Afghanistan. Though, the Pentagon would not confirm that that had been shot down. So that's a likely possibility but no confirmation or denial of that here.

Also, the assessment of Secretary Rumsfeld's trip is that it was a success. His last two stops being in Turkey and Uzbekistan. And a particular victory in the dealings with Uzbekistan that the United States was able to secure permission for U.S. cargo planes, helicopters and troops to use one of the air bases there for humanitarian reasons, for airdrops and rescue missions. That is significant because Uzbekistan does border Afghanistan on the north. That will be very useful in the future - Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Kathleen Koch, thank you so much.




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