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Bush: Taleban 'Paying The Price' For Not Handing Over Bin Laden - 2001-10-13


President Bush says the United States has achieved the goals of the first phase of its anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan. The president also used his weekly radio address Saturday to reassure Americans that officials are taking precautions to protect them from terrorist attacks at home.

President Bush says the ruling Taleban in Afghanistan is paying a price for not turning over suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. In his radio address, the president said the U.S. and British air strikes that began last Sunday have disrupted the terrorist network inside Afghanistan.

"We have weakened the Taleban's military, and we have crippled the Taleban's air defenses," the president said. "American forces dominate the skies over Afghanistan, and we will use that dominance to make sure that terrorists can no longer freely use Afghanistan as a base of operations."

In an apparent reference to American concerns about the FBI warning of possible new terrorist attacks and the discovery of four cases of anthrax, Mr. Bush said he knows many people are feeling uneasy. But he says his administration is taking strong precautions.

The president also mentioned his call to American children to contribute to a nationwide fund to benefit Afghan children.

"I urge you to show the best of America by directly helping the children of Afghanistan who are suffering from the oppression and misrule of their own government," he said. "Many are malnourished. Many are starving."

In the Democrats' response, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said the administration and the Congress worked well together to provide emergency assistance to victims and to help the airline industry in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"Americans have never been more united than we are today. We've seen that unity demonstrated in communities across our nation in ways too numerous to count," Senator Daschle said. "We've also seen it demonstrated in Washington in the many steps Congress and the president have already taken to respond to the tragedy of September 11."

Now, Senator Daschle says Congress and the president must work together again to repair the damage to the U.S. economy.

"We must not use the tragedy of September 11 to push through favored causes, no matter how passionately we may feel about them if they won't provide an immediate boost to our economy," he said.

Senator Daschle says the future of the U.S. economy is too important to fall victim to politics.

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