President Bush says no nation can be neutral in the war on terrorism, and he is urging the nations that once made up the Soviet bloc to stand with the United States. In a speech delivered via satellite to an anti-terrorism conference in Warsaw, the president made a personal appeal.
Mr. Bush spoke of the totalitarian regimes that dominated these countries for decades. He said terrorists and their supporters in Afghanistan's Taleban regime are imposing the same kinds of repression and fear on innocent people. "Like the fascists and totalitarians before them, these terrorists, al-Qaida and the Taleban regime that supports them and other terror groups across our world, try to impose their radical views through threats," he said.
Mr. Bush said the world is seeing the same intolerance of dissent, and the same mad global ambitions. "Our enemies have brought only misery and terror to the people of Afghanistan," said president Bush. "And now, they are trying to export that terror throughout the world."
The president said the world must join together to "lift this dark threat from our age." He said it will be a difficult struggle of uncertain duration. "We are determined to fight this evil and fight until we are rid of it," he said.
His speech to the Warsaw anti-terrorism conference was just the first of several planned in coming days. Mr. Bush will speak to the American people Thursday, and he will deliver his first address to the United Nations on Saturday.
In his remarks to the gathering in Poland, the president offered a preview of the message he will take to the General Assembly. "I will set out my vision of our common responsibilities in the war on terror," stated George W. Bush. "I will put every nation on notice that these duties involve more than sympathy or words. No nation can be neutral in this conflict. Because no civilized nation can be secure in a world threatened by terror."
A number of foreign leaders coming to the United States this week for the U.N. General Assembly are also coming to Washington to see President Bush.
After the speech to the Warsaw gathering, Mr. Bush prepared for meetings at the White House with the president of France and the prime minister of Serbia.
Later this week, he hosts leaders from Great Britain, Ireland, India, Brazil, Kuwait and Morocco. More consultations will take place at the United Nations including the president's first face-to-face meeting with Pakistani President Pervez Musarraf.