President Bush Friday marked the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into the Second World War. Mr. Bush said America responded to that attack by fighting to defend freedom, just as, he says, U.S. forces are doing today in Afghanistan.
Joined by Pearl Harbor survivors on the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier, President Bush said the shock of that attack 60 years ago left America stronger, just as the terrorist attacks of September 11 committed the nation to fighting terrorism. "What happened at Pearl Harbor was the start of a long and terrible war for America," Mr. Bush said. "Yet, out of that surprise attack grew a steadfast resolve that made America freedom's defender. And that mission - our great calling - continues to this hour, as the brave men and women of our military fight the forces of terror in Afghanistan and around the world."
Mr. Bush said the military campaign in Afghanistan is a long way from finished, with "much dangerous and difficult work" still to come hunting-down terrorists hiding in caves. The president said those terrorists are preparing for a long time underground, but they are in for a sudden change of plans as one-by-one, he said, the international coalition against terrorism is going to find them, and piece-by-piece, it is going to tear their terrorist network apart.
The president said American troops in Afghanistan are fighting to protect their children from violence and fear, much as the United States entered World War II to stop the spread of fascism in Europe and the Pacific. "We are fighting for the security of our people and the success of liberty. We are fighting against men without conscience, but full of ambition to remake the world in their own brutal images. For all of the reasons, we are fighting to win, and win we will," Mr. Bush said.
President Bush said the United States and its allies will defeat international terrorism as they defeated the armies of Hitler and Imperial Japan. "We have seen their kind before. The terrorists are the heirs to fascism. They have the same will to power, the same disdain for the individual, the same mad global ambitions, and they will be dealt with in just the same way," he said.
More than 2,400 people died in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Mr. Bush said what remains for its survivors is the lasting honor of service in a great cause. With America again at war, the president said the country is turning to its servicemen and women to keep it safe and protect its freedom. This time, the enemy of the past is today's ally. "Today, we take special pride that one of our former enemies is now among America's finest friends," he said. "We are grateful to our ally Japan and to its good people. Today, our two navies are working side-by-side in the fight against terror. The bitterness of 60 years ago has passed away. The struggles of our war in the Pacific now belong to history."
Mr. Bush says that, like all fascists, terrorists cannot be appeased. They must be defeated. This war will not end in a truce or a treaty, he said. It will end in victory for the United States, its friends, and the cause of freedom.