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Bush Pledges Postwar Help to Afghanistan - 2001-12-12

U.S. President George W. Bush says the United States will not walk away from Afghanistan as it struggles to rebuild in the post-Taleban era as he vowed that America will pursue al-Qaida terrorists who flee the country.

President Bush says the United States is committed to helping the people of Afghanistan, especially women and children.

"As we drive out the Taleban and the terrorists, we are determined to lift up the people of Afghanistan," said Mr. Bush. "The women and children of Afghanistan have suffered enough. This great nation will work hard to bring them hope and help."

Mr. Bush says the Taleban brought suffering to Afghanistan by allying with terrorists and "waging war on women."

"In Afghanistan, America not only fights for our security but for the values we hold dear. We strongly reject the Taleban way [and] we strongly reject their brutality toward women and children," said the president.

He says the cruelty of the Taleban was compounded by al-Qaida. He says America realizes the dreams of the terrorists and the Taleban were a waking nightmare for Afghan women.

"A central goal of the terrorists is the brutal oppression of women and not only the women of Afghanistan," stressed Mr. Bush. The terrorists who helped rule Afghanistan are found in dozens of countries around the world. And that is the reason this great nation with our friends and allies will not rest until we bring them all to justice."

The president spoke just moments before he signed legislation that commits the United States to provide education and medical aid to Afghan women and children. The bill contains no dollar figures, but underscores America's intention to help.