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Bush Gets Send-off For Asian Trip From US Troops - 2001-10-18

President Bush says he wants to rally the world to fight terrorism.

Mr. Bush talked about America's determination and unity during a stopover in California on his way to the Pacific rim summit in Shanghai, China.

Mr. Bush got a send-off from troops and military families at an Air Force base near Sacramento, California.

With Air Force One as a backdrop, the President said America's cause is just, and the United States will win. "This nation is strong.... this nation is united...this nation is resolved...this nation will defeat terror wherever we find it across the globe," he said.

The President said that is the message he will take to the 21 members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Shanghai. "Of course, we will talk about economics and trade. The main thing that will be on my mind is to continue to rally the world against terrorists. It is to remind people that it happened to us, but it can happen to them as well,"

Mr. Bush delivered a similar message earlier in the day at a speech hosted by business leaders in Sacramento. "We are fighting for the security of our people, for the success of our ideals, and for stability in large parts of the world," he said.

The President said once again that this is a broad campaign, fought on many fronts. He said America's armed forces have performed their duty in Afghanistan against terrorist and Taleban targets with skill and success. He said the U.S. military has destroyed many terrorist camps, and damaged the Taleban's air defense. He also made a rare reference to the job of clearing the way for opposition forces to oust the Taleban.

"We're paving the way for friendly troops to defeat the Taleban and root out the al-Qaida parasites that the Taleban hosts and protects," he said.

This was Mr. Bush's first set of appearances on the West Coast since the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. He said those were attacks on all the people of the United States, and the terrorists are now hearing from all Americans.