President Bush has told United Nations members they must make a strong stand against terrorism or risk becoming targets of that violence themselves. Mr. Bush made the comment in a speech Saturday to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
President Bush said the time for sympathy has passed and the time for action has arrived. He said the world is uniting for a long struggle against terrorism, going forward confident, determined, and unafraid.
The president said those leaders who are allies of terrorists are equally guilty of murder and equally accountable to justice. "There is no corner of the earth distant or dark enough to protect them," he said. "However long it takes, their hour of justice will come. Every nation has a stake in this cause. As we meet, the terrorist are planning more murder, perhaps in my country or perhaps in yours."
The president said terrorists rely on the indifference of governments that turn a blind-eye to the violence, hoping it will not affect them. If that violence is not stopped, Mr. Bush said, it will only get worse. "All the world faces the most horrifying prospect of all. These same terrorists are searching for weapons of mass destruction. The tools to turn their hatred into holocaust," said Mr. Bush. "They can be expected to use chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons the moment they are capable of doing so. No hint of conscience would prevent it."
The president said this threat cannot be ignored or appeased. Civilization itself, he said, is threatened and history will judge or justify the world's response.
President Bush reminded world leaders that the attack on the World Trade Center two months ago killed people from many nations -- a man from Gambia whose wife spent their wedding anniversary searching for his body; a Mexican who sent money home each month; and a Pakistani who prayed each day to Mecca but was killed by Muslim extremists whose violence, Mr. Bush said, has isolated them in the Islamic world. "The suffering of September 11th was inflicted on people of many faiths and many nations," he said. "All of the victims, including Muslims, were killed with equal indifference and equal satisfaction by the terrorist leaders. The terrorists are violating the tenets of every religion, including the one they invoke."
President Bush said there is no justifying the violence of terrorism, no matter what religion its perpetrators try to hide behind. "The terrorists call their cause holy, yet they fund it with drug dealing," he said. "They encourage murder and suicide in the name of a great faith that forbids both. They dare to ask God's blessing as they set out to kill innocent men, women, and children. But the God of Isaac and Ishmael would never answer such a prayer. A murderer is not a martyr. He is just a murderer."
President Bush pledged U.S. support for helping developing nations build the capacity to fight terror and address the humanitarian cases it creates. He said he knows not all nations in the coalition can contribute troops, but he said everyone has duties including the break-up of terrorist finances.
Mr. Bush was to meet later Saturday with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan is central to the U.S.-led attacks against Afghanistan's Taleban government.