October 6, 2001
President's Radio Address to the Nation
THE WHITE HOUSE
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Today I want to update Americans on our global campaign against terror. The United States is presenting a clear choice to every nation: Stand with the civilized world, or stand with the terrorists. And for those nations that stand with the terrorists, there will be a heavy price.
America is determined to oppose the state sponsors of terror. Yet we are equally determined to respect and help the men and women those regimes oppress. Our enemy is not the Arab world. Many friendly Arab governments are, themselves, the targets of extremist terror. Our enemy is not Islam, a good and peace-loving faith, that brings direction and comfort to over one billion people, including millions of Americans. And our enemy is not the people of any nation, even when their leaders harbor terrorists. Our enemy is the terrorists themselves, and the regimes that shelter and sustain them.
Afghanistan is a case in point. Its Taliban regime has made that nation into a sanctuary and training ground for international terrorists -- terrorists who have killed innocent citizens of many nations, including our own. The Taliban promotes terror abroad, and practices terror against its people, oppressing women and persecuting all who dissent.
The Taliban has been given the opportunity to surrender all the terrorists in Afghanistan and to close down their camps and operations. Full warning has been given, and time is running out.
The Afghan people, however, are the victims of oppression, famine and misrule. Many refugees from that unfortunate nation are on the move, and sadly, many Afghans are on the verge of starvation.
America respects the Afghan people, their long tradition and their proud independence. And we will help them in this time of confusion and crisis in their country.
America has long been the largest source of food and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. This week I announced an additional $320 million in aid to the Afghan people, to those within Afghanistan and those who have fled across borders. Despite efforts by the Taliban to disrupt these critical aid shipments, we will deliver food and seeds, vaccines and medicines by truck, and even by draft animals. Conditions permitting, we will bring help directly to the people of Afghanistan by air drops.
This aid will help Afghans make it through the upcoming winter. For the longer-term, I urge Congress to make funds available so that one day the United States can contribute, along with other friends of Afghanistan, to the reconstruction and development of that troubled nation.
Helping people in great need is a central part of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions, as well as many other faiths. It is also a central part of the American tradition. Even as we fight evil regimes we are generous to the people they oppress. Following World War II, America fed and rebuilt Japan and Germany, and their people became some of our closest friends in the world.
In the struggle ahead, we will act in accordance with American ideals. We're offering help and friendship to the Afghan people. It is their Taliban rulers, and the terrorists they harbor, who have much to fear.
Thank you for listening.