Thursday, October 28, 2004
An Open Letter to the American People
We speak to you now in the same spirit that you spoke to us then, as Americans, united on behalf of our country. Like many of you, we feel that our nation is poised at a critical moment in history. Like our parents and grandparents before us, we know that the choices we make today will affect our children tomorrow. But we face a new challenge, a new kind of war and an enemy who is different from the enemies faced by earlier generations. This is not an adversary who can be reasoned with or appeased, this is an adversary who has repeatedly demonstrated that its means and ends are one and the same: the wanton slaughter of innocents.
After the attack, President Bush articulated the primary lesson of September 11, that simply reacting to danger after lives are lost is a weak and unacceptable national defense. He believes that taking the fight to the enemy is the best way to ensure that the enemy will not bring death to our doorstep here at home.
Under the President‘s strong leadership in the war on terror and through the heroic efforts of our military forces, we are a safer country today. Two-thirds of al Qaeda leadership is dead, incarcerated, or on the run, its financing disrupted. The Taliban has been removed from power and training camps in
The 9/11 Commission has provided this nation with a solid blueprint for going forward in the war on terror. It described the threat that killed our loved ones as a “gathering storm” which went unrecognized and unchecked for too many years and characterized the inability to predict the attack itself as a “failure of imagination.” Looking forward, the Commission offered this pointed warning, “Once the danger has fully materialized, evident to all, mobilizing action is easier--but it then may be too late.”
Through the prism of 9/11 and presaging the Commission’s conclusion, President Bush looked at Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s history, his willingness to use chemical weapons in the mass murder of his own citizens, his notorious attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, his record of giving financial aid and sanctuary to global terrorists--including members of al Qaeda--and his repeated refusal to cooperate with U.N. inspectors. He determined that this repressive regime was an intolerable danger to our country. Rather than waiting until it was too late to prevent a fully materialized threat, the President acted. We believe history will support the President’s decision.
We speak to you from the heart, as citizens from all across the country and every political stripe. We are Republicans and Democrats, “liberals” and “conservatives,” young and old. We are mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters and friends. We speak out from a profound sense of obligation to those we have lost and to the country that we love. Guided by core principles, President Bush has steadfastly told us who he is, what he believes and what he will fight for. He is a caring and decisive leader who is not afraid to make hard choices to keep this nation safe, by keeping it strong. He has sent a clear message to
As Americans who have keenly felt the scourge of terrorism, we are inspired and energized to follow the President’s lead, to rise to the occasion and get the job done. We are deeply grateful to President Bush, who rallied this nation on that dark September day, who has earned our respect and confidence, and whose leadership we trust to steer this country on the right path.
Three years ago, George W. Bush stood with us and vowed that he would “Never forget.”We stand with him now