Bush Calls for International Support in 2nd Phase of WarBy Mike Allen
THE WASHINGTON POST -- WASHINGTON
President Bush marked the six-month anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks Monday by appealing for world support for a second phase of the war on terror, which will be aimed at denying al-Qaida a new home base and access to nuclear weapons.
For the first time, he publicly promised U.S. military training and other resources to nations fighting terrorists on their soil, adding a potentially costly dimension to his vow to fight terrorism to an end.
“We will not send American troops to every battle, but America will actively prepare other nations for the battles ahead,” he said.
Framed by the flags of scores of nations that have aided in the initial stage, Bush said “the civilized world” must stay with him as he moves against nations that have stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, with aides calling Iraq a chief offender.
“These weapons, in the hands of terrorists, would unleash blackmail and genocide and chaos,” Bush said during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. “Our coalition must act deliberately. Inaction is not an option.”
The president’s call came on a day when Americans, steadily returning to routines even as the government warns the danger has not dissipated, paused to mourn formally the nearly 3,000 victims of the suicidal flights into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
In New York City, hundreds of people marked moments of silence at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m., when the towers of the trade center were hit. Several hours after Bush’s speech, he unveiled a stamp showing the famous photo of three firefighters raising a flag in the charred ruins at ground zero. “Heroes USA,” says the stamp, to be issued in the spring.
At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told grieving survivors, “September 11th was truly an attack against the world.”
Bush did not use his address to articulate a new policy, but continued to build a case against rogue states capable of nuclear, chemical or biological attack. Although he did not name Iraq, officials said Saddam Hussein’s regime was among those Bush had in mind when he said the world must face “the growing threat of terror on a catastrophic scale.”
“Some states that sponsor terror are seeking or already possess weapons of mass destruction; terrorist groups are hungry for these weapons, and would use them without a hint of conscience,” the president said.
Administration officials said that besides Iraq, Bush sees the primary threats as Iran and North Korea -- the “axis of evil” he warned of during his State of the Union address in January. The officials said that to a lesser degree, Bush sees Syria and Libya as dangers.