President George W. Bush pushed through a crowd of political all-stars who shook his hand and patted him on the back Thursday night. He was enroute to giving a speech to Congress and the nation, detailing his plans to fight terrorism and protect freedom.
?The country was awakened to danger and was called to defend freedom,? he said. ?Justice will be declared.?
Comparing the terrorists to the mafia, Bush condemned the Taliban regime and their threat on people everywhere. He made four demands: the countries must deliver all leaders of al-Qaida, a Taliban militia; the release of all foreign nationals including American citizens that have been unjustly imprisoned; close all terrorism communities and turn them over to the appropriate authorities; give the United States full access to all terrorist training camps to make sure they are no longer operating.
?These demands are not open for negotiation or discussion,? Bush said. ?The Taliban must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.?
Bush also directed the 35-minute speech, which received 25 standing ovations, to the Muslim community throughout the world. He said Muslims are not the enemy. But radical networks of terrorists are.
Graduate student Tara Zekri said addressing different races was an important part of the president?s speech.
?I liked how he talked about the Muslim/Arab communities and how there is respect on all nations and races,? Zekri said. ? He was more confident, and I like to hear that and rehear it.?
Bush said the nation will win the war, and he said it would not be one battle but a lengthy campaign.
?Every nation, in every region, has a decision to make,? Bush said. ?Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.?
Coming to the end of his speech, Bush asked the American people to be calm and resolute and to uphold the values of the United States.
?We will come together to improve air stability and safety. We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools to track down terrorism. We will come together to take active steps in strengthening the economy,? he said.
Susan MacManus, a USF political expert, said the speech will receive high marks from students as well as analysts.
?High marks are from all generations,? MacManus said. ?The president is clearly calling for freedom, and it lies heavy on the shoulders of the young.?
J. Edwin Benton, a USF professor in government and international affairs, said that Americans are not the only ones at risk.
?It?s an unended war in terrorism, but a non-ending battle, not with just the U.S., but a battle around the globe,? Benton said.
Zekri said the president was strong and compassionate and said she is scared of the outcome.
?Terrorism has to be dealt with, and the most fearful thing is that innocent people all over the world are affected,? she said.
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