President Bush Speaks at West Point
Today, at the start of a new century, we are again engaged in a war unlike any our nation has fought before -- and like Americans in Truman's day, we are laying the foundations for victory. (Applause.) The enemies we face today are different in many ways from the enemy we faced in the Cold War. In the Cold War, we deterred Soviet aggression through a policy of mutually assured destruction. Unlike the Soviet Union, the terrorist enemies we face today hide in caves and shadows -- and emerge to attack free nations from within. The terrorists have no borders to protect, or capital to defend. They cannot be deterred -- but they will be defeated. (Applause.) America will fight the terrorists on every battlefront, and we will not rest until this threat to our country has been removed. (Applause.)
While there are real differences between today's war and the Cold War, there are also many important similarities. Like the Cold War, we are fighting the followers of a murderous ideology that despises freedom, crushes all dissent, has territorial ambitions, and pursues totalitarian aims. Like the Cold War, our enemies are dismissive of free peoples, claiming that men and women who live in liberty are weak and lack the resolve to defend our way of life. Like the Cold War, our enemies believe that the innocent can be murdered to serve a political vision. And like the Cold War, they're seeking weapons of mass murder that would allow them to deliver catastrophic destruction to our country. If our enemies succeed in acquiring such weapons, they will not hesitate to use them, which means they would pose a threat to America as great as the Soviet Union.
Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept anything less than complete victory. (Applause.)
The true believers among the communists and their fellow travelers and sympathizers were (and still are) dangerous to free people -- both to their liberty and their lives -- precisely because of their willingness to do anything to advance "the revolution." They were (and still are) amoral in the sense that the only test to determine right and wrong was whether an action would advance the revolution.
The true believers among the murderous moslems are equally dangerous for the same reason. Just as the communists believed their revolution would bring about a "heaven on earth," the moslem terrorists believe that our submission would transform the world into a peaceful and virtuous place.
We are presented with a choice that is similar to the one we faced in the contest with the communists: resist or submit.
While there are many who fail to see the choice facing us, we are fortunate to have many who do see it -- and who are willing to fight to defend us.