WASHINGTON (AP) – Four days before the anniversary of the Sept.
11 attacks, President Bush said Sunday night he will seek $87
billion to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan and “engage the
enemy where he lives.”
In an 18-minute address Bush said, “We are fighting that enemy
in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on
our own streets, in our own cities.”
Bush appealed for troops and money for security and
reconstruction from other countries, even those who opposed the
Bush, speaking from the Cabinet Room in a nationally broadcast
speech, said the United States would not be intimidated into
retreat by violence.
“The terrorists have cited the examples of Beirut and Somalia,
claiming that if you inflict harm on Americans we will run from a
challenge,” Bush said, referring to U.S. withdrawals after the loss
of American lives. “In this they are mistaken.”
It was Bush’s first major speech on Iraq since May 1, when he
stood on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and
declared an end to major combat operations.
Since then, more Americans have died in Iraq than were killed
during the war. The overall death count is 287 – 149 since May
The violence – including four major bombing attacks in a month –
have raised alarms about Bush’s handling of Iraq.
Republicans and Democrats alike have urged Bush to change course
and seek more troops and money from other countries.
Questions also have been fueled by the administration’s failure
to find any of Saddam Hussein’s alleged illegal weapons or Saddam
himself. Bush made just one reference in his speech to weapons of
mass destruction – a sharp contrast to his repeated assertions
before the war about illegal weapons.