May 13, 2003
The president, in Indiana to rally support for his tax cut plan, addressed the devastating bombings that tore through the Saudi capital, killing at least seven Americans and 13 others. He also updated the continuing fight against international terrorism.
| PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you all very much.
Thanks a lot.
Thanks a lot for the warm welcome. I'm so grateful so many of my fellow citizens have shown up this morning. Thanks for coming.
I'm here to discuss some of the challenges that this nation faces and to let you know I'm optimistic we can overcome anything in our path. We have a challenge to make sure that we have economic security here at home. That's one of the challenges we face. And I will discuss that challenge.
We also have a challenge to protect our fellow citizens from terrorism. Today's attacks in Saudi Arabia, the ruthless murder of American citizens and other citizens, remind us that the war on terror continues.
My thoughts and prayers and those of our fellow citizens are with the families of the victims of yesterday's murder in Saudi Arabia. We pray for them. We mourn the loss of life. T
hese despicable acts were committed by killers whose only faith is
hate. And the United States will find the killers, and they will learn
the meaning of American justice.
This nation has been tested. For 20 months, we have waged a relentless campaign against global terror. You see, the enemy hit us, and they didn't realize the nature of this country. They probably thought we would just fold our tents and go home. They don't understand America. They don't understand how much we love freedom. They don't understand how much we cherish -- they probably thought we'd forget.
But anytime anybody attacks our homeland, anytime anybody attacks our fellow citizens, we'll be on the hunt, and we'll find them and they will be brought to justice.
Just ask the Taliban. We went into Afghanistan not all that long ago, when you think about it, to uphold a doctrine that said if you harbor a terrorist, if you hide a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist and you'll be held to account.
And so we, along with a vast coalition, went into Afghanistan to bring people to justice, but also to free people from the clutches of one of the most barbaric regimes in modern history. And now, thanks to the United States of America and a lot of our friends, young girls go to school for the first time. I'm proud of this country and what we stand for.
I figure we've destroyed about one-half of al-Qaida, the top operators of al-Qaida, and that's good. But we've got more work to do. And the other half of them are going to get on the run, and we will find them.
In order to protect this homeland, the best way to protect the homeland is to hunt down anybody who would do harm to Americans and bring them to justice, and precisely what we're going to do in America.
We will be patient and we'll be relentless, because that is our obligation to future generations of Americans, an obligation which says that we must work hard to make sure people can grow up in freedom and peace in this country.