Mr. Bush said, “We did not seek this conflict, but we will win it.”
“America will act deliberately and decisively, and the cause of freedom will prevail.”
The address also criticized the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan who continue to shelter Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile accused of sponsoring the September 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
“The United States respects the people of Afghanistan and we are their largest provider of humanitarian aid,” the president said from Camp David in Maryland. “But we condemn the Taliban, and welcome the support of other nations in isolating that regime.”
The United States has deployed forces to areas around Afghanistan. U.S. media outlets have also reported that American special operations units have been scouting out staging areas for military operations inside the country in recent days.
“Our war on terror will be much broader than the battlefields and beachheads of the past,” Mr. Bush said. “This war will be fought wherever terrorists hide, or run, or plan. Some victories will be won outside of public view, in tragedies avoided and threats eliminated. Other victories will be clear to all.”
The president also held a 30-minute videoconference with his national security team to discuss the status of efforts to punish bin Laden and his al Qaeda network.
Protests in D.C.
While the president was speaking to the nation, hundreds of protesters gathered near the U.S. Capitol to call for peace and the end racism.
With chants of “No War” and watched by dozens of police, the demonstrators called for an alternative to any military response.
Many of those gathered had planned to protest meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, but when those groups canceled following the attacks on September 11, organizers said they would advocate peace instead.
The march, dotted with Palestinian and anarchist flags, was largely peaceful although police did use pepper spray on at least one occasion.