By Gerry J. Gilmore
WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2006 – Five years after 9/11, the United States remains determined to protect the homeland and defeat global terrorism wherever it rears its head, Vice President Richard B. Cheney said here today. The terrorists reveled in the five-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Cheney told a U.S. automobile industry group, noting a senior al Qaeda lieutenant used the occasion "to issue more words of hatred for this country."
Terrorists reject civilized man's value for human life, Cheney pointed out. Instead, he said, the terrorists "hold to an ideology that feeds on the pain of others and glorifies murder and suicide."
The enemy also wants to impose "a dictatorship of fear," Cheney said, "under which every man, woman and child would live in total obedience to a narrow and hateful ideology."
The terrorists know they can never defeat the United States military in a straight-up fight. Instead, he said, they stealthily blend in among populations and seek to take innocent lives.
The terrorists' ideology and mode of operations was abundantly demonstrated in Afghanistan, Cheney said, where al-Qaeda-affiliated Taliban extremists murdered and brutalized innocent Afghan citizens who didn't agree with their worldview. And after five years of fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, the terrorists remain convinced they can wear down America's will to continue the battle, Cheney said, recalling the words of al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden.
"Bin Laden has predicted that the people of the United States simply do not have the 'stomach' to stay in the fight against terror," the vice president said.
However, America and its allies liberated Afghanistan and Iraq from brutal, despotic regimes, Cheney pointed out. And the United States, he declared, will not allow the terrorists to regain a foothold.
"Having liberated those countries from tyranny, we will not permit new dictatorships to seize power and give terrorists a base from which they can strike the United States and other free nations," Cheney vowed.
America is keeping its word to Afghans and Iraqis who'd once been terrorized by inhuman governments, Cheney said. Spreading democracy and hope across the world, he said, is the best way to defeat violence, resentment and terror.
"By standing with our friends, we are making a better day possible in the broader Middle East and helping to build a safer, more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren," Cheney said.
The American people are generous, decent, and are defended by heroes, the vice president said. Cheney saluted the nation's servicemembers, noting they can be proud of their wartime service for the rest of their lives.
The United States remains on the offensive against the terrorists, Cheney said, noting U.S. counterintelligence efforts are paying dividends. For example, the terrorist surveillance program has "helped to detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks against the American people," he said.
Indeed, many things have "gone right" for the United States and its allies since the anti-terror war began, Cheney said. He vowed that America wouldn't quit the fight.
President Bush is determined to see the war through to the defeat of the terrorists, the vice president said.
"The president is serious about the threat, serious about his duty to protect the country," Cheney said. "He will not relent in the effort to track the enemies of the United States with every legitimate tool at his command."