Sidebar: This Is an Act of War

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

know how I feel about this. First of all, there has been an act of war of the worst kind, namely, against civilians, designed to disrupt and demoralize civilian life, as well as an act of war against the Pentagon. We know that this was carried out by an organization big enough to do something rather complex and complicated, so we have to know who those people are and go after them. But we must do more than that.

We will get rid of them, and we’ll learn how to preempt these attacks. But we’re not going to change our way of life because of these people. I reject that entirely.

On the one hand, we have to learn what’s coming and preempt it and not be afraid to preempt potential terrorist acts against us. Then we have to look to our own security and give ourselves the kind of reassurance that we deserve, that we’re doing the things necessary so we have our children back to our schools, our government officials back in their offices. These people are not able to stop a resilient, powerful, strong country, as we are. . . .

American life will pick up. We have to look to our security, obviously, and be careful about it. But we’re not going to allow these terrible people to change our way of life. They just aren’t going to be able to do it. We’ll defend ourselves adequately, we will find out who they are. We will get rid of them, and we’ll learn how to preempt these attacks. But we’re not going to change our way of life because of these people. I reject that entirely.