The Coalition Against Terrorism: The First Hundred Days [Archives:2001/01/Focus]
Edmund J. Hull,
US Ambassador to Yemen
The terrorists who leveled the World Trade Center, smashed into the Pentagon, caused a passenger jet to be flown into the ground in Pennsylvania, and killed thousands of people in the morning of September 11, thought that they would change the world forever.
The terrorists did change the world, but in ways they never intended.
Where the terrorists sought to divide and destroy, the world has instead joined together to build a coalition against terrorism. Where the terrorists tried to sow doubt and fear, the world has responded with commitment, courage, and determination. Where the terrorists imagined they could hide, the coalition is turning them out of their lairs, and will bring them to justice.
It has now been 100 days since those terrorist attacks, 100 days since the world joined forces to eliminate terrorism. Acting together, the coalition has used its military power to pursue and eliminate the terrorists in Afghanistan. The coalition has worked together to cut off the flow of terrorist financing worldwide, and to make it more difficult for terrorists to cross borders, unnoticed, to carry out their murderous plans.
While the coalitions military objectives the elimination of the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorist threat have not yet been fully achieved, a great deal has been accomplished in this first hundred days. Afghanistan is now back in the hands of Afghans eager to rebuild their country; humanitarian aid, interrupted by the Taliban, is once again flowing to the Afghan people; girls are returning to the classroom; women are free to venture outside their homes; widows can now provide food for their families; children can once again fly kites; music is once again heard in the streets; boys can play soccer again.
Perhaps most remarkable of all, in defiance of history and with the help of the United Nations and the international community, Afghans have put aside their differences to form an interim government, and to work together to rebuild their country. Afghan women will take their rightful place in this new government, and the Afghan people will once again govern themselves.
The terrorist network in Afghanistan has been disrupted and dismembered, but there is still much to do to make sure they can never again launch their destruction on the world community. The elimination of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups will not be quick or easy, but whether it takes a week or a year or a decade, the terrorists will be brought to justice.
The war on terrorist financing is one of the outstanding successes in the war on terrorism. Law enforcement agencies in countries worldwide are contributing to the success of the war on terror by sharing information in order to apprehend terrorists before they strike. Yet much needs yet to be done. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, passed on September 28, requires all nations to adopt and implement wide-ranging anti-terrorism measures, especially those suppressing financing to terrorist groups and improving international cooperation hindering the free movement of terrorist operatives. The US stands ready to work with partner nations in accomplishing these objectives.
In addition, the twelve United Nations conventions against terrorism constitute the bedrock of the international communitys response to the terrorist threat. All sates should ratify and implement these conventions.
Thanks to coalition action in Afghanistan, humanitarian aid is now moving overland to those Afghans most in need. Bridges and roads from Afghanistans neighbors have re-opened, and with the collapse of the Taliban, international humanitarian aid workers have returned to Afghanistan. Millions of Afghans, facing hunger due to the long years of civil war, drought, and Taliban misrule, must be fed through the winter if they are to survive. While the US is the largest singe donor of humanitarian assistance to Afghans, many other countries are also helping to provide the food that will save Afghan lives in the coming months.
President Bush called on the people and children of America to open their hearts and reach out to the people and children of Afghanistan. Shipment of medical aid and assistance, including school supplies, clothing and gifts are now on their way to Afghanistan. Among this outpouring of human caring are winter tents, winter jackets, and 10,000 gift parcels from the children of America to the children of Afghanistan, containing hats, socks, toothbrushes and hair brushes, candy and toys, which may bring joy to those children who have suffered such incredible hardship.
The terrorists imagined they would change the world. But they could never have imagined the way in which the world would come together after September 11. Those who committed the terrorist crimes of September 11 galvanized the international community and brought the countries of the world together, united by a resolve to eliminate the threat of terrorism.
During the first hundred days since September 11, the coalition against terrorism has already achieved what many thought would be impossible. Yet there is still much to do, and there is no going back. And in the end, the world will be victorious over terrorism.