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Bush: 2nd Phase of Anti-Terror War to be Long and Costly - 2002-03-15


President Bush says the second stage of the U-S -led war against international terrorists will be a long and costly campaign.

Mr. Bush told a crowd of cheering soldiers and airmen in Fayetteville, North Carolina, today (Friday) Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network will be denied sanctuary and safe haven anywhere in the world they try to run and hide. He called members of al-Qaida who were not captured or killed -- in his words -- "trained killers who hate freedom."

The president also praised the military audience for the key role U-S forces played over the past six months in routing al-Qaida and its Afghan Taleban supporters.

The president also said the war in Afghanistan has shown the world that American troops are not conquerors but liberators. He said U-S military action in Afghanistan has saved millions of people from oppression and starvation.

President Bush warned that the civilized world must take seriously the growing threat of terror on a catastrophic scale. He said there is no margin for error or chance to learn from mistakes when dealing with weapons of mass destruction. He also vowed to keep what he called the most dangerous regimes in the world from teaming up with terrorists.

The president also praised Congress for its bipartisan support in the war on terrorism. He also urged lawmakers to swiftly pass the largest increase in defense spending in nearly 25 years, saying there should be no hesitation to spend whatever it takes to protect national defense.

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