Bush declares attacks ‘Act of War’

· Sep 13, 2001 Tweet

The stage was set for future military action when President Bush declared Tuesday’s attacks an ‘act of war.’

Bush addressed the nation for the second time Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time about the horrendous events that transpired Tuesday.

Although his first speech on Tuesday left Americans with little knowledge about how the U.S. would deal with the situation, his second address offered insight into how the terrorists, once found, would be punished.

“The big thing is upping the rhetoric from last night,” UW political science professor Charles Franklin said. “He did not just say that we will respond; today it is an act of war.”

Bush elevated the seriousness of the attack in his speech.

“The deliberate and deadly attacks, which were carried out yesterday against our country, were more than acts of terror,” Bush said. “They were acts of war.”

This statement carries significant weight in foreign policy, and helps predict what the U.S. response will be.

“I don’t know that it is a declaration of war; it is an effort to elevate it as an incident,” UW political science professor Charles Jones said. “This is not among acts of terror that we have experienced before; Bush wanted to elevate this above those to something more serious.”

With his statement, Bush hinted at some military action at a later date.

“A war inherently implies that we would commit some military to the situation,” Franklin said. “If the groups were identified, I could see a lot of cruise missiles going there sometime soon.”

Although the terrorists have not yet been identified, the statement that their actions were an act of war has implications similar to a declaration of war.

“A war, yes, but a war against whom?” Franklin said.
Franklin warned against any premature decisions.

“Making a declaration of war would lead to nasty decisions we might live to regret,” Franklin said.

The terrorists have been called cowardly because of their actions on Tuesday and their refusal to come forward.

“The American people need to know we are facing a different enemy than we have ever faced,” Bush said. “This enemy hides in the shadows and has no regard for human life. This is an enemy who preys on innocent and unsuspecting people, then runs for cover, but it won’t be able to hide forever.”

Bush said the U.S. would be victorious, and the terrorists will not overcome the country.

“The United States will use all our resources to conquer this enemy,” he said. “We will rally the world. We will be patient. We will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve, but make no mistake about it: We will win.”


This article was published Sep 13, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 13, 2001 at 12:00 am


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