The war against Islamic terrorism has not "really" changed in the 16 years since the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Monday, but he's not "particularly surprised" by that.
"This war has gone on as long as it has because this enemy is a different kind of enemy," Giuliani, who came to be regarded as "America's Mayor" following his role in the recovery from the attack, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program.
"They are very determined, very patient. They see this as eternal mission that they have. President [George W.] Bush pointed that out the first time he spoke to Congress about this that this would be a long, long effort against them."
There hasn't been a similar attack since that time, and Giuliani pointed out that in 2001, there was not a Department of Homeland Security.
"A lot of our police departments didn't have the intelligence apparatus that they have today," said the former mayor. "I happen to know there are many attacks that we have avoided, maybe not quite of that scale, but different attacks."
It is important for Americans to continue to remember the 9/11 attacks, even though for many, the memories are fading, said Giuliani.
"It's really important that they do in large part, because it's not like Pearl Harbor or some of the other terrible things, like the assassination of John Kennedy, the things that happen where people remember where they were when they found out about it," said Giuliani. "This is something that's still going on. This is part of our history. Pearl Harbor is part of our history. That war is over. The enemies are our friends and the world is different now than it was then. The motivations that caused that attack are still a danger to us."
The United States may not have been attacked on the scale of 9/11 since that time, he continued, but it has come under attack, and there have been further incidents in Europe and Asia, so the matter "is an ongoing problem of massive proportions."
Giuliani said watching the reaction of emergency workers following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma reminds him of the reaction following the 9/11 attacks.
"The construction workers, when we weren't sure we had the correct number, and a lot of our firefighters were tired, and a lot of our police officers were tired, rescue workers and construction workers, about 1,000 of them, came down to help," Giuliani recalled.
"I asked the guy in front, 'why did you come,'" he continued. "'You have got to be careful, you don't have the right equipment.' He said, 'we are very strong. We can lift things. You just tell us what to do.'"
That spirit is evident in the response to Harvey and now what's being seen in Florida, said the former mayor.
"Of course we'd like to say it's the spirit of New Yorkers and spirit we like to say in Texas and Florida," said Giuliani. "In reality, that's the spirit of America. That when we get attacked, we all stick together. We may fight with each other at other times, but we all stick together."
The 9/11 attacks also contributed, in a way, to an improvement in the nation's emergency services response, said Giuliani.
"The same training and the same work that you have to do to get ready for terrorist attack of that magnitude is the kind of training you have to do for a natural disaster," the former mayor commented.
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