Tags: Sen. | Lieberman: | Retaliation | Not | Enough!

Sen. Lieberman: Retaliation is Not Enough!

Friday, 14 September 2001 12:00 AM

Today we are filled with the deepest feelings of anger and outrage. We want retaliation, and we will have it. We will not rest until we know who perpetrated these evils, and we will then respond with the full force of the righteous might that President Roosevelt summoned in 1941.

We must be careful, though, not to mistake swift punishment for lasting peace. We are at war. That is true. But this war is dramatically different from the one we engaged in after Pearl Harbor. In this struggle, vengeance is not victory. Retaliation for yesterday's atrocities is only the end of the beginning of what should be our response, not the beginning of the end of that response.

If, in fact, as this resolution says, we are acknowledging that we are in a war against terrorism, then we must understand that this war is not against a single known enemy but a broad and elusive threat from the forces of terror. And if we are to win this war, if we are to protect our security and freedom, we must adapt both offensively and defensively to the true nature of this threat and commit ourselves to a long and difficult struggle.

We have several challenges ahead of us. First, of course, we must identify and punish the perpetrators. We must also then honestly assess our vulnerability here at home and then take swift and strong action to fortify the security of our critical national infrastructure from attack and to improve the ability of national and state and local authorities to respond to such attacks.

We must consider with renewed purpose the proposals that have been made to create a new agency with responsibility for defense of our homeland, for the decades of security that our two oceans have given us are over. Our enemies can strike at us with terrorism, with cyberattacks, or with ballistic missiles. We must raise our guard here at home to those attacks.

We have been warned by many experts that the threats we will face in the 21st century would be different and more diffuse than those we had faced over the last half century. That is why we have embarked on a path of transforming our military and other Government agencies to better prepare to wage and defend this new warfare. We must now move, after yesterday, with far greater urgency, for our enemies will not wait. They will not delay. They will continue to work with single-minded determination to find our points of weakness and strike at them. We must match and exceed their focus and determination.

In doing so, we must not work and fight alone. This is not just our war. This is a war against democracy itself. In defending against those attacks, the world's other democratic nations must join together with us. I am grateful for the decision by the North Atlantic Council today to find the acts of yesterday essentially acts, under Article 5, acts of war against us which are acts of war against all of them.

If we are truly involved in a war against terrorism, then our allies in Europe and elsewhere must come to our side as we came to theirs in World War II and not tolerate and deal with and maintain normal relations of commerce or diplomacy with nations that harbor terrorists. We must convince them that they will either be allies of allies or allies of our enemies.

Mr. President, history rarely offers respite to victors. We won a magnificent triumph in the Cold War. After World War II, we were once again at the pinnacle of power. But, once again, we face a new form of tyranny. I am confident that we can and will rise to defeat this new challenge just as we defeated the communism that rose to face us after World War II. Our love of liberty has not diminished, nor has our common sense of purpose in protecting it.

Succeed we can, and succeed we must. The lives of our people, the security of our society, and the strength of our democracy depend on it.

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Today we are filled with the deepest feelings of anger and outrage. We want retaliation, and we will have it. We will not rest until we know who perpetrated these evils, and we will then respond with the full force of the righteous might that President Roosevelt summoned in...
Sen.,Lieberman:,Retaliation,Not,Enough!
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2001-00-14
Friday, 14 September 2001 12:00 AM
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