Auf Webseiten, die die größten Reden von amerikanischen Präsidenten und anderen großen US-Persönlichkeiten aufführen, ist zumindest eine Rede von George W. Bush stets zu finden - die Rede, die auch dieser Blog als seine größte bezeichnen würde: Die Rede vor dem Kongress am 20. September 2001.
Wenige Tage nach dem 11. September musste George W. Bush Wunden heilen, Angst nehmen, den Terroristen den Krieg erklären und die Menschen in den USA und überall auf der Welt auf den bevorstehenden Krieg gegen den Terror vorbereiten. In einer großartigen Dokumentation über 9/11 bezeichnete CNN die Rede als "perfekt". Bush, der nicht als The Great Communicator bekannt ist, traf zu jeder Zeit den richtigen Ton und ließ keine Fragen offen. Wer vergessen hat, warum und gegen wen der Krieg gegen den Terror geführt wird, sollte sich diese Rede noch einmal durchlesen. Hier gibt es den vollständigen Text.
Im Folgenden die wichtigsten Passagen, die auch einige der berühmtesten Zitate George Bushs beinhalten:
"My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union -- and it is strong.
Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
And tonight, the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban: Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land. Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support structure, to appropriate authorities. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.
These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.
Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
This will not be an age of terror; this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world.
Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom -- the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time -- now depends on us. Our nation -- this generation -- will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.
I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.
The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them."