President George W. Bush vowed yesterday that US troops will hunt down terrorists and "smoke them out of their holes" in a long, unrelenting war. He said prime suspect Osama bin Laden will not be able to hide from America's forces.
For the first time, he warned Americans they will have to sacrifice.
"I will not settle for a token act. Our response must be sweeping, sustained and effective," the president said in his weekly radio address to the nation. "We have much to do and much to ask of the American people.
"You will be asked for your patience, for the conflict will not be short. You will be asked for resolve, because the conflict will not be easy. You will be asked for your strength because the course to victory may be long," he said.
As the radio address was being broadcast, Bush met with foreign policy advisors at the Marine-guarded Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. He had his toughest words yet for the terrorists who attacked New York and Washington and downed a plane in the Pennsylvania countryside.
"We will find ? who did it, we'll smoke them out of their holes," Bush said. "We'll get them running and we'll bring them to justice," he said.
Four days after the national tragedy, Bush braced Americans for a long, brutal battle against terrorism.
"There is a desire by the American people to not seek only revenge, but to win a war against barbaric behavior," he said.
Of bin Laden, Bush said: "If he thinks he can hide from the United States and our allies he will be sorely mistaken."
Bush had a message, too, for the 50,000 US reserves being called into action.
"Everybody who wears the uniform [should] get ready -- the United States will do what it takes to win this war," he said.
Bush moved from consoling a heartbroken nation to readying Americans for a new kind of war, calling 50,000 military reservists to duty and shouting words of defiance amid the ruins of the World Trade Center.
"I can hear you," Bush said Friday. "The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."
Congress supported the call-up, giving quick and unanimous approval to a US$40 billion down payment to help the nation recover and rebuild from terror attacks and retaliate.
Lawmakers also passed a measure to allow Bush to exercise "all necessary and appropriate force" against the terrorists, their sponsors and protectors. Only Representative Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, voted against it.
"These are different times," said Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott. "And we have got to act decisively. The American people expect it of us, and they will accept nothing less."
On the diplomatic front, support for US action appeared to be solidifying.
Pakistani military and diplomatic sources said Saturday that Pakistan has agreed to a full list of US demands for a possible attack on neighboring Afghanistan, including a multinational force to be based within Pakistani borders. The US demands had also included a closure of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan and permission for flights over Pakistani airspace in the event of military action.
The New York Times reported that a senior State Department official met with 15 Arab representatives and told them they must declare their nations part of an international coalition against terrorism, or run the risk of being isolated in the growing conflict.