September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Speech By Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones, Asst. Secretary Of State For European And Eurasian Affairs As Prepared for Delivery to the German Studies Association Annual Conference; October 5, 2001

U.S. Department of State

October 5, 2001

Speech By Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones, Asst. Secretary Of State For European And Eurasian Affairs

As prepared for delivery to the German Studies Association Annual Conference

Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel
Crystal City, VA

I am pleased to be here with you this evening during your jubilee year. The shadow of the September 11th terrorist attacks has darkened what was to be a more festive gathering tonight. I am sure this fact saddens those who have worked so hard to build the Association's annual conference into the impressive intellectual endeavor it has become.

All of us have shared much sadness over the past few weeks. The World Trade Center images will never leave us. The lives lost and destruction wrought at the Pentagon, a short distance from here, are tangible reminders for us in Washington.

I originally wanted to talk about how much the U.S. shares with the German-speaking nations of Europe and how many opportunities remain on our common agenda. Through this tragedy the need for such a message seems less pressing. We all see that in times of trouble you know who your true friends are.

The vicious terrorist attacks of September 11 have provided abundant evidence of the enduring ties and common values between the U.S. and Europe.

The American people were comforted by the expressions of support and offers of assistance from world leaders after the attack. We were touched by the popular expressions of support and concern expressed by individuals and organizations representing European publics. There were religious and public ceremonies in nearly every European capital. People spontaneously brought flowers and candles to impromptu memorials, many near our embassies. The sight of some 200,000 people gathered in sympathy at Brandenburg Gate was very moving.

I was recently told of a magnificent gesture by the captain and crew of the German warship Lutjens (D185) a few days after the attack. Departing Plymouth, England, the Lutjens drew up alongside the USS Winston Churchill on the high seas for a farewell salute. When the American captain called his crew topside, they were stunned to see the entire crew of the Lutjens standing at their ship's rails in dress blue uniforms, flying an American flag at half-mast and holding a large sign, with the words, "We Stand by You."

Donations have been coming from all over the world to aid the victims of the terror attack and their families. A fund put together by German friends and companies has now raised over $30 million. This is a truly generous testament to heartfelt friendship, all the more striking because there are 5,559 people among the dead and missing as a result of the September 11th attacks, including the citizens of 80 other nations. Germans, Swiss and Austrians are among them. This is truly a world tragedy.

A Changed America, a Changed World

September 11 fundamentally changed the way we see ourselves, our country, and the world. We are embarked on a long-term battle against terror. The quality of U.S. foreign relations in the future will be measured by new standards: either a country is with us or is with the terrorists.

We have found many partnerships in our battle and are welcoming those who join us. We fully acknowledge that the challenge of international terror networks can be defeated only in the context of the international community.

Out of the ashes of Ground Zero rises an opportunity to make the world a safer place. Nations have a real opportunity to change the way they're positioned in the world and play a positive role. This is particularly true for those nations like Iran, Sudan and Syria that have been cited for their sponsorship or support of terrorism. Sudan, for example, is already taking positive steps to cooperate with international efforts to combat terrorism.

This is not the time for neutrality. There can be no fitful periods of cooperation. Nations that support, facilitate or provide havens to terrorists are on the wrong side of the line. Nations unprepared to provide full cooperation will not be able to do "business as usual" with the international community.

The nations of the world are uniting to combat global terror. Our alliance is resolved that terrorism, not Islam, is our enemy. The United States has built a persuasive case to the international community that the al-Qaida terrorist network, led by Usama bin Laden, is responsible for September 11 and other acts of terror. These criminals are being sheltered by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. For years, their actions have wreaked havoc on the people of Afghanistan and their economy and they threaten more damage. Even before this latest crisis, more than five million people in Afghanistan depended on the international community for survival.

The United States is already Afghanistan's largest donor of humanitarian assistance, giving $184 million in the last fiscal year. On October 4, President Bush announced an additional $320 million in humanitarian assistance for food and medicine, to help the Afghan people face the coming winter. Now is the time for the nations of the world to live up to our words that this is a global war against terrorism -- not against Afghans. We call on every member of our coalition to make a substantial, immediate contribution to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan before many more lives are unnecessarily lost.

The Coalition: Russia

Russia is a prime example of how the fight against terror has recast our relationships. President Putin has joined the broad coalition against terror. He has offered to share intelligence information, granted overflight permissions, and promised joint search and rescue operations.

There has been an unprecedented sharing of intelligence and information on both sides of this new, fast-changing relationship. For example, in Brussels we briefed Russia on the case against Usama bin Laden and al-Qaida - sharing the same information that we had delivered to our NATO allies.

President Bush and President Putin will be meeting in Shanghai October 21 to discuss next steps and to further expand our agenda for cooperation. It will be followed by President Putin's visit to the United States in November. As we prepare for these meetings, we anticipate that our cooperation in the battle against terror will begin to set a pattern of cooperation and partnerships that will reshape our entire relationship with Russia.

We may have an opportunity to make progress on the painful issue of Chechnya. Last week we called upon the Chechen nationalist leadership, which has been fighting a long-running battle for independence from Moscow, to make a choice: separate your political and social agenda from that of international terrorist groups, disassociate from those with ties to al-Qaida and renounce terror. At the same time, we have encouraged both the Russian leadership and Chechyns to take advantage of the opening for peace that was created by President Putin on September 24.

Traditional Friends/Allies and Aspirants

Europeans leaders rightly recognized September 11 as a call to action. Beyond the words of support and expressions of solidarity, the U.S. expects such action. Our traditional friends and allies immediately recognized that the steps we take now can have a permanent effect on the ability of terrorists to act against our societies.

Germany joined other European friends to invoke the NATO collective defense mechanism - the "all for one and one for all" clause in the Washington Treaty. Our NATO allies pledged military support for the United States while fires still burned at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was among the first European officials to visit Washington in the wake of the attack. In meetings with Secretary Powell and the President on September 19, he promised his country's full commitment to the struggle against terrorism.

Germany was also among the first of our allies to take action by helping the United States to investigate the terror attacks, pursuing and arresting several suspected conspirators. Switzerland froze suspected al-Qaida assets. Austria is joining both nations in moving new legislation to prevent financing of terrorists.

The NATO aspirant countries have all fully pledged their support for the coalition against terror. Their willingness to embrace this major Alliance agenda shows they recognize the responsibilities of collective action as expressed in the Washington Treaty.

The Multilateral Agenda

The need to build a broad alliance against terrorism has also begun to shape our interactions with multilateral organizations. The United Nations rightly saw September 11 as an attack on its "home town" and was galvanized into action. The General Assembly and U.N. Security Council quickly adopted firm resolutions in the wake of the September 11 attacks, but did not stop there.

On September 28, the Security Council took aggressive action, agreeing unanimously to impose binding obligations on U.N. members to limit the ability of terrorists to operate. Security Council Resolution 1373 is a landmark decision that requires worldwide legal and banking system reforms to prevent movement, funding, training and supply of international terrorists.

We have been actively engaged with the European Union and its leadership. The agenda for action includes committing our nations to joint work on projects such as airline security, export and border controls, nonproliferation, police and judicial cooperation and extradition.

Our experts in these fields have gone to work. Europe must develop a common arrest policy that does not undercut our current, good bilateral working relationships with EU countries. We will need to cut through the red tape that hinders our intelligence and law enforcement agencies from fully sharing information, while protecting the civil liberties of our citizens and the legitimate privacy needs of our businesses. Europe needs to act quickly to replace outdated laws to cut off terrorists' financing and to share information on movements of suspicious funds.

The New Europeans and Eurasia

As former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, I often felt that our friends in Europe needed to look more closely at what should be done in terms of the Caucasus and Central Asian countries. These countries will play a critical role in this campaign against terrorism. Many of them have fought their own long battles with terrorism on their own soil. They will be strong and reliable allies in this new fight, but will require all of us in NATO, the EU and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] to look for ways to support and encourage them to make the tough decisions ahead.

We are already looking at ways to improve their security and counter-terrorism capabilities -- not to do it for them but to help them develop their local resources. President Shevardnadze of Georgia was here in Washington today and met with the President, the Vice President and Secretary Powell, and Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz. They had detailed discussions about how we could assist them in their own domestic fight against terrorism. At the same time we are exploring proposals to strengthen Central Asian and Caucasus economies and promote the kinds of political reforms that will ultimately give them long-term stability and security. I know we can count on our allies in Europe to support the same goals.

These countries have all pledged their support to the coalition against international terror. We will need their help when military action against al-Qaida leaders and cells in the region becomes necessary. One consequence of our engagement with these countries will be a long-term responsibility to work together with other Europeans to help these new European nations.

America and Europe cannot forget the friends who contribute at this time. Those who stand with us now can count on us standing with them in the future.

Beyond the Campaign Against Terror

Our response to September 11 has created a series of flexible bilateral and multilateral relationships. Beyond the effort to destroy the network that brought about the attacks on September 11, the international community now has a substantial agenda designed to protect the civilized world from further terror attacks. We will continue to pursue this agenda vigorously.

The sheer volume and complexity of America's relationship with Europe requires us to press forward on the many other items on our agenda.

It does not detract from our close relations that Europe and the United States will periodically have differences on various matters. We often refer to them as "issues." But these differences or issues amount to background noise in the context of our strong, shared values. This is a reflection of the mature U.S. - European relationship.

Before the full emergence of the terrorist threat on September 11, the U.S. agenda with Europe was already large -- much larger than most people are aware. We have been, and will be, working closely within NATO, the central institution of our strategic vision, on a variety of security issues: the prospect of enlargement to include some of Europe's newest democracies; the need to pursue a rational program of defense against missile threats; and on efforts to ensure peace in Macedonia and stability throughout the Balkans.

We are pressing for trade liberalization in our talks with the European Union and have begun planning the beginning of a new trade round. We will have to resolve our differences on U.S. foreign sales corporations (FSCs) and look at a common philosophy on anti-trust issues.

The U.S. has joined European leaders in the OSCE to expand the circle of peace and democracy. Bringing peace to the Balkans is an important common goal. We will uphold the principles of democracy, monitoring elections and speaking the truth about them. We did this in September by jointly pronouncing the Belarusian elections stolen by Alexander Lukashenko, Europe's last dictator.

We do not intend to put aside these tasks and responsibilities.

The Agenda without End

Your impressive conference program details over 150 sessions of scholarly papers on a broad variety of topics. I can identify with Americans who have devoted their professional lives to studying Germany -- I lived many years in Germany, as a child, as a student and as a diplomat. I share your deep interest in this region.

Those of us in government count on you, the academic community, to help provide the overarching political and historical explanations for our times that help us learn which paths to seek out. In future conferences, students and scholars will be presenting papers about the relationship between Europe and America at this critical juncture of history. I am confident that the days ahead will bring out the best in each of us and provide new demonstrations of our friendship and partnership, even as we are called to deal with a variety of complex issues and differences. It is a partnership that emerged from the ashes of a previous war and which is destined only to grow stronger as we face today's battle.

The period ahead looks somber and dangerous, yet we see opportunity as well. Europe and the United States are again joined in a major alliance that protects not only our people but also our way of life and basic values. We shall triumph. And we shall do it together.

Thank you very much.

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