(WEST ORANGE, OCTOBER 7) - GOP gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler, responding to President Bush’s announcement of the onset of military action against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, today issued the following statement:
“President Bush today began a new phase in the war against terrorism he declared two weeks ago, launching Operation Enduring Freedom -- an aptly named military operation if ever there was one. In his remarks from the White House, the President made clear that he decided to go forward only after much deliberation and a great deal of prayer, and declared that theoperation would be ‘sustained, comprehensive, and relentless.’
“I commend the President for his decision, offer my full support, and urge lovers of liberty the world over to support us now, in what will be the finest hour of this generation. The President’s plan -- to target terrorist networks and those who support them directly -- is exactly the right policy. He is pursuing it well, and it will be successful.
“It is important to understand that the President has not declared war on Islam. Our coalition includes such predominantly Islamic countries as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan. This is a war against those who hate freedom, who devalue human life, who hate the idea that we are ALL God’s children.
“We offer gratitude to the men and women of our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines for the sacrifices they make to protect us and our loved ones, and keep them in our prayers as well. And we offer support and prayers to our leaders at all levels, that they may be blessed with courage, compassion, and wisdom in these uncertain times.
“America faces a difficult time ahead. Now more than ever, we must have leaders of courage and vision, who understand the risks before us and know how to bring people together in a common enterprise, to defeat the scourge of international terrorism and protect our freedoms.”