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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 689-05
July 07, 2005

Statement by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on London Bombings

This morning, the civilized world watched with concern as the people of London saw the face of violence and brutality. We offer our deepest sympathies to the families who have lost loved ones and to those who were wounded.

 

Too often the global struggle against violent extremists is discussed in a context that can distract from the harsh reality that its victims are innocent mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, and neighbors we see and work with every day.

 

Images from London have shown faces filled with tears and shock. Such faces are sadly familiar to us here in America. However, reports from London are already telling of calm passengers, compassionate strangers, and courageous rescuers. And that too is familiar -- the grace and humanity that contrasts vividly with the hatred and violence of terrorists.

 

The London attacks have a special resonance for the American people -- for America has no stronger or closer ally in the world than Great Britain. We are bound together by a common heritage, a common language, and a deeply shared commitment to freedom. As President Bush indicated earlier this morning, the United States will stand with the British people with unflinching resolve.

 

Though it is not yet known with certainty precisely who is responsible, we do know terrorists intentions. They strike without warning and without regard for human life in the hope that they can frighten and intimidate free people -- to change our way of life. And they won't stop until their side or our side has prevailed.

 

But if these terrorists thought they could intimidate the people of a great nation, they picked the wrong people and the wrong nation. For generations, tyrants, fascists, and terrorists have sought to carry out their violent designs upon the British people only to founder upon its unrelenting shores.

 

Before long, I suspect that those responsible for these acts will encounter British steel. Their kind of steel has an uncommon strength. It does not bend or break.

 

The British have learned from history that this kind of evil must be confronted. It cannot be appeased. Our two countries understand well that once a people give in to terrorists demands, whatever they are, their demands will grow.

 

The British people are determined and resolute. And I know the people of the United States are proud to stand at their side.

 

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