Wikiquote:Transwiki/American History Primary Sources Clash of Civilizations

The World After the Cold War

The Kuwait War (1990-1991)

1991 The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated. We’re seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky. CNN correspondent Bernard Shaw, reporting from Baghdad on the start of the air phase of Operation Desert Storm (January 16, 1991).

1991 The world could wait no longer.... While the world waited, Saddam Hussein met every overture of peace with open contempt. President George H. W. Bush (January 16, 1991)

What Will the New World Look Like?

1989 America is to entertainment what... Saudi Arabia is to oil. The Economist.

1991 Now we can see... the very real prospect of a new world order, a world in which freedom and a respect for human rights find a home among all nations. President George H. W. Bush

1992 Just as wars — two World Wars and, equally important, the Cold War — dominated the geopolitical map of the 20th century, economics will rule over the 21st. All the big questions confronting the world in the century ahead are basically economic. Journalist Bruce W. Nelan


1991 The defense of freedom and the promotion of democracy around the world aren’t merely a reflection of our deepest values; they are vital to our national interests. Global democracy means nations at peace with one another, open to one another’s ideas and one another’s commerce. Former Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

1992 It was, it is, an unparalleled situation in history, one which presents us with the rarest opportunities to shape the world to do so wisely. President George H. W. Bush and National Security Brent Scowcroft in A World Transformed, the statement of national security strategy.

1993 We know that it’s not just the United States, no wealthy country in the world today can create new jobs without expanding trade. It cannot be done. President Bill Clinton, speech supporting passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which removed trade barriers between The United States, Canada, and Mexico (October 20, 1993).

1993 In the post-Cold War world, we will no longer require our people to carry an unfair burden for the rest of humanity. Representative Dana Rorabacher (Republican-California)

1995 The United States must lead, period. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (Republican-Georgia).


2001 I see water and buildings.... Oh, my God! Final words of Madeline Amy Sweeney, flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, calling her supervisor in Boston on a cell phone in the plane’s galley, as the plane headed down the Hudson River toward New York City. Moments later, at 8:46 A.M., Islamic terrorists crashed the plane into the 96th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center.

2001 Let’s roll. Final words of Todd Beamer, a passenger on the American Airlines Flight 93 that was crash-landed in western Pennsylvania. Beamer led passengers -- who had learned of the other plane crashes on 9/11 -- in an attack on the terrorist hijackers, preventing them from crashing the plane into either the White House or the capitol in Washington.

2001 We have a lot of heroes and we lost a lot of good people. New York City firefighter after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

2001 The New York City firefighters who lost their lives will be remembered among the greatest heroes of American history. Like the brave soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy and those who raised the flag over Iwo Jima, our firefighters... gave their lives defending our liberty. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mayor of New York on September 11, 2001, in Brotherhood.

2001 We are all Americans Headline in the French newspaper Le Monde, the day following the attacks of 9/11.

2001 al Qaeda “The Base” (name of the Islamic terrorist organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which was responsible for the attacks of 9/11).

2001 On September the eleventh, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars — but for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war — but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning. Americans have known surprise attacks — but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day — and night fell on a different world, a world in which freedom itself is under attack.... The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics — a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.... This group [al-Qaeda] and its leader, a person named Osama bin Laden, are linked to many other organizations in different countries.... [The terrorists] hate what they see right here in this chamber — a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms — our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.... This is not, however, just America’s fight. This is civilization’s fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance, and freedom.... The civilized world is rallying to America’s side. They understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror, unanswered, can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments.... I ask you to uphold the values of America, and remember why so many have come here. We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith.... We have seen the state of our union in the endurance of rescuers working past exhaustion. We’ve seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.... The entire world has seen 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 justice to our enemies, justice will be done.... 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, and nation that continues to harbor of support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.... 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 and by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. Pres. George W. Bush, address before a joint session of Congress nine days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks (September 20, 2001).

2001 GWOT Global War on Terror (term used by the Department of Defense).

2001 Our spirit is unbroken. In fact, it is stronger than ever. Today we reaffirm our faith in the essential dignity of every individual. What we share as Americans and as human beings is far greater than what divides us. Actor James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars) and former U.S. Army officer, in a prayer service after 9/11 (September 23, 2001).

2002 Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign may not be finished on our watch — yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch. Pres. Bush, 2002 State of the Union address (January 29, 2002)

2004 The terrorists continue to plot against America and the civilized world.... We must continue to give homeland security and law enforcement personnel every tool they need to defend us. And one of those essential tools is the Patriot Act, which allows federal law enforcement to better share information, to track terrorists, to disrupt our cells, and to seize their assets. President George W. Bush, State of the Union address (January 20, 2004).