AP White House CorrespondentWASHINGTON (AP) -- A defensive President Bush said Friday the war in Afghanistan is unraveling the al-Qaida terrorist network and he chastised critics who are clamoring for more action. "This is not an instant gratification war," he said.
In a Rose Garden question-and-answer session, Bush pledged revenge against Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and his organization. The president said the U.S. military campaign will not pause for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, which starts in mid-November.
"The enemy won't rest during Ramadan and neither will we," Bush said after a meeting with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who stood at his side.
"We're going to get him," he said of bin Laden, "and them."
The remarks came as polls show American increasingly are nervous about the anti-terrorism campaign. The percentage of people who think the military will capture bin Laden has declined since the campaign began more than a month ago, as has the percentage of people who think the international alliance will hold.
"This is not an instant gratification war. This is a struggle for freedom and liberty. This is a struggle for the ability of Americans and their children to live in peace," Bush said. "That's why I can assure our allies and assure the American people that for so long as I'm the president this will be our focus."