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Berger Addresses Concerns of War

Clinton's national security adviser said the United States must make sure it gives as much as it receives from other countries.

In a lecture titled "America's Fight Against Terrorism: Challenges and Change," Berger addressed the consequences of the Sept. 11 attacks and focused on five main areas of concern: the enemy, achieving success, returning to a sense of normalcy, the alignment of the political world and the U.S. economy.

Berger said he supports the Bush administration's response. He said he agrees with President Bush's decision to identify all terrorists as enemies of the United States. "The targeting of innocent civilians, regardless of cause or grievance, is simply impermissible," Berger said.

Although he recognized all terrorist organizations as the enemy, Berger said America primarily should target al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. He said the American public should view bin Laden and al-Qaida as formidable but not invincible.

"We always make our enemies 10 feet tall. Our enemies are not 10 feet tall," he said. "They can hide, but there are no magic carpets in Afghanistan. They cannot disappear."

Berger was foreign policy adviser during Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, served as deputy national security adviser during Clinton's first presidential term and was national security adviser during Clinton's second term. He is currently a foreign relations consultant in the private sector.

The speech was one in a series made possible in part by a $10 million donation from UNC alumnus Austin Gardner.

Berger said Americans must prepare for a long campaign and not anticipate immediate success. He said the United States eventually will succeed if the public is unrelenting in its support.

But he said the nation must be careful how it conducts the war, keeping in mind the political situation in other countries and the issues their leaders face. Berger said it is crucial at this time for America to contribute as much as it receives from other countries. Berger said the nation needs more enterprises like UNC's plan to establish a satellite business school in Qatar.

He said Americans do not need to accept terror but must be willing to adjust. "As a mature country, we need to realize we will not return to a terror-free America," Berger said.

The Sept. 11 attacks, he said, "not only buckled the steel pillars of the World Trade Center towers but placed a real strain on certain pillars of the economy." Berger said the impact of the attacks will be felt into the future but that the economy will adjust.

The general audience response was positive, despite a few antagonistic questions after the speech.

Sean Michnowicz, a sophomore peace, war, and defense major at UNC, said he was impressed that Berger was politically impartial during his speech. "Despite ideological differences, he backed the president," Michnowicz said.

Linda Esner, a Chapel Hill resident, said Berger's speech was illuminating. "He took a tremendous subject and made it understandable and uplifting."

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