Bush Touts Victory Over Taliban on Pearl Harbor Anniversary

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - President Bush Friday celebrated America's victory over the Taliban, saying the war on terrorism would end in victory, not in "truce or a treaty."

He marked the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor by visiting veterans and crew of the USS Enterprise in Norfolk, Va.

"This struggle will not end in a truce or a treaty. It will end in victory for the United States, our friends and the cause of freedom," he said to a cheering audience.

Bush mocked Osama bin Laden and his followers for sending young followers to die doing their dirty work.

"They celebrate death, making a mission of murder and a sacrament of suicide. Yet for some reason only young followers are ushered down this deadly path to paradise while terrorist leaders run into caves to save their own hides," the president said.

Bin Laden is believed to be hiding out in a cave. Meanwhile, the U.S. is uncertain of the whereabouts of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who brokered a deal with tribal leaders to surrender Taliban weapons in Kandahar Friday, officials said.

According to reports from the ground in Afghanistan, Omar escaped during the surrender.

"We simply do not know where he is right now, but that does not lead me to believe he has vanished," said U.S. commander Gen. Tommy Franks at a press briefing.

"We're pretty sure he's in Kandahar," White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told reporters on Air Force One on the way to Norfolk, Va.

Franks said the situation in Kandahar remained unstable and it could take two or three days to receive a reliable assessment of the situation on the ground.

He could not say exactly how many armed Taliban fighters left Kandahar, but he said it did not appear to be a large number.