U.S., India Partners in Cause of Liberty, Bush Says
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 3, 2006 With support from the United States and India, the universal value of freedom has the power to change the world for the better, President Bush said in New Delhi today.
"The United States and India, separated by half the globe, are closer than ever before, and the partnership between our free nations has the power to transform the world," Bush said on the second day of his two-day stay in India. "India in the 21st century is a natural partner of the United States, because we are brothers in the cause of human liberty."
Bush said India and the United States are working together to achieve two main objectives: to expand freedom and economic prosperity across the globe and to defeat international terrorism. He said the partnership between the two countries has "deep and sturdy roots" based on common values, such as the belief all people are created equal and are endowed with certain fundamental rights.
The president said terrorists resort to violence because they are opposed to these values. "The terrorists are followers of a violent ideology that calls for the murder of Christians and Hindus and Sikhs and Jews and vast numbers of Muslims who do not share their radical views," he said. "The terrorists' goal is to impose a hateful vision that denies all political and religious freedom."
Terrorists lack the military strength to challenge great nations directly, Bush said, so they use fear as a weapon. "When terrorists murder innocent office workers in New York or kill shoppers at a market in Delhi or blow up commuters in London, they hope these horrors will break our will," he said.
Bush said terrorists are wrong to think they can frighten free nations into giving up without a fight. "America and India love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it," he said.
In the long term, winning the war on terrorism requires changing the conditions that foster terror, Bush said. Hatred must be replaced by hope, opportunity must replace despair, and freedom must prevail everywhere, he said. "Free societies do not harbor terrorists or breed resentment. Free societies respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors. Free societies are peaceful societies," he said.
People in places such as North Korea, Burma, Syria, Zimbabwe, Iran and Cuba desire to be free, and democratic nations must not ignore this fact, Bush said. "Our nations must not pretend that the people of these countries prefer their own enslavement," he said. "We must stand with reformers and dissidents and civil society organizations and hasten the day when the people of these nations can determine their own future and choose their own leaders."
Bush pointed out that 60 years ago there were fewer than two dozen democracies in the world, while today there are more than 100. "The advance for freedom is the great story of our time," he said. "There's only one history of man -- and it leads to freedom."