Bush: America Must Fight Terror, Defend Its Values
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 30, 2002 The United States has a special mission to defend justice and advance freedom, President Bush said today.
"We must defend the land we love and act on the ideals that gave it birth," he said in an address to the Commonwealth and Churchill Clubs in San Jose, Calif.
Security is the government's central commitment, the president stressed. "Whenever America fights for the security of our country, we also fight for the values of our country."
Bush talked of the ongoing military campaign against terrorism and then announced a new plan linking financial aid for global development to a commitment to democratic ideals.
"We are in for a long and difficult war," he said. "It will be conducted on many fronts. But as long as it takes, we will prevail."
U.S. and coalition forces, he said, have completed the first phase of America's military operation by liberating the people of Afghanistan from a barbaric regime. "Terrorists in that country are now scattered. And the children of Afghanistan have returned to school -- boys and girls. We're helping the Afghan people to rebuild their nation."
U.S. forces performed with skill, success and honor, the president said, but the work is not over. "In every cave, in every dark corner of that country, we will hunt down the killers and bring them to justice," he vowed.
The next phase of the war involves "a sustained international effort to rout out terrorists in other countries and deny al Qaeda the chance to regroup. He repeated his oft-spoken warning: "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists."
For long-term security, Bush said the nation must confront the grave threat of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists or hostile regimes. "We will not allow the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten America, our friends and allies, with the world's most destructive weapons," he said.
Bush, who has called on Israel and Palestine to end their ethnic and religious strife and to live side-by-side peacefully, noted that America is founded on a basic belief in equality and opportunity.
"We're one people, committed to building a single nation of justice and opportunity. America rejects bigotry," the president said. "We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith. We reject the ancient evil of anti-Semitism whether it is practiced by the killers of Daniel Pearl or by those who burn synagogues in France.
"America values and welcomes peaceful people of all faiths, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others. Every faith is practiced and protected here because we are one country. Every immigrant can be fully and equally American, because we're one country. Race and color should not divide us, because America is one country."
To ensure the United States remains the land of equal opportunity that has attracted millions of people from across the world, he called for a philosophy of "compassionate conservatism."
"Government cannot solve every problem," he said, "but it can encourage people and communities to help themselves and to help one another." He called for reforming public schools, transforming welfare, promoting charities, community groups and faith-based institutions.
Bush also called for a new compact for global development. He said he has proposed a 50 percent increase in core development assistance over the next three budget years. The money would be placed in a new Millennium Challenge account.
"Greater aid contributions from America must be and will be linked to greater responsibility from developing nations," he said. In return for funds, nations must rout out corruption, open their markets, respect human rights and adhere to the rule of law. "These are the keys to progress in any nation, and they will be the conditions for any new American aid."
In the seven months since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, Bush said, America's strong, confident, self-governing people have been united by common dangers and by common resolve.
"We in our time will defend our nation, and we will deliver our nation's promise to all who seek it," he concluded. "In our war on terrorism, we are showing the world the strength of our country. By our unity and tolerance and compassion, we will show the world the soul of our country."