The Guardian October 29, 2003


War, intervention, Western interests

On Thursday October 23, US President George Walker Bush 
addressed a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament in 
Canberra. He spoke of war, terrorism, US intervention and 
enforcement of collective security and US values  with an ever 
loyal Australia at its side. The following is an edited version 
of his speech.

Some five months ago your Prime Minister was a distinguished 
visitor to our ranch in Crawford, Texas. You might remember that 
I called him a man of steel. That is Texan for "fair dinkum". 
Prime Minister John Howard is a leader of exceptional courage who 
exemplifies the finest qualities of one of the world's greatest 
democracies. I am proud to call him "friend".

In 100 years of experience, American soldiers have come to know 
the courage and good fellowship of the diggers at their side. We 
fought together in the Battle of Hamel, in the Coral Sea, in New 
Guinea, on the Korean Peninsula and in Vietnam. And, in the war 
on terror, once again we are at each other's side.

In this war, the Australian and American people have witnessed 
the methods of the enemy. We saw the scope of their hatred on 
September 11, 2001. We saw the depth of their cruelty on October 
12, 2002. We saw destruction and grief  and we saw our duty.

Your nation and mine have known the shock and felt the sorrow and 
laid the dead to rest, and we refuse to live our lives at the 
mercy of murderers.

The nature of the terrorist threat defines the strategy we are 
using to fight it. These committed killers will not be stopped by 
negotiations. They will not respond to reason. The terrorists 
cannot be appeased. They must be found, they must be fought and 
they must be defeated.

The terrorists hide and strike within free societies, so we are 
draining their funds, disrupting their plans and finding their 
leaders. The skilled work of Thai, Indonesian and other 
authorities in capturing the terrorist Hambali  suspected of 
planning the murders in Bali and other attacks  was a model of 
the determined campaign we are waging.

The terrorists seek safe harbour to plot and to train, so we are 
holding the allies of terror to account. America, Australia and 
other nations acted in Afghanistan to destroy the home base of 
al-Qaida and rid that country of a terror regime. And the Afghan 
people, especially the Afghan women, do not miss the bullying, 
the beatings and the public executions at the hands of the 
Taliban.

The terrorists hope to gain chemical, biological or nuclear 
weapons  the means to match their hatred. So we are confronting 
outlaw regimes that aid terrorists, that pursue weapons of mass 
destruction and that defy the demands of the world.

Today, Saddam Hussein's regime is gone, and no-one should mourn 
its passing.

In the months leading up to our action in Iraq, Australia and 
America went to the United Nations.

We are committed to multi-lateral institutions, because global 
threats require a global response. We are committed to collective 
secur-ity, and collective security requires more than solemn 
discussions and sternly worded pronouncements. It requires 
collective will. The res-olutions of the world are to be more 
than ink on paper.

They must be enforced.

Must enforce security

If the institutions of the world are to be more than debating 
societies, they must eventually act. If the world promises 
serious consequences for the defiance of the lawless, then 
serious consequences must follow. Because we enforced resolution 
1441 and used force in Iraq as a last resort, there is one more 
free nation in the world and all free nations are more secure.

Members and Senators, with decisive victories behind us we have 
decisive days ahead. We cannot let up on our offensive against 
terror even a bit. We must continue to build stability and peace 
in the Middle East and Asia as the altern-atives to hatred and 
fear.

We seek the rise of freedom and self-government in Afghanistan 
and in Iraq for the benefit of their people, as an example to 
their neighbours and for the security of the world.

America and Australia are helping the people of both those 
nations to defend themselves, to build the institutions of law 
and democracy and to establish the beginnings of free enterprise. 
These are difficult tasks in civil societies racked by years of 
tyranny.

It should surprise no-one that the remnants and advocates of 
tyranny should fight liberty's advance. The advance of liberty 
will not be halted.

The terrorists in the Taliban and Saddam hold-outs are 
desperately trying to stop our progress. They will fail. The 
people of Afghanistan and Iraq measure progress every day. They 
are losing the habits of fear and they are gaining the habits of 
freedom.

Some are sceptical about the prospects for democracy in the 
Middle East and wonder if its culture can support free 
institutions. In fact, freedom has always had its sceptics.

Some doubted that Japan and other Asian countries could ever 
adopt the ways of self-government. The same doubts have been 
heard at various times about Germans and Africans.

At the time of the Magna Carta, the English were not considered 
the most promising recruits for democracy. To be honest, 
sophisticated observers had serious reservations about the 
scruffy travellers who founded our two countries.

Every milestone of liberty was considered impossible before it 
was achieved. In our time we must decide our own belief: either 
freedom is the privilege of an elite few or it is the right and 
capacity of all humanity.

By serving our ideals we also serve our interests.

If the Middle East remains a place of anger and hopelessness and 
incitement, this world will tend toward division and chaos and 
violence. Only the spread of freedom and hope in the Middle East 
in the long term will bring peace to that region and beyond. The 
liberation of more than 50 million Iraqis and Afghans from 
tyranny is progress to be proud of.

Our nations must also confront the immediate threat of 
proliferation. We cannot allow the growing ties of trade and the 
forces of globalisation to be used for the secret transport of 
lethal materials.

Pacific responsibility

So our two countries are joining together in the Proliferation 
Security Initiative. We are preparing to search planes, ships, 
trains and trucks carrying suspect cargo, to seize weapons or 
missile shipments that raise proliferation concerns. Last month 
Australia hosted the first maritime interdiction exercise in the 
Coral Sea.

Australia and the United States are also keeping pressure on Iran 
to conform to the letter and the spirit of its non-proliferation 
obligations.

We are working together to convince North Korea that the 
continued pursuit of nuclear weapons will bring only further 
isolation.

The wrong weapons, the wrong technology in the wrong hands, have 
never been so great a danger and we are meeting that danger 
together.

Our nations have a special responsibility throughout the Pacific 
to help keep the peace, to ensure the free movement of people, 
capital and information, and to advance the ideals of democracy 
and freedom.

America will continue to maintain a foreign presence in Asia and 
continue to work closely with Australia. Today America and 
Australia are working with Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, 
Indonesia, Singapore and other nations to expand trade and to 
fight terror  to keep the peace, including peace in the Taiwan 
straits.

Your country is hosting President Hu Jintao. Australia's agenda 
with China is the same as my country's. We are encouraged by 
China's co-operation in the war on terror. We are working with 
China to ensure the Korean Peninsula is free of nuclear weapons. 
We see a China that is stable and prosperous, a nation that 
respects the peace of its neighbours and works to secure the 
freedom of its own people.

Security in the Asia-Pacific region will always depend on the 
willingness of nations to take responsibility for their 
neighbourhood, as Australia is doing.

Your service and your sacrifice helped to establish a new 
government and a new nation in East Timor. In working with New 
Zealand and other Pacific island states you are helping Solomon 
Islands re-establish order and build a just government. By your 
principled actions Australia is leading the way to peace in 
South-East Asia, and America is grateful.

Together my country, with Australia, is promoting greater 
economic opportunity. Our nations are now working to complete a 
US-Australia free trade agreement that will add momentum to free 
trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region while producing jobs in 
our own countries.

The relationship between America and Australia is vibrant and 
vital. Together we will meet the challenges and the perils of our 
own time.

In the desperate hours of another time, when the Philippines was 
on the verge of falling and your country faced the prospect of 
invasion, General Douglas MacArthur addressed members of the 
Australian Parliament. He spoke of a code that unites our two 
nations, the code of free people, which, he said "embraces the 
things that are right and condemns the things that are wrong". 
More than 60 years later, that code still guides us.

We call evil by its name. We stand for freedom that leads to 
peace. Our alliance is strong. We value more than ever the 
unbroken friendship between the Australian and the American 
peoples.

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