Monday, February 21, 2005

Spreading Liberty

Here is a pretty impressive speech by President Bush today in Brussels, in which he once agin lays out his vision of spreading democracy in the Middle East as a strategy for long-term peace and security. He talks about Israel and the Palestinians; Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Ukraine and emphasizes the common heritage of liberty that both the U.S. and Europe possess that will continue to make them allies to further freedom:

This strategy is not American strategy, or European strategy, or Western strategy. Spreading liberty for the sake of peace is the cause of all mankind. This approach not only reduces a danger to free peoples; it honors the dignity of all peoples, by placing human rights and human freedom at the center of our agenda. And our alliance has the ability, and the duty, to tip the balance of history in favor of freedom.

We know there are many obstacles, and we know the road is long. Albert Camus said that, "Freedom is a long-distance race." We're in that race for the duration -- and there is reason for optimism. Oppression is not the wave of the future; it is the desperate tactic of a few backward-looking men. Democratic nations grow in strength because they reward and respect the creative gifts of their people. And freedom is the direction of history, because freedom is the permanent hope of humanity.

If you read the entire speech, you will see that Bush is conciliatory to the Europeans, but is not backing down one inch on American policy in any area. Bravo!

UPDATE: An extended discussion of the speech is up at New Sisyphus: "Our Man in Brussels"

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