Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.
Fun While It Lasted
President Bush, January 20
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
Three days later
So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.
We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.
All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.
Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.
The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."
The leaders of governments with long habits of control need to know: To serve your people you must learn to trust them. Start on this journey of progress and justice, and America will walk at your side.
President Bush's call for an end to tyranny worldwide should not be interpreted by foreign governments and the American people as a prelude to a more aggressive and bellicose foreign policy in his second term, the president's father told reporters yesterday.
Some interpreted the speech as presaging a more confrontational relationship with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other nations that are allies in the war on terrorism but also have records of abusing human rights.
White House officials said in interviews Friday that Bush was not signaling a shift in policy but rather seeking to clarify what administration officials call the "Bush doctrine of liberty" that the president feels should guide policy well after he leaves the White House. The president's father reinforced that message yesterday.
People "certainly ought to not read into [the speech] any arrogance on the part of the United States," the former president said during an impromptu visit to the White House briefing room.