Thanks Germany for Support Against Terror
May 23, 2002
2:13 P.M. (Local)
THE PRESIDENT: President, thank you very much for your kind introduction. And
thank you for giving me this chance to be here today. President Rau, thank you
very much; Chancellor Schroeder. I understand former Chancellor Kohl is here.
I want to thank the members of the Bundestag. How are you, sir?
I was a little nervous when the President told me that you all are on vacation.
(Laughter.) I can just imagine how my Congress would react if I called them
back to hear a speech of mine when they were on vacation. (Laughter.) But thank
you for coming. I'm so honored to be here. And my wife, Laura, and I really
appreciate the hospitality that you've shown us. (Applause.)
I've had the pleasure of welcoming your Chancellor to Washington three times,
and we have established a strong relationship. Mr. Chancellor, I'm grateful.
And now I am honored to visit this great city. The history of our time is written
in the life of Berlin. In this building, fires of hatred were set that swept
across the world. To this city, Allied planes brought food and hope during 323
days and nights of siege. Across an infamous divide, men and women jumped from
tenement buildings and crossed through razor wire to live in freedom or to die
in the attempt. One American President came here to proudly call himself a citizen
of Berlin. Another President dared the Soviets to "tear down that wall."
(Applause.) And on a night in November, Berliners took history into their hands,
and made your city whole.
In a single lifetime, the people of this capital and this country endured 12
years of dictatorial rule, suffered 40 years of bitter separation, and persevered
through this challenging decade of unification. For all these trials, Germany
has emerged a responsible, a prosperous and peaceful nation. More than a decade
ago, as the President pointed out, my father spoke of Germany and America as
partners in leadership -- and this has come to pass. A new era has arrived --
the strong Germany you have built is good for the world.
On both sides of the Atlantic, the generation of our fathers was called to shape
great events -- and they built the great transatlantic alliance of democracies.
They built the most successful alliance in history. After The Cold War, during
the relative quiet of the 1990s, some questioned whether our transatlantic partnership
still had a purpose. History has given its answer. Our generation faces new
and grave threats to liberty, to the safety of our people, and to civilization,
itself. We face an aggressive force that glorifies death, that targets the innocent,
and seeks the means to matter -- murder on a massive scale.
We face the global tragedy of disease and poverty that take uncounted lives
and leave whole nations vulnerable to oppression and terror.
We'll face these challenges together. We must face them together. Those who
despise human freedom will attack it on every continent. Those who seek missiles
and terrible weapons are also familiar with the map of Europe. Like the threats
of another era, this threat cannot be appeased or cannot be ignored. By being
patient, relentless, and resolute, we will defeat the enemies of freedom. (Applause.)
By remaining united --
PRESIDENT BUSH: By remaining united, we are meeting -- we are meeting modern
threats with the greatest resources of wealth and will ever assembled by free
nations. Together, Europe and the United States have the creative genius, the
economic power, the moral heritage, and the democratic vision to protect our
liberty and to advance our cause of peace.
Different as we are, we are building and defending the same house of freedom
-- its doors open to all of Europe's people, its windows looking out to global
challenges beyond. We must lay the foundation with a Europe that is whole and
free and at peace for the first time in its history. (Applause.) This dream
of the centuries is close at hand.
From the Argonne Forest to the Anzio beachhead, conflicts in Europe have drawn
the blood of millions, squandering and shattering lives across the earth. There
are thousands, thousands of monuments in parks and squares across my country
to young men of 18 and 19 and 20 whose lives ended in battle on this continent.
Ours is the first generation in a hundred years that does not expect and does
not fear the next European war. And that achievement -- your achievement --
is one of the greatest in modern times. (Applause.)
When Europe grows in unity, Europe and America grow in security. When you integrate
your markets and share a currency in the European Union, you are creating the
conditions for security and common purpose. In all these steps, Americans do
not see the rise of a rival, we see the end of old hostilities. We see the success
of our allies, and we applaud your progress.
The expansion of NATO will also extend the security on this continent, especially
for nations that knew little peace or security in the last century. We have
moved cautiously in this direction. Now we must act decisively.
As our summit in Prague approaches, America is committed to NATO membership
for all of Europe's democracies that are ready to share in the responsibilities
that NATO brings. (Applause.) Every part of Europe should share in the security
and success of this continent. A broader alliance will strengthen NATO -- it
will fulfill NATO's promise.
Another mission we share is to encourage the Russian people to find their future
in Europe, and with America. (Applause.) Russia has its best chance since 1917
to become a part of Europe's family. Russia's transformation is not finished;
the outcome is not yet determined. But for all the problems and challenges,
Russia is moving toward freedom -- more freedom in its politics and its markets;
freedom that will help Russia to act as a great and a just power. A Russia at
peace with its neighbors, respecting the legitimate rights of minorities, is
welcome in Europe. (Applause.)
A new Russian-American partnership is being forged. Russia is lending crucial
support in the war on global terror. A Russian colonel now works on the staff
of U.S. Army General Tommy Franks, commander of the war in Afghanistan. And
in Afghanistan, itself, Russia is helping to build hospitals and a better future
for the Afghan people.
America and Europe must throw off old suspicions and realize our common interests
with Russia. Tomorrow in Moscow, President Putin and I will again act upon these
The United States and Russia are ridding ourselves of the last vestiges of cold
War confrontation. (Applause.) We have moved beyond an ABM treaty that prevented
us from defending our people and our friends. Some warned that moving beyond
the ABM treaty would cause an arms race. Instead, President Putin and I are
about to sign the most dramatic nuclear arms reduction in history. Both the
United States and Russia will reduce our nuclear arsenals by about two-thirds
-- to the lowest levels in decades. (Applause.)
Old arms agreements sought to manage hostility and maintain a balance of terror.
This new agreement recognizes that Russia and the West are no longer enemies.
The entire transatlantic alliance is forming a new relationship with Russia.
Next week in Rome, Chancellor Schroeder, NATO allies, and I will meet as equal
partners with President Putin at the creation of the NATO-Russia Council. The
Council gives us an opportunity to build common security against common threats.
We will start with projects on nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and search-and-rescue
operations. Over time, we will expand this cooperation, even as we preserve
the core mission of NATO. Many generations have looked at Russia with alarm.
Our generation can finally lift this shadow from Europe by embracing the friendship
of a new democratic Russia. (Applause.)
As we expand our alliance, as we reach out to Russia, we must also look beyond
Europe to gathering dangers and important responsibilities. As we build the
house of freedom, we must meet the challenges of a larger world. And we must
meet them together.
For the United States, September the 11th, 2001 cut a deep dividing line in
our history -- a change of eras as sharp and clear as Pearl Harbor, or the first
day of the Berlin Blockade. There can be no lasting security in a world at the
mercy of terrorists -- for my nation, or for any nation. (Applause.)
Given this threat, NATO's defining purpose -- our collective defense -- is as
urgent as ever. America and Europe need each other to fight and win the war
against global terror. My nation is so grateful for the sympathy of the German
people, and for the strong support of Germany and all of Europe.
Troops from more than a dozen European countries have deployed in and around
Afghanistan, including thousands from this country -- the first deployment of
German forces outside of Europe since 1945. German soldiers have died in this
war, and we mourn their loss as we do our own. German authorities are on the
trail of terrorist cells and finances. And German police are helping Afghans
build their own police force. And we're so grateful for the support.
Together, we oppose an enemy that thrives on violence and the grief of the innocent.
The terrorists are defined by their hatreds: they hate democracy and tolerance
and free expression and women and Jews and Christians and all Muslims who disagree
with them. Others killed in the name of racial purity, or the class struggle.
These enemies kill in the name of a false religious purity, perverting the faith
they claim to hold. (Applause.) In this war we defend not just America or Europe;
we are defending civilization, itself. (Applause.)
The evil that has formed against us has been termed the "new totalitarian
threat." The authors of terror are seeking nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons. Regimes that sponsor terror are developing these weapons and the missiles
to deliver them. If these regimes and their terrorist allies were to perfect
these capabilities, no inner voice of reason, no hint of conscience would prevent
Wishful thinking might bring comfort, but not security. Call this a strategic
challenge; call it, as I do, axis of evil; call it by any name you choose, but
let us speak the truth. (Applause.) If we ignore this threat, we invite certain
blackmail, and place millions of our citizens in grave danger.
Our response will be reasoned, and focused, and deliberate. We will use more
than our military might. We will cut off terrorist finances, apply diplomatic
pressure, and continue to share intelligence. America will consult closely with
our friends and allies at every stage. But make no mistake about it, we will
and we must confront this conspiracy against our liberty and against our lives.
As it faces new threats, NATO needs a new strategy and new capabilities. Dangers
originating far from Europe can now strike at Europe's heart -- so NATO must
be able and willing to act whenever threats emerge. This will require all the
assets of modern defense -- mobile and deployable forces, sophisticated special
operations, the ability to fight under the threat of chemical and biological
weapons. Each nation must focus on the military strengths it can bring to this
alliance, with the hard choices and financial commitment that requires. We do
not know where the next threat might come from, we really don't know what form
it might take. But we must be ready, as full military partners, to confront
threats to our common security.
One way to make ourselves more secure is to address the regional conflicts that
enflame violence. Our work in the Balkans and Afghanistan shows how much we
can achieve when we stand together. We must continue to stand for peace in the
Middle East. That peace must assure the permanent safety of the Jewish people.
(Applause.) And that peace must provide the Palestinian people with a state
of their own. (Applause.)
In the midst of terrorist violence in the Middle East, the hope of a lasting
accord may seem distant. That's how many once viewed the prospect of peace between
Poland and Germany, Germany and France, France and England, Protestant and Catholic.
Yet, after generations of traded violence and humiliation, we have seen enemies
become partners and allies in a new Europe. We pray the same healing, the same
shedding of hatred, might come to the Middle East. And we will be unrelenting
in our quest for that peace. (Applause.)
We must recognize that violence and resentment are defeated by the advance of
health, and learning, and prosperity. Poverty doesn't create terror -- yet,
terror takes root in failing nations that cannot police themselves or provide
for their people. Our conscience and our interests speak as one: to achieve
a safer world, we must create a better world.
The expansion of trade in our time is one of the primary reasons for our progress
against poverty. At Doha, we committed to build on this progress, and we must
keep that commitment. (Applause.) Trans-Atlantic nations must resolve the small,
disputed portion of our vast trading relationship within the rules and settlement
mechanisms of the World Trade Organization -- whether those disputes concern
tax law, steel, agricultural or biotechnology.
For all nations -- for all nations to gain the benefit of global markets, they
need populations that are healthy and literate. To help developing nations achieve
these goals, leaders of wealthy nations have a duty of conscience -- (applause.)
We have a duty to share our wealth generously and wisely. Those who lead poor
nations have a duty to their own people -- but they have a duty as well: to
pursue reforms that turn temporary aid into lasting progress.
I've proposed that new American aid be directed to nations on that path of reform.
The United States will increase our core development assistance by 50 percent
over the next three budget years. (Applause.) It will be up to a level of $5
billion a year, above and beyond that which we already contribute to development.
When nations are governed justly, the people benefit. When nations are governed
unjustly, for the benefit of a corrupt few, no amount of aid will help the people
in need. (Applause.) When nations are governed justly -- when nations are governed
justly, investing in education and health, and encouraging economic freedom,
they will have our help. And more importantly, these rising nations will have
their own ability and, eventually, the resources necessary to battle disease
and improve their environment, and build lives of dignity for their people.
Members of the Bundestag, we are joined in serious purpose -- very serious purposes
-- on which the safety of our people and the fate of our freedom now rest. We
build a world of justice, or we will live in a world of coercion. The magnitude
of our shared responsibilities makes our disagreements look so small. And those
who exaggerate our differences play a shallow game and hold a simplistic view
of our relationship. (Applause.)
America and the nations in Europe are more than military allies, we're more
than trading partners; we are heirs to the same civilization. The pledges of
the Magna Carta, the learning of Athens, the creativity of Paris, the unbending
conscience of Luther, the gentle faith of St. Francis -- all of these are part
of the American soul. The New World has succeeded by holding to the values of
Our histories have diverged, yet we seek to live by the same ideals. We believe
in free markets, tempered by compassion. We believe in open societies that reflect
unchanging truths. We believe in the value and dignity of every life. (Applause.)
These convictions bind our civilization together and set our enemies against
us. These convictions are universally true and right. And they define our nations
and our partnership in a unique way. And these beliefs lead us to fight tyranny
and evil, as others have done before us.
One of the greatest Germans of the 20th century was Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
(Applause) -- who left the security of America to stand against Nazi rule. In
a dark hour, he gave witness to the Gospel of life, and paid the cost of his
discipleship, being put to death only days before his camp was liberated.
"I believe," said Bonhoeffer, "that God can and wants to create
good out of everything, even evil."
That belief is proven in the history of Europe since that day -- in the reconciliation
and renewal that have transformed this continent. In America, very recently,
we have also seen the horror of evil and the power of good. In the tests of
our time, we are affirming our deepest values and our closest friendships. Inside
this chamber, across this city, throughout this nation and continent, America
has valued friends. (Applause.) And with our friends we are building that house
of freedom -- for our time and for all time.