Presidential Radio Address - 31 May 2003
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This weekend I am beginning a journey to Europe and the Middle East. My first stop is Poland, the home of a proud people who have known both the horror of tyranny and the hope of liberty.
On a visit to Warsaw two years ago, I affirmed our nation's commitment to a united Europe, bound to America by close ties of history, commerce and friendship. Today we are striving for a world in which men and women can live in freedom and peace, instead of in fear and chaos, and every civilized nation has a stake in the outcome.
Poland and America are proud members of NATO, and our military alliance must be prepared to meet the challenges of our time. Our common security requires European governments to invest in modern military capabilities so our forces can move quickly with a precision that can strike the guilty and spare the innocent.
NATO must show resolve and foresight to act beyond Europe, and it has begun to do so. NATO has agreed to lead security forces in Afghanistan and to support Polish allies in Iraq. A strong NATO alliance, with a broad vision of its role, will serve our security and the cause of peace.
In the last 20 months, the world has seen the determination of our nation, and many others, to fight the forces of terror. Yet armed force is always a last resort, and Americans know that terrorism is not defeated by military power alone. We believe that the ultimate answer to hatred is hope. The ideology of terrorism takes hold in an atmosphere of resentment and despair. And so we help men and women around the world to build lives of purpose and dignity.
In Africa and elsewhere, America is committed to a comprehensive, $15-billion effort to prevent and treat AIDS and provide humane care for its victims. I urge our partners in Europe to make a similar commitment, so we can work together in turning the tide against AIDS in Africa. My administration has proposed an emergency famine fund, so we can rush help to countries where the first signs of famine appear. The nations of Europe can greatly help in this effort with emergency funds of their own. I urge European governments to reconsider policies that discourage African farmers from using safe biotechnology to feed their own people.
I have also proposed a 50-percent increase in America's core development assistance to help spur economic growth and alleviate poverty. This aid will go where it will do the most good -- not to corrupt elites, but to nations with leaders that respect the rule of law, invest in the health and education of their people, and encourage economic freedom. If European governments will adopt these same standards, we can work side-by-side in providing the kind of development aid that helps transform entire societies.
America and Europe are called to advance the cause of freedom and peace. Next week in the Middle East, I will meet with the Palestinian and Israeli Prime Ministers, and other leaders in the region. The work ahead will require difficult decisions and leadership, but there is no other choice. No leader of conscience can accept more months and years of humiliation and killing and mourning. For peace to prevail, terrorism must end. All concerned must shake off the old arguments and the old ways and act in the cause of peace. And I will do all I can to help the parties reach and agreement and to see that agreement is enforced.
This is America's agenda in the world. From the defeat of terror, to the alleviation of disease and hunger, to the spread of human liberty, we welcome and we need the help, advice and wisdom of friends and allies. When Europe and America are united, no problem and no enemy can stand against us.
Thank you for listening.