21 May 2003
Bush: U.S. Will Not Relent in War Against Terrorism
(Cites U.S. policies to fight AIDS, poverty and hunger) (3160)
President Bush told U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates May 21 that
"America will not relent in the war against global terror."
"We will hunt the terrorists in every dark corner of the Earth," Bush
said during graduation exercises in New London, Connecticut. "We will
deny the terrorists the sanctuary and bases they need to plan and
strike, as we have done in the battle of Afghanistan. We will not
permit terrorist organizations or states to blackmail the world with
weapons of mass destruction, as we have shown in the battle of Iraq."
Bush's remarks came a day after the United States raised its terrorist
threat alert level from code "yellow," or elevated, to code "orange,"
or high, which is the second-highest threat level. The increase is
based on extensive intelligence assessments that suggest a high
possibility of a terrorist attack on the United States.
"Our country has been attacked by treachery in our own cities -- and
that treachery continues in places like Riyadh and Casablanca. We have
seen the ruthless intentions of our enemies. And they are seeing our
intentions: we will press on until this danger to our country and to
the world is ended," Bush said.
But the president also highlighted another aspect of U.S. foreign
policy when he emphasized that "we also stand for the values that
defeat violence, and the hope that overcomes hatred. We find our
greatest security in the advance of human freedom."
He spoke of the importance to U.S. foreign policy of ending HIV/AIDS,
poverty and hunger around the world, which effectively would bring
greater security to the United States. He said that the United States
is the nation of the Marshall Plan that helped to rebuild war-torn
western Europe at the conclusion of World War II, the Berlin Airlift
that provided much-needed supplies to Berlin during the early years of
the Cold War, and the Peace Corps.
"We're the nation that ended the oppression of Afghan women, and we
are the nation that closed the torture chambers of Iraq," he said.
The United States has allocated several hundred million dollars in
Afghanistan reconstruction aid to help rebuild the country, and plans
to pursue similar aid in Iraq. The U.S. Congress recently passed
appropriations to spend $15 billion [$15,000 million] over five years
to attack AIDS and provide help in 14 African and Caribbean nations as
they battle the disease.
"Free countries build wealth and prosperity for their people in an
atmosphere of stability and order, instead of seeking weapons of mass
murder and attacking their neighbors," he said.
Bush said that when he travels to Europe next week, May 25-31, for the
Group of Eight meetings, he will challenge U.S. allies to make a
"I will urge our European partners and Japan and Canada to join a
great mission of rescue, and to match their good intentions with real
resources," Bush said.
Bush said the advance of human freedom and hope is challenged by an
ancient enemy: famine.
"Our world produces more than enough food to feed its six billion
people, yet tens of millions are at risk of starvation, and millions
more lack water fit for drinking," he said. "We have the ability to
confront the suffering, and we accept the duty, as old as the
scriptures, to comfort the afflicted and to feed the hungry."
Following is the text of Bush's remarks:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(New London, Connecticut)
May 21, 2003
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
IN COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS TO
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD ACADEMY
Cadet Nitchman Field
New London, Connecticut
11:37 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thanks for the warm welcome.
Admiral Collins and Admiral Olsen, Secretary Ridge, Lieutenant
Governor Rell, Mr. President, I'm glad you're here, thank you for
coming, sir; Congressman Simmons, the fine professors of the U.S.
Coast Guard Academy, distinguished guests, proud family members and
the graduates. Thank you for your welcome, and thank you for the honor
of speaking to the newest officers of the United States Coast Guard.
You know, I was born in this state, just down the road. (Laughter and
applause.) I've still got relatives living here. (Laughter.) And it
looks like some of them were up late last night painting Pride Rock.
(Laughter and applause.)
This is a proud day for the Class of 2003, I know you've worked hard
to get here. You've persevered through the rigors of Swab Summer,
you've faced difficult trials -- in the classroom, aboard Eagle. And
now, with silver dollars in your pockets, you're ready to become
officers in our nation's oldest, continuous sea-going service. You
have shown each day that you "revere honor" and that you "honor duty."
You have made your families, your professors and your country proud.
On behalf of the American people, thank you for choosing a life of
service, and congratulations on a great achievement. (Applause.)
I bring with me a small graduation present. Pursuant to the
longstanding tradition, I hereby grant amnesty to all cadets on
restriction for minor conduct offenses. (Laughter and applause.) I
leave it up to Admiral Olsen to determine the definition of "minor."
Coast Guard Academy life is demanding, and it should be -- because you
are entrusted with solemn responsibilities, in peace and in war.
America counts on the Coast Guard to enforce maritime law, to secure
our waterways and ports, to rescue those in distress, and to intercept
illegal drugs. In this new century, we will count on you even more.
The men and women of this class are the first ever to graduate into
the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with protecting
the American people against terrorist attacks. You are bringing a long
tradition of duty to this new and urgent task. Terrorists who seek to
harm our country now face your "Shield of Freedom." Every citizen can
be grateful that the Coast Guard stands watch for America.
The Coast Guard is also playing a vital role in America's strategy to
confront terror before it comes to our shores. In the Iraqi theater,
Coast Guard cutters and patrol boats and buoy tenders, and over a
thousand of your finest active duty and reserve members protected key
ports and oil platforms, detained Iraqi prisoners of war, and helped
speed the delivery of relief supplies to the Iraqi people. Many have
returned safely to port, and many remain on duty in the Persian Gulf.
All have helped to liberate a great people. And all have brought great
credit to the uniform of the United States Coast Guard. (Applause.)
In Iraq, America's military and our allies carried out every mission,
and exceeded every expectation. Heavy units of armor and infantry
moved with a speed and agility that kept the enemy in a state of
constant surprise and deadly confusion. Air strikes and cruise
missiles destroyed the power centers and meeting places of the regime,
while targets were carefully examined to protect the innocent from
harm. Our forces confronted an enemy that rejected every rule of
warfare and morality -- but our men and women in uniform showed their
decency and kept their honor. In a month of battle, American Armed
Services set an example of skill and daring that will stand for all
America will not relent in the war against global terror. (Applause.)
We will hunt the terrorists in every dark corner of the earth. And
we're making good progress. Nearly one-half of al Qaeda's senior
operatives have been captured or killed. (Applause.) We will deny the
terrorists the sanctuary and bases they need to plan and strike -- as
we have done in the battle of Afghanistan. We will not permit terror
networks or terror states to threaten or blackmail the world with
weapons of mass destruction -- as we have shown in the battle of Iraq.
(Applause.) Our country has been attacked by treachery in our own
cities -- and that treachery continues in places like Riyadh and
Casablanca. We have seen the ruthless intentions of our enemies. And
they are seeing our intentions: we will press on until this danger to
our country and to the world is ended. (Applause.)
Yet, the national interest of America involves more than eliminating
aggressive threats to our safety. We also stand for the values that
defeat violence, and the hope that overcomes hatred. We find our
greatest security in the advance of human freedom. Free societies look
to the possibilities of the future, instead of feeding old resentments
and bitterness. Free countries build wealth and prosperity for their
people in an atmosphere of stability and order, instead of seeking
weapons of mass murder and attacking their neighbors. Because America
loves peace, America will always work and sacrifice for the expansion
of freedom. (Applause.)
The advance of freedom is more than an interest we pursue. It is a
calling we follow. Our country was created in the name and cause of
freedom. And if the self-evident truths of our founding are true for
us, they are true for all. As a people dedicated to civil rights, we
are driven to defend the human rights of others. We are the nation
that liberated continents and concentration camps. We are the nation
of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift and the Peace Corps. We are
the nation that ended the oppression of Afghan women, and we are the
nation that closed the torture chambers of Iraq. (Applause.)
America's national ambition is the spread of free markets, free trade,
and free societies. These goals are not achieved at the expense of
other nations, they are achieved for the benefit of all nations.
America seeks to expand, not the borders of our country, but the realm
Our vision is opposed by terrorists and tyrants who attack a world
they can never inspire. This vision is also threatened by the faceless
enemies of human dignity: plague and starvation and hopeless poverty.
And America is at war with these enemies, as well.
The advance of freedom and hope is challenged by the spread of AIDS.
Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people are
afflicted with HIV/AIDS, including 3 million children under the age of
15. The African continent has lost 7 million agricultural workers. In
some countries, almost a third of the teachers are HIV positive. A
15-year old boy living in Botswana has an 80 percent chance of dying
of AIDS. It is a desperate struggle for any person, or any nation, to
build a better future in the shadow of death.
Yet, this shadow can be lifted. AIDS can be prevented, and AIDS can be
treated. Lives can be saved, and others extended by many years. In my
State of the Union Address in January, I put forward an Emergency Plan
for AIDS Relief, directing $15 billion over the next five years to
fight AIDS abroad. And we will especially focus our efforts on 14
African and Caribbean countries where HIV/AIDS is heavily
I'm pleased that both Houses of Congress have now passed a bill
authorizing these funds; I look forward to signing the bill next week.
(Applause.) The Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is the largest, single
up front commitment in history for an international public health
initiative involving a specific disease.
With this dramatic expansion of America's efforts, we will prevent 7
million new HIV infections; treat at least 2 million people with
life-extending drugs; and provide humane care for 10 million
HIV-infected individuals and AIDS orphans.
When I travel to Europe next week, I will challenge our allies to make
a similar commitment which will save even more lives. I will remind
them that the clock is ticking -- that every single day 8,000 more
people will die from AIDS in Africa. There will be 14,000 more
infections. I will urge our European partners, and Japan, and Canada,
to join a great mission of rescue, and to match their good intentions
with real resources. (Applause.)
The advance of freedom and hope in the world is also challenged by an
ancient enemy: famine. Our world produces more than enough food to
feed its 6 billion people. Yet tens of millions are at risk of
starvation, and millions more lack water fit for drinking. This crisis
also is concentrated in Africa. We have the ability to confront this
suffering. And we accept the duty, as old as the Scriptures, to
comfort the afflicted and to feed the hungry.
America is already the largest provider in the world of food relief --
giving more than $1.4 billion in global emergency food aid, and
one-half of all contributions to the World Food Program. And we are
determined to do more. I've committed to a nearly $1 billion
initiative to provide clean drinking water to 50 million people in the
developing world. I've also asked Congress to provide $200 million for
a new Famine Fund, which will give us the flexibility to act quickly
when the first signs of famine appear. I call on other nations to
follow our lead by establishing their own emergency funds. By saving
time in responding to crisis, we will save lives.
We can also greatly reduce the long-term problem of hunger in Africa
by applying the latest developments of science. I have proposed an
Initiative to End Hunger in Africa. By widening the use of new
high-yield bio-crops and unleashing the power of markets, we can
dramatically increase agricultural productivity and feed more people
across the continent.
Yet, our partners in Europe are impeding this effort. They have
blocked all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific fears.
This has caused many African nations to avoid investing in
biotechnologies, for fear their products will be shut out of European
markets. European governments should join -- not hinder -- the great
cause of ending hunger in Africa. (Applause.)
We must also give farmers in Africa, Latin America and Asia and
elsewhere a fair chance to compete in world markets. When wealthy
nations subsidize their agricultural exports, it prevents poor
countries from developing their own agricultural sectors. So I propose
that all developed nations, including our partners in Europe,
immediately eliminate subsidies on agricultural exports to developing
countries so that they can produce more food to export and more food
to feed their own people. (Applause.)
The advance of freedom is also undermined by persistent poverty and
despair. Half the human population lives on less than $2 a day.
Billions of men and women can scarcely imagine the benefits of modern
life because they have never experienced them.
For decades, many governments around the world have made sincere and
generous efforts to support global development. Far too often, these
funds have only enriched corrupt rulers and made little or no
difference in the lives of the poor. It's time for governments of
developed nations to stop asking the simplistic question: How much
money are we transferring from nations that are rich? The only
question that matters is: How much good are we doing to help people
that are poor? (Applause.) The only standard worth setting and meeting
is the standard of results.
The lesson of our time is clear: when nations embrace free markets,
the rule of law and open trade, they prosper, and millions of lives
are lifted out of poverty and despair. So I have proposed the creation
of a new Millennium Challenge Account -- an entirely new approach to
development aid. This money will go to developing nations whose
governments are committed to three broad standards: they must rule
justly; they must invest in the health and education of their people;
and they must have policies that encourage economic freedom.
To fund this account, I have proposed a 50 percent increase in
America's core development assistance over the next three years. Under
this proposal, our annual development assistance eventually will be $5
billion greater than it is today. I urge the Congress to give its full
support to the Millennium Challenge Account. And when I'm in Europe, I
will call on America's partners to join us in moving beyond the broken
development policies of the past, and encourage the freedom and reform
that lead to prosperity. (Applause.)
These goals -- advancing against disease, hunger and poverty -- will
bring greater security to our country. They are also the moral purpose
of American influence. They set an agenda for our government, and they
give idealistic citizens a great cause to serve. President Woodrow
Wilson said, "America has a spiritual energy in her which no other
nation can contribute to the liberation of mankind." In this new
century, we must apply that energy to the good of people everywhere.
For more than four decades, the volunteers of the Peace Corps have
carried the good will of America into many parts of the world.
Interest in this program is greater than ever before. I'm determined
to double the size of the Peace Corps over five years. (Applause.)
Today, I would like to announce a new USA Freedom Corps initiative
called Volunteers for Prosperity, which will give America's highly
skilled professionals new opportunities to serve abroad. The program
will enlist American doctors and nurses and teachers and engineers and
economists and computer specialists, and others to work on specific
development initiatives, including those that I have discussed today.
These volunteers will serve in the countries of their choice, for
however long their project takes. Like generations before us, this
generation of citizens will show the world the energy and idealism of
the United States of America. (Applause.)
I see that idealism in the faces of our soldiers and sailors and
airmen and Marines. I see that idealism in the faces of this academy
class. The men and women of the Coast Guard are "always ready" to
defend the security of this nation. You are "always ready" to rescue
those in trouble. These two commitments define your mission -- and
they define America's role in history. We understand that strength is
necessary to confound the designs of evil men. And we know that the
compassion and generosity of this land can aid the suffering, and
inspire the world. We will use the great power of America to serve the
great ideals of America. And by these efforts we will build a lasting,
democratic peace -- for ourselves, and for all humanity. (Applause.)
Congratulations. May God bless the Class of 2003. May God continue to
bless the United States of America. Semper Paratus. (Applause.)
12:03 P.M. EDT
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)