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'Security of Our World Is Found in the Advancing Rights of Mankind'

September 22, 2004


We know that dictators are quick to choose aggression, while free nations strive to resolve differences in peace. We know that oppressive governments support terror, while free governments fight the terrorists in their midst. We know that free peoples embrace progress and life, instead of becoming the recruits for murderous ideologies....

Eventually, there is no safe isolation from terror networks, or failed states that shelter them, or outlaw regimes, or weapons of mass destruction....

In this young century, our world needs a new definition of security. Our security is not merely found in spheres of influence, or some balance of power. The security of our world is found in the advancing rights of mankind. These rights are advancing across the world -- and across the world, the enemies of human rights are responding with violence....

They believe that dictators should control every mind and tongue in the Middle East and beyond. They believe that suicide and torture and murder are fully justified to serve any goal they declare. And they act on their beliefs.

In the last year alone, terrorists have attacked police stations, and banks, and commuter trains, and synagogues -- and a school filled with children.


My nation is grateful to the soldiers of many nations who have helped to deliver the Iraqi people from an outlaw dictator....

When we say "serious consequences," for the sake of peace, there must be serious consequences.


Because we believe in human dignity, America and many nations have established a global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. In three years the contributing countries have funded projects in more than 90 countries, and pledged a total of $5.6 billion to these efforts.


The world is witnessing terrible suffering and horrible crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan, crimes my government has concluded are genocide. The United States played a key role in efforts to broker a cease-fire, and we're providing humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people.... I call on the government of Sudan to honor the cease-fire it signed, and to stop the killing in Darfur.

Iraq and Afghanistan

Freedom is finding a way in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and we must continue to show our commitment to democracies in those nations. The liberty that many have won at a cost must be secured....

Not long ago, outlaw regimes in Baghdad and Kabul threatened the peace and sponsored terrorists.... Today, the Iraqi and Afghan people are on the path to democracy and freedom. The governments that are rising will pose no threat to others. Instead of harboring terrorists, they're fighting terrorist groups. And this progress is good for the long-term security of us all.

The Afghan people are showing extraordinary courage under difficult conditions. They're fighting to defend their nation from Taliban holdouts, and helping to strike against the terrorist killers. They're reviving their economy. They've adopted a constitution that protects the rights of all, while honoring their nation's most cherished traditions. More than 10 million Afghan citizens -- over 4 million of them women -- are now registered to vote in next month's presidential election.


Since the last meeting of this General Assembly, the people of Iraq have regained sovereignty. Today, in this hall, the prime minister of Iraq and his delegation represent a country that has rejoined the community of nations. The government of [interim] Prime Minister [Iyad] Allawi has earned the support of every nation that believes in self-determination and desires peace....

A democratic Iraq has ruthless enemies, because terrorists know the stakes in that country. They know that a free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East will be a decisive blow against their ambitions for that region. So a terrorist group associated with Al Qaeda is now one of the main groups killing the innocent in Iraq today -- conducting a campaign of bombings against civilians, and the beheadings of bound men. Coalition forces now serving in Iraq are confronting the terrorists and foreign fighters, so peaceful nations around the world will never have to face them within our own borders. Our coalition is standing beside a growing Iraqi security force.


As we have seen in other countries, one of the main terrorist goals is to undermine, disrupt and influence election outcomes. We can expect terrorist attacks to escalate as Afghanistan and Iraq approach national elections. The proper response to difficulty is not to retreat, it is to prevail.

Middle East

We will stand with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq until their hopes of freedom and security are fulfilled.

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