you. Mr Speaker and Mr Vice-President, honorable members
of Congress, I'm deeply touched by that warm and generous
welcome. That's more than I deserve and more than I'm
used to, quite frankly.
let me begin by thanking you most sincerely for voting
to award me the Congressional Gold Medal. But you, like
me, know who the real heroes are: those brave service
men and women, yours and ours, who fought the war and
risk their lives still. And our tribute to them should
be measured in this way, by showing them and their families
that they did not strive or die in vain, but that through
their sacrifice future generations can live in greater
peace, prosperity and hope.
me also express my gratitude to President Bush. Through
the troubled times since September the 11th changed our
world, we have been allies and friends. Thank you, Mr
President, for your leadership.
Speaker, sir, my thrill on receiving this award was only
a little diminished on being told that the first Congressional
Gold Medal was awarded to George Washington for what Congress
called his 'wise and spirited conduct' in getting rid
of the British out of Boston. On our way down here, Senator
Frist was kind enough to show me the fireplace where,
in 1814, the British had burnt the Congress Library. I
know this is kind of late, but sorry.
you know, my middle son was studying 18th century history
and the American War of Independence, and he said to me
the other day, 'You know Lord North Dad? He was the British
prime minister who lost us America. So just think, however
many mistakes you'll make, you'll never make one that
of Congress, I feel a most urgent sense of mission about
today's world. September the 11th was not an isolated
event, but a tragic prologue, Iraq another act, and many
further struggles will be set upon this stage before it's
never has been a time when the power of America was so
necessary or so misunderstood, or when, except in the
most general sense, a study of history provides so little
instruction for our present day.
were all reared on battles between great warriors, between
great nations, between powerful forces and ideologies
that dominated entire continents. And these were struggles
for conquest, for land, or money, and the wars were fought
by massed armies. And the leaders were openly acknowledged,
the outcomes decisive.
none of us expect our soldiers to fight a war on our own
territory. The immediate threat is not conflict between
the world's most powerful nations. And why? Because we
all have too much to lose. Because technology, communication,
trade and travel are bringing us ever closer together.
Because in the last 50 years, countries like yours and
mine have tripled their growth and standard of living.
Because even those powers like Russia or China or India
can see the horizon, the future wealth, clearly and know
they are on a steady road toward it. And because all nations
that are free value that freedom, will defend it absolutely,
but have no wish to trample on the freedom of others.
are bound together as never before. And this coming together
provides us with unprecedented opportunity but also makes
us uniquely vulnerable. And the threat comes because in
another part of our globe there is shadow and darkness,
where not all the world is free, where many millions suffer
under brutal dictatorship, where a third of our planet
lives in a poverty beyond anything even the poorest in
our societies can imagine, and where a fanatical strain
of religious extremism has arisen, that is a mutation
of the true and peaceful faith of Islam.
because in the combination of these afflictions a new
and deadly virus has emerged. The virus is terrorism whose
intent to inflict destruction is unconstrained by human
feeling and whose capacity to inflict it is enlarged by
is a battle that can't be fought or won only by armies.
We are so much more powerful in all conventional ways
than the terrorists, yet even in all our might, we are
taught humility. In the end, it is not our power alone
that will defeat this evil. Our ultimate weapon is not
our guns, but our beliefs.
is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that
our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture;
that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law
are American values, or Western values; that Afghan women
were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam
was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was
of Congress, ours are not Western values, they are the
universal values of the human spirit. And anywhere, any
time ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the
choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not
dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret
spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It
is our last line of defense and our first line of attack.
And just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in
hate, so we have to unify it around an idea. And that
idea is liberty. We must find the strength to fight for
this idea and the compassion to make it universal. Abraham
Lincoln said, 'Those that deny freedom to others deserve
it not for themselves.' And it is this sense of justice
that makes moral the love of liberty.
some cases where our security is under direct threat,
we will have recourse to arms. In others, it will be by
force of reason. But in all cases, to the same end: that
the liberty we seek is not for some but for all, for that
is the only true path to victory in this struggle. But
first we must explain the danger.
new world rests on order. The danger is disorder. And
in today's world, it can now spread like contagion. The
terrorists and the states that support them don't have
large armies or precision weapons; they don't need them.
Their weapon is chaos.
purpose of terrorism is not the single act of wanton destruction.
It is the reaction it seeks to provoke: economic collapse,
the backlash, the hatred, the division, the elimination
of tolerance, until societies cease to reconcile their
differences and become defined by them. Kashmir, the Middle
East, Chechnya, Indonesia, Africa - barely a continent
or nation is unscathed.
risk is that terrorism and states developing weapons of
mass destruction come together. And when people say, 'That
risk is fanciful,' I say we know the Taliban supported
al-Qaeda. We know Iraq under Saddam gave haven to and
supported terrorists. We know there are states in the
Middle East now actively funding and helping people, who
regard it as God's will in the act of suicide to take
as many innocent lives with them on their way to God's
of these states are desperately trying to acquire nuclear
weapons. We know that companies and individuals with expertise
sell it to the highest bidder, and we know that at least
one state, North Korea, lets its people starve while spending
billions of dollars on developing nuclear weapons and
exporting the technology abroad.
isn't fantasy, it is 21st-century reality, and it confronts
us now. Can we be sure that terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction will join together? Let us say one thing:
If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that
at its least is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering.
That is something I am confident history will forgive.
if our critics are wrong, if we are right, as I believe
with every fiber of instinct and conviction I have that
we are, and we do not act, then we will have hesitated
in the face of this menace when we should have given leadership.
That is something history will not forgive.
precisely because the threat is new, it isn't obvious.
It turns upside-down our concepts of how we should act
and when, and it crosses the frontiers of many nations.
So just as it redefines our notions of security, so it
must refine our notions of diplomacy.
is no more dangerous theory in international politics
than that we need to balance the power of America with
other competitive powers; different poles around which
a theory may have made sense in 19th-century Europe. It
was perforce the position in the Cold War. Today, it is
an anachronism to be discarded like traditional theories
of security. And it is dangerous because it is not rivalry
but partnership we need; a common will and a shared purpose
in the face of a common threat.
I believe any alliance must start with America and Europe.
If Europe and America are together, the others will work
with us. If we split, the rest will play around, play
us off and nothing but mischief will be the result of
may think after recent disagreements it can't be done,
but the debate in Europe is open. Iraq showed that when,
never forget, many European nations supported our action.
it shows it still when those that didn't agreed Resolution
1483 in the United Nations for Iraq's reconstruction.
Today, German soldiers lead in Afghanistan, French soldiers
lead in the Congo where they stand between peace and a
return to genocide.
we should not minimize the differences, but we should
not let them confound us either. You know, people ask
me after the past months when, let's say, things were
a trifle strained in Europe, 'Why do you persist in wanting
Britain at the center of Europe?' And I say, 'Well, maybe
if the UK were a group of islands 20 miles off Manhattan,
I might feel differently. But actually, we're 20 miles
off Calais and joined by a tunnel.'
are part of Europe, and we want to be. But we also want
to be part of changing Europe. Europe has one potential
for weakness. For reasons that are obvious, we spent roughly
a thousand years killing each other in large numbers.
political culture of Europe is inevitably rightly based
on compromise. Compromise is a fine thing except when
based on an illusion. And I don't believe you can compromise
with this new form of terrorism.
Europe has a strength. It is a formidable political achievement.
Think of the past and think of the unity today. Think
of it preparing to reach out even to Turkey - a nation
of vastly different culture, tradition, religion - and
welcome it in. But my real point is this: now Europe is
at the point of transformation. Next year, 10 new countries
will join. Romania and Bulgaria will follow. Why will
these new European members transform Europe? Because their
scars are recent, their memories strong, their relationship
with freedom still one of passion, not comfortable familiarity.
believe in the trans-Atlantic alliance. They support economic
reform. They want a Europe of nations, not a super state.
They are our allies and they are yours. So don't give
up on Europe. Work with it.
be a serious partner, Europe must take on and defeat the
anti-Americanism that sometimes passes for its political
discourse. And what America must do is show that this
is a partnership built on persuasion, not command. Then
the other great nations of our world and the small will
gather around in one place, not many. And our understanding
of this threat will become theirs. And the United Nations
can then become what it should be: an instrument of action
as well as debate.
Security Council should be reformed. We need a new international
regime on the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
And we need to say clearly to United Nations members:
'If you engage in the systematic and gross abuse of human
rights in defiance of the UN charter, you cannot expect
to enjoy the same privileges as those that conform to
agree. It is not the coalition that determines the mission,
but the mission the coalition. But let us start preferring
a coalition and acting alone if we have to, not the other
way around. True, winning wars is not easier that way,
but winning the peace is.
we have to win both. And you have an extraordinary record
of doing so. Who helped Japan renew, or Germany reconstruct,
or Europe get back on its feet after World War Two? America.
So when we invade Afghanistan or Iraq, our responsibility
does not end with military victory. Finishing the fighting
is not finishing the job.
if Afghanistan needs more troops from the international
community to police outside Kabul, our duty is to get
them. Let us help them eradicate their dependency on the
poppy, the crop whose wicked residue turns up on the streets
of Britain as heroin to destroy young British lives, as
much as their harvest warps the lives of Afghans.
promised Iraq democratic government. We will deliver it.
We promised them the chance to use their oil wealth to
build prosperity for all their citizens, not a corrupt
elite, and we will do so. We will stay with these people
so in need of our help until the job is done.
then reflect on this: how hollow would the charges of
American imperialism be when these failed countries are
and are seen to be transformed from states of terror to
nations of prosperity, from governments of dictatorship
to examples of democracy, from sources of instability
to beacons of calm.
how risible would be the claims that these were wars on
Muslims if the world could see these Muslim nations still
Muslim, but with some hope for the future, not shackled
by brutal regimes whose principal victims were the very
Muslims they pretended to protect?
would be the most richly observed advertisement for the
values of freedom we can imagine. When we removed the
Taliban and Saddam Hussein, this was not imperialism.
For these oppressed people, it was their liberation. And
why can the terrorists even mount an argument in the Muslim
world that it isn't? Because there is one cause terrorism
rides upon, a cause they have no belief in but can manipulate.
want to be very plain: this terrorism will not be defeated
without peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine.
Here it is that the poison is incubated. Here it is that
the extremist is able to confuse in the mind of a frighteningly
large number of people the case for a Palestinian state
and the destruction of Israel, and to translate this moreover
into a battle between East and West, Muslim, Jew and Christian.
this never compromise the security of the state of Israel.
The state of Israel should be recognized by the entire
Arab world, and the vile propaganda used to indoctrinate
children, not just against Israel but against Jews, must
cannot teach people hate and then ask them to practice
peace. But neither can you teach people peace except by
according them dignity and granting them hope. Innocent
Israelis suffer. So do innocent Palestinians.
ending of Saddam's regime in Iraq must be the starting
point of a new dispensation for the Middle East: Iraq,
free and stable; Iran and Syria, who give succor to the
rejectionist men of violence, made to realize that the
world will no longer countenance it, that the hand of
friendship can only be offered them if they resile completely
from this malice, but that if they do, that hand will
be there for them and their people; the whole of region
helped toward democracy. And to symbolize it all, the
creation of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian
state side by side with the state of Israel.
the president is doing in the Middle East is tough but
right. And let me at this point thank the president for
his support, and that of President Clinton before him,
and the support of members of this Congress, for our attempts
to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
know, one thing I've learned about peace processes: they're
always frustrating, they're often agonizing, and occasionally
they seem hopeless. But for all that, having a peace process
is better than not having one.
why has a resolution of Palestine such a powerful appeal
across the world? Because it embodies an even-handed approach
to justice, just as when this president recommended and
this Congress supported a $15 billion increase in spending
on the world's poorest nations to combat HIV/AIDS. It
was a statement of concern that echoed rightly around
can be no freedom for Africa without justice and no justice
without declaring war on Africa's poverty, disease and
famine with as much vehemence as we removed the tyrant
and the terrorists.
Mexico in September, the world should unite and give us
a trade round that opens up our markets. I'm for free
trade, and I'll tell you why: because we can't say to
the poorest people in the world, 'We want you to be free,
but just don't try to sell your goods in our market.'
because ever since the world started to open up, it has
prospered. And that prosperity has to be environmentally
sustainable, too. You know, I remember at one of our earliest
international meetings, a European prime minister telling
President Bush that the solution was quite simple: just
double the tax on American gasoline. Your president gave
him a most eloquent look.
reminded me of the first leader of my party, Keir Hardie,
in the early part of the 20th century. He was a man who
used to correspond with the Pankhursts, the great campaigners
for women's votes. And shortly before the election, June
1913, one of the Pankhurst sisters wrote to Hardie saying
she had been studying Britain carefully and there was
a worrying rise in sexual immorality linked to heavy drinking.
So she suggested he fight the election on the platform
of votes for women, chastity for men and prohibition for
replied saying, 'Thank you for your advice, yhe electoral
benefits of which are not immediately discernible.' We
all get that kind of advice, don't we?
frankly, we need to go beyond even Kyoto, and science
and technology is the way. Climate change, deforestation,
the voracious drain on natural resources cannot be ignored.
Unchecked, these forces will hinder the economic development
of the most vulnerable nations first and ultimately all
nations. So we must show the world that we are willing
to step up to these challenges around the world and in
our own backyards.
of Congress, if this seems a long way from the threat
of terror and weapons of mass destruction, it is only
to say again that the world security cannot be protected
without the world's heart being one. So America must listen
as well as lead. But, members of Congress, don't ever
apologize for your values.
the world why you're proud of America. Tell them when
the Star-Spangled Banner starts, Americans get to their
feet, Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Central Europeans, East
Europeans, Jews, Muslims, white, Asian, black, those who
go back to the early settlers and those whose English
is the same as some New York cab drivers I've dealt with,
but whose sons and daughters could run for this Congress.
them why Americans, one and all, stand upright and respectful.
Not because some state official told them to, but because
whatever race, color, class or creed they are, being American
means being free. That's why they're proud.
Britain knows, all predominant power seems for a time
invincible, but, in fact, it is transient. The question
is: What do you leave behind? And what you can bequeath
to this anxious world is the light of liberty.
is what this struggle against terrorist groups or states
is about. We're not fighting for domination. We're not
fighting for an American world, though we want a world
in which America is at ease. We're not fighting for Christianity,
but against religious fanaticism of all kinds.
this is not a war of civilizations, because each civilization
has a unique capacity to enrich the stock of human heritage.
We are fighting for the inalienable right of humankind
- black or white, Christian or not, left, right or a million
different - to be free, free to raise a family in love
and hope, free to earn a living and be rewarded by your
efforts, free not to bend your knee to any man in fear,
free to be you so long as being you does not impair the
freedom of others. That's what we're fighting for. And
it's a battle worth fighting.
I know it's hard on America, and in some small corner
of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these
places I've never been to, but always wanted to go. I
know out there there's a guy getting on with his life,
perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to
you, the political leaders of this country, 'Why me? And
why us? And why America?'
the only answer is, 'Because destiny put you in this place
in history, in this moment in time, and the task is yours
our job, my nation that watched you grow, that you fought
alongside and now fights alongside you, that takes enormous
pride in our alliance and great affection in our common
bond, our job is to be there with you. You are not going
to be alone. We will be with you in this fight for liberty.
We will be with you in this fight for liberty. And if
our spirit is right and our courage firm, the world will
be with us.