Advancing The Cause of Freedom — George W. Bush’s Second Inaugural Address

 

January 20, 2005. Bush describes his freedom doctrine and calls for the overthrow of tyrannies and the establishment of democracies. He makes it clear that human rights should be a guiding principle of U.S. policy.

With protests now occurring in Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen, the Bush Second Inaugural Address has never been more timely. President Bush said only liberty would “break the reign of hatred and resentment” which had led to 9/11. Bush kept his promise to advocate human rights and democratic reforms and his record is well documented in the Middle East WikiLeaks cables. Excerpts from Bush’s address appear below.

For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders.

The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture.

Our goal is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.

We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people.

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it. By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well – a fire in the minds of men.

From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom?

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom.

When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner “Freedom Now” – they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled.

America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength – tested, but not weary – we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

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