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Terrorism And Poverty

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, President George W. Bush said that the United States shared with others a “moral duty” to combat not only terrorism but also poverty, oppression, and hopelessness:

“We must defeat the terrorists on the battlefield, and we must also defeat them in the battle of ideas. We must change the conditions that allow terrorists to flourish and recruit, by spreading the hope of freedom to millions who've never known it. We must help raise up the failing states and stagnant societies that provide fertile ground for the terrorists. We must defend and extend a vision of human dignity, and opportunity, and prosperity - a vision far stronger than the dark appeal of resentment and murder.”

In this new century, the far corners of the world are linked more closely than ever before. No nation can remain isolated and indifferent to the struggles of others. When people in a country or a region become filled with despair and resentment, they are vulnerable to violent ideologies. Terrorists can pass across oceans and borders and threaten the security of any peaceful country.

Terrorism fed by anger and despair has come to Tunisia and Indonesia; to Kenya and Tanzania; to Morocco, Israel, and Saudi Arabia; to the United States, Turkey, and Spain; to Russia, Egypt, Iraq, and Britain. And those who have not seen attacks on their own soil have shared in the sorrow – from Australians killed in Bali, Italians killed in Egypt, and citizens of dozens of nations who were killed on September 11th, 2001 in New York and on July 7th, 2005 in London.

Mr. Bush said that the lesson is clear:

“There can be no safety in looking away, or seeking the quiet life by ignoring the hardship and oppression of others. Either hope will spread, or violence will spread - and we must take the side of hope.”

“The advance of freedom and security is the calling of our time,” Mr. Bush said. “[And it is also] the mission of the United Nations.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.