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11/28/03 - LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL - 2003-11-28

This is the time of year when the United States gives thanks for the blessings of liberty -- a time, says President George W. Bush, for rededication to fundamental ideals and beliefs:

“We believe in open societies ordered by moral conviction. We believe in private markets, humanized by compassionate government. We believe in economies that reward effort, communities that protect the weak, and the duty of nations to respect the dignity and the rights of all. We value our own civil rights, so we stand for the human rights of others. We affirm the God-given dignity of every person, so we are moved to action by poverty and oppression and famine and disease. . . .We seek the advance of freedom and the peace that freedom brings."

“The progress of liberty,” says Mr. Bush, “is a powerful trend. Yet, liberty, if not defended, can be lost”:

“The success of freedom rests upon the choices and the courage of free peoples, and upon their willingness to sacrifice. In the trenches of World War One, through a two-front war in the 1940s, the difficult battles of Korea and Vietnam, and in missions of rescue and liberation on nearly every continent, Americans have amply displayed our willingness to sacrifice for liberty.”

That is why the U.S. and its allies are working to bring peace, security, and liberty to Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. “This is a mission,” says President Bush, “for all who believe in democracy, tolerance, and freedom”:

“The prosperity and social vitality and technological progress of a people are directly determined by the extent of their liberty. Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity -- and creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations. Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity, and the best hope for progress here on Earth.”

“Liberty is the direction of history,” says President Bush. “Human fulfillment and excellence come in the responsible exercise of liberty. And we believe that freedom. . .is not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind.”