Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bush On Freedom

The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government:

George W. Bush was sworn in for a second four-year term as president of the United States. In his inaugural address, Mr. Bush said, "There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom":

"It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

"Freedom by its nature must be chosen, and defended by citizens, sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities," said Mr. Bush. And "the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions very different from our own":

"America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way."

There are still regions of the world that simmer in resentment and tyranny and are prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder. As Mr. Bush put it: "Some have unwisely chosen to test America's resolve, and have found it firm":

"America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies. We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators."

Rights "are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty," said Mr. Bush. And to those who live in tyranny, Mr. Bush said: "The United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."