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07/08/2004

NATO / Middle East / Turkey

President George W. Bush, speaking to a NATO audience in
Istanbul, Turkey, June 29, 2004.

---

For most of its history, NATO existed to deter aggression from a
powerful army at the heart of Europe. In this century, NATO
looks outward to new threats that gather in secret and bring
sudden violence to peaceful cities. We face terrorist networks
that rejoice when parents bury their murdered children, or rejoice
when bound men plead for mercy. We face outlaw regimes that
give aid and shelter to these killers, and seek weapons of mass
murder. We face the challenges of corruption and poverty and
disease, which throw whole nations into chaos and despair.
These are the conditions in which terrorism can survive.

Some on both sides of the Atlantic have questioned whether the
NATO alliance still has a great purpose. To find that purpose,
they only need to open their eyes. The dangers are in plain sight.
The only question is whether we will confront them, or look
away and pay a terrible cost.

Over the last few years, NATO has made its decision. Our
alliance is restructuring to oppose threats that arise beyond the
borders of Europe. NATO is providing security n Afghanistan.
NATO has agreed to help train the security forces of a sovereign
Iraq, which is a great advantage and crucial success for the Iraqi
people. And in Istanbul we have dedicated ourselves to the
advance of reform in the broader Middle East, because all people
deserve a just government, and because terror is not the tool of
the free. Through decades of the Cold War, our great alliance of
liberty never failed in its duties, and we are rising to our duties
once again.

The Turkish people understand the terrorists, because you have
seen their work, even in the last weeks. You’ve heard the sirens,
and witnessed the carnage, and mourned the dead. After the
murders of Muslims, and Christians, and Jews in Istanbul last
November, a resident of this city said of the terrorists, “They
don’t have any religion, they are friends of evil.” In one of the
attacks, a Muslim woman lost her son Ahmet, her daughter-in-
law Berta, and her unborn grandchild. This is what she said:
“Today I am saying goodbye to my son. Tomorrow I’m saying
farewell to my Berta. I don’t know what the killers wanted from
my kids. Were they jealous of their happiness?”

The Turkish people have grieved, but your nation is showing
how terrorist violence will be overcome – with courage, and with
a firm resolve to defend your just and tolerant society. This land
has always been important for its geography – here at the
meeting place of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Now
Turkey has assumed even greater historical importance, because
of your character as a nation. Turkey is a strong, secular
democracy, a majority Muslim society, and a close ally of free
nations. Your country, with 150 years of democratic and social
reform, stands as a model to others, and as Europe’s bridge to the
wider world. Your success is vital to a future of progress and
peace in Europe and in the broader Middle East – and the
Republic of Turkey can depend on the support and friendship of
the United States of America.

For decades, my country has supported greater unity in Europe –
to secure liberty, to build prosperity, and to remove sources of
conflict on this continent. Now the European Union is
considering the admission of Turkey, and you are moving rapidly
to meet the criteria for membership. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had
a vision of Turkey as a strong nation among other European
nations. That dream can be realized by this generation of Turks.
America believes that as a European power, Turkey belongs in
the European Union. Your membership would also be a crucial
advance in relations between the Muslim world and the West,
because you are part of both. Including Turkey in the EU would
prove that Europe is not the exclusive club of a single religion; it
would expose the “clash of civilizations” as a passing myth of
history. Fifteen years ago, an artificial line that divided Europe –
drawn at Yalta – was erased. And now this continent has the
opportunity to erase another artificial division – by including
Turkey in the future of Europe.

Turkey has found its place in the community of democracies by
living out its own principles. Muslims are called to seek justice –
fairness to all, care for the stranger, compassion for those in
need. And you have learned that democracy is the surest way to
build a society of justice. The best way to prevent corruption and
abuse of power is to hold rulers accountable. The best way to
ensure fairness to all is to establish the rule of law. The best way
to honor human dignity is to protect human rights. Turkey has
found what nations of every culture and every region have found:
If justice is the goal, then democracy is the answer.

In some parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, there is
a wariness toward democracy, often based on misunderstanding.
Some people in the Muslim cultures identify democracy with the
worst of Western popular culture, and want no part of it. And I
assure them, when I speak about the blessings of liberty, coarse
videos and crash – crass commercialism are not what I have in
mind. There is nothing incompatible between democratic values
and high standards of decency. For the sake of their families and
their culture, citizens of a free society have every right to strive
peacefully for a moral society.

Democratic values also do not require citizens to abandon their
faith. No democracy can allow religious people to impose their
own view of perfection on others, because this invites cruelty and
arrogance that are foreign to every faith. And all people in a
democracy have the right to their own religious beliefs. But all
democracies are made stronger when religious people teach and
demonstrate upright conduct – family commitment, respect for
the law, and compassion for the weak. Democratic societies
should welcome, not fear, the participation of the faithful.

In addition, democracy does not involve automatic agreement
with other democracies. Free governments have a reputation for
independence, which Turkey has certainly earned. And that is
the way that democracy works. We deal honestly with each
other, we make our own decisions, and yet, in the end, the
disagreements of the moment are far outweighed by the ideals
we share.

Because representative governments reflect their people, every
democracy has its own structure, traditions, and opinions. There
are, however, certain commitments of free government that do
not change from place to place. The promise of democracy is
fulfilled in freedom of speech, the rule of law, limits on the
power of the state, economic freedom, respect for women, and
religious tolerance. These are the values that honor the dignity
of every life, and set free the creative energies that lead to
progress.

Achieving these commitments of democracy can require decades
of effort and reform. In my own country it took generations to
throw off slavery, racial segregation, and other practices that
violated our ideals. So we do not expect that other societies can
be transformed in a day. But however long the journey, there is
only one destination worth striving for, and that is a society of
self-rule and freedom.

Democracy leads to justice within a nation, and the advance of
democracy leads to greater security among nations. The reason
is clear: Free peoples do not live in endless stagnation, and
seethe in resentment, and lash out in envy, rage, and violence.
Free peoples do not cling to every grievance of the past; they
build and live for the future. This is the experience of countries
in the NATO alliance. Bitterness and hostility once divided
France and Germany. Germany and Poland, Romania and
Hungary. But as these nations grew in liberty, ancient disputes
and hatreds have been left to history. And because the people of
Europe now live in hope, Europe no longer produces armed
ideologies that threaten the peace of the world. Freedom in
Europe has brought peace to Europe, and now freedom can bring
peace to the broader Middle East.

I believe that freedom is the future of the Middle East, because I
believe that freedom is the future of all humanity. And the
historic achievement of democracy in the broader Middle East
will be a victory shared by all. Millions who now live in
oppression and want will finally have a chance to provide for
their families and lead hopeful lives. Nations in the region will
have greater stability because governments will have greater
legitimacy. And nations like Turkey and America will be safer,
because a hopeful Middle East will no longer produce ideologies
and movements that seek to kill our citizens. This transformation
is one of the great and difficult tasks of history. And by our own
patience and hard effort, and with confidence in the peoples of
the Middle East, we will finish the work that history has given
us.

Democracy, by definition, must be chosen and defended by the
people themselves. The future of freedom in the Islamic world
will be determined by the citizens of Islamic nations, not by
outsiders. And for citizens of the broader Middle East, the
alternatives could not be more clear. One alternative is a
political doctrine of tyranny, suicide, and murder that goes
against the standards of justice found in Islam and every other
great religion. The other alternative is a society of justice, where
men and women live peacefully and build better lives for
themselves and their children. This is the true cause of the
people of the Middle East, and that cause can never be served by
the murder of the innocent.

This struggle between political extremism and civilized values is
unfolding in many places. We see the struggle in Iraq, where
killers are attempting to undermine and intimidate a free
government. We see the struggle in Iran, where tired, discredited
autocrats are trying to hold back the democratic will of a rising
generation. We see that struggle in Turkey, where the PKK has
abandoned its cease-fire with the Turkish people and resumed
violence. We see it in the Holy Land, where terrorist murderers
are setting back the good cause of the Palestinian people, who
deserve a reformed, peaceful, and democratic state of their own.

The terrorists are ruthless and resourceful, but they will not
prevail. Already more than half of the world’s Muslims live
under democratically – constituted governments – from
Indonesia to West Africa, from Europe to North America. And
the ideal of democracy is also powerful and popular in the
Middle East. Surveys in Arab nations reveal broad support for
representative government and individual liberty. We are seeing
reform in Kuwait and Qatar, Bahrain and Yemen, Jordan and
Morocco. We’re seeing men and women of conscience and
courage step forward to advocate democracy and justice in the
broader Middle East.

As we found in the Soviet Union, and behind the Iron Curtain,
this kind of moral conviction was more powerful than vast
armies and prison walls and the will of dictators. And this kind
of moral conviction is also more powerful than the whips of the
Taliban, the police state of Saddam Hussein, or the cruel designs
of terrorists. The way ahead is long and difficult, yet people of
conscience go forward with hope. The rule of fear did not
survive in Europe; the rule of free peoples will come to the
Middle East.

Leaders throughout that region, including some friends of the
United States, must recognize the direction of the events of the
day. Any nation that compromises with violent extremists only
emboldens them, and invites future violence. Suppressing
dissent only increases radicalism. The long-term stability of any
government depends on being open to change, and responsive to
citizens. By learning these lessons, Turkey has become a great
and stable democracy – and America shares your hope that other
nations will take this path.

Western nations, including my own, want to be helpful in the
democratic progress of the Middle East, yet we know there are
suspicions, rooted in centuries of conflict and colonialism. And
in the last 60 years, many in the West have added to this distrust
by excusing tyranny in the region, hoping to purchase stability at
the price of liberty. But it did not serve the people of the Middle
East to betray their hope of freedom. It has not made Western
nations more secure to ignore the cycle of dictatorship and
extremism. Instead we’ve seen the malice grow deeper, and the
violence spread, until both have appeared on the streets of our
own cities. Some types of hatred will never be appeased; they
must be opposed and discredited and defeated by a hopeful
alternative – and that alternative is freedom.

Reformers in the broader Middle East are working to build freer
and more prosperous societies – and America and Turkey, the G-
8, the EU and NATO have now agreed to support them. Many
nations are helping the people of Afghanistan to secure a free
government. And NATO now leads a military operation in
Afghanistan, in the first action by the alliance outside of Europe.
In Iraq, a broad coalition – including the military forces of many
NATO countries – is helping the people of that country to build a
decent and democratic government after decades of corrupt
oppression. And NATO is providing support to a Polish-led
division.

The government of Iraq has now taken a crucial step forward. In
a nation that suffered for decades under tyranny, we have
witnessed the transfer of sovereignty and the beginning of self-
government. In just 15 months, the Iraqi people have left behind
one of the worst regimes in the Middle East, and their country is
becoming the world’s newest democracy. The world has seen a
great event in the history of Iraq, in the history of the Middle
East, and in the history of liberty.

The rise of Iraqi democracy is brining hope to reformers across
the Middle East, and sending a very different message to Tehran
and Damascus. A free and sovereign Iraq is a decisive defeat for
extremists and terrorists, because their hateful ideology will lose
its appeal in a free and tolerant and successful country. The
terrorists are doing everything they can to undermine Iraqi
democracy, by attacking all who stand for order and justice, and
by committing terrible crimes to break the will of free nations.
These terrorists have the ability to cause suffering and grief, but
they do not have the power to alter the outcome in Iraq. The
civilized world will keep its resolve, the leaders of Iraq are
strong and determined, and the people of Iraq will live in
freedom.

Iraq still faces hard challenges in the days and months ahead.
Iraq’s leaders are eager to assume responsibility for their own
security, and that is our wish, as well. So this week at our
summit, NATO agreed to provide assistance in training Iraqi
security forces. I am grateful to Turkey and other NATO allies
for helping our friends in Iraq to build a nation that governs itself
and defends itself.

Our efforts to promote reform and democracy in the Middle East
are moving forward. At the NATO summit, we approved the
Istanbul Cooperative Initiative, offering to work together with
nations of the broader Middle East to fight terrorism, to control
their borders, and to aid victims of disaster. We’re thankful for
the important role that Turkey is playing as a democratic partner
in the Broader Middle East Initiative.

For all of our efforts to succeed, however, more is needed than
plans and policies. We must strengthen the ties of trust and good
will between ourselves and the peoples of the Middle East. And
trust and good will come more easily when men and women
clear their minds, and their hearts, of suspicion and prejudice and
unreasoned fear. When some in my country speak in an ill-
informed and insulting manner about the Muslim faith, their
words are heard abroad, and do great harm to our cause in the
Middle East. When some in the Muslim world incite hatred and
murder with conspiracy theories and propaganda, their words are
also heard – by a generation of young Muslims who need truth
and hope, not lies and anger. All such talk, in America or in the
Middle East, is dangerous and reckless and unworthy of any
religious tradition. Whatever our culture differences may be,
there should be respect and peace in the House of Abraham.

The Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk has said that the finest view of
Istanbul is not from the shores of Europe, or from the shores of
Asia, but from a bridge that unites them, and lets you see both.
His work has been a bridge between cultures, and so is the
Republic of Turkey. The people of this land understand, as that
great writer has observed, that “What is important is not a clash
of parties, civilizations, cultures, East and West.” What is
important, he says, is to realize “that other people in other
continents and civilizations” are “exactly like you.”

Ladies and gentlemen, in their need for hope, in their desire for
peace, in their right to freedom, the peoples of the Middle East
are exactly like you and like me. Their birthright of freedom has
been denied for too long. We will do all in our power to help
them find the blessings of liberty.

---

Hott Spotts will return July 15.

Brian Trumbore



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-07/08/2004-      
Web Epoch NJ Web Design  |  (c) Copyright 2016 StocksandNews.com, LLC.

Hot Spots

07/08/2004

NATO / Middle East / Turkey

President George W. Bush, speaking to a NATO audience in
Istanbul, Turkey, June 29, 2004.

---

For most of its history, NATO existed to deter aggression from a
powerful army at the heart of Europe. In this century, NATO
looks outward to new threats that gather in secret and bring
sudden violence to peaceful cities. We face terrorist networks
that rejoice when parents bury their murdered children, or rejoice
when bound men plead for mercy. We face outlaw regimes that
give aid and shelter to these killers, and seek weapons of mass
murder. We face the challenges of corruption and poverty and
disease, which throw whole nations into chaos and despair.
These are the conditions in which terrorism can survive.

Some on both sides of the Atlantic have questioned whether the
NATO alliance still has a great purpose. To find that purpose,
they only need to open their eyes. The dangers are in plain sight.
The only question is whether we will confront them, or look
away and pay a terrible cost.

Over the last few years, NATO has made its decision. Our
alliance is restructuring to oppose threats that arise beyond the
borders of Europe. NATO is providing security n Afghanistan.
NATO has agreed to help train the security forces of a sovereign
Iraq, which is a great advantage and crucial success for the Iraqi
people. And in Istanbul we have dedicated ourselves to the
advance of reform in the broader Middle East, because all people
deserve a just government, and because terror is not the tool of
the free. Through decades of the Cold War, our great alliance of
liberty never failed in its duties, and we are rising to our duties
once again.

The Turkish people understand the terrorists, because you have
seen their work, even in the last weeks. You’ve heard the sirens,
and witnessed the carnage, and mourned the dead. After the
murders of Muslims, and Christians, and Jews in Istanbul last
November, a resident of this city said of the terrorists, “They
don’t have any religion, they are friends of evil.” In one of the
attacks, a Muslim woman lost her son Ahmet, her daughter-in-
law Berta, and her unborn grandchild. This is what she said:
“Today I am saying goodbye to my son. Tomorrow I’m saying
farewell to my Berta. I don’t know what the killers wanted from
my kids. Were they jealous of their happiness?”

The Turkish people have grieved, but your nation is showing
how terrorist violence will be overcome – with courage, and with
a firm resolve to defend your just and tolerant society. This land
has always been important for its geography – here at the
meeting place of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Now
Turkey has assumed even greater historical importance, because
of your character as a nation. Turkey is a strong, secular
democracy, a majority Muslim society, and a close ally of free
nations. Your country, with 150 years of democratic and social
reform, stands as a model to others, and as Europe’s bridge to the
wider world. Your success is vital to a future of progress and
peace in Europe and in the broader Middle East – and the
Republic of Turkey can depend on the support and friendship of
the United States of America.

For decades, my country has supported greater unity in Europe –
to secure liberty, to build prosperity, and to remove sources of
conflict on this continent. Now the European Union is
considering the admission of Turkey, and you are moving rapidly
to meet the criteria for membership. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had
a vision of Turkey as a strong nation among other European
nations. That dream can be realized by this generation of Turks.
America believes that as a European power, Turkey belongs in
the European Union. Your membership would also be a crucial
advance in relations between the Muslim world and the West,
because you are part of both. Including Turkey in the EU would
prove that Europe is not the exclusive club of a single religion; it
would expose the “clash of civilizations” as a passing myth of
history. Fifteen years ago, an artificial line that divided Europe –
drawn at Yalta – was erased. And now this continent has the
opportunity to erase another artificial division – by including
Turkey in the future of Europe.

Turkey has found its place in the community of democracies by
living out its own principles. Muslims are called to seek justice –
fairness to all, care for the stranger, compassion for those in
need. And you have learned that democracy is the surest way to
build a society of justice. The best way to prevent corruption and
abuse of power is to hold rulers accountable. The best way to
ensure fairness to all is to establish the rule of law. The best way
to honor human dignity is to protect human rights. Turkey has
found what nations of every culture and every region have found:
If justice is the goal, then democracy is the answer.

In some parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, there is
a wariness toward democracy, often based on misunderstanding.
Some people in the Muslim cultures identify democracy with the
worst of Western popular culture, and want no part of it. And I
assure them, when I speak about the blessings of liberty, coarse
videos and crash – crass commercialism are not what I have in
mind. There is nothing incompatible between democratic values
and high standards of decency. For the sake of their families and
their culture, citizens of a free society have every right to strive
peacefully for a moral society.

Democratic values also do not require citizens to abandon their
faith. No democracy can allow religious people to impose their
own view of perfection on others, because this invites cruelty and
arrogance that are foreign to every faith. And all people in a
democracy have the right to their own religious beliefs. But all
democracies are made stronger when religious people teach and
demonstrate upright conduct – family commitment, respect for
the law, and compassion for the weak. Democratic societies
should welcome, not fear, the participation of the faithful.

In addition, democracy does not involve automatic agreement
with other democracies. Free governments have a reputation for
independence, which Turkey has certainly earned. And that is
the way that democracy works. We deal honestly with each
other, we make our own decisions, and yet, in the end, the
disagreements of the moment are far outweighed by the ideals
we share.

Because representative governments reflect their people, every
democracy has its own structure, traditions, and opinions. There
are, however, certain commitments of free government that do
not change from place to place. The promise of democracy is
fulfilled in freedom of speech, the rule of law, limits on the
power of the state, economic freedom, respect for women, and
religious tolerance. These are the values that honor the dignity
of every life, and set free the creative energies that lead to
progress.

Achieving these commitments of democracy can require decades
of effort and reform. In my own country it took generations to
throw off slavery, racial segregation, and other practices that
violated our ideals. So we do not expect that other societies can
be transformed in a day. But however long the journey, there is
only one destination worth striving for, and that is a society of
self-rule and freedom.

Democracy leads to justice within a nation, and the advance of
democracy leads to greater security among nations. The reason
is clear: Free peoples do not live in endless stagnation, and
seethe in resentment, and lash out in envy, rage, and violence.
Free peoples do not cling to every grievance of the past; they
build and live for the future. This is the experience of countries
in the NATO alliance. Bitterness and hostility once divided
France and Germany. Germany and Poland, Romania and
Hungary. But as these nations grew in liberty, ancient disputes
and hatreds have been left to history. And because the people of
Europe now live in hope, Europe no longer produces armed
ideologies that threaten the peace of the world. Freedom in
Europe has brought peace to Europe, and now freedom can bring
peace to the broader Middle East.

I believe that freedom is the future of the Middle East, because I
believe that freedom is the future of all humanity. And the
historic achievement of democracy in the broader Middle East
will be a victory shared by all. Millions who now live in
oppression and want will finally have a chance to provide for
their families and lead hopeful lives. Nations in the region will
have greater stability because governments will have greater
legitimacy. And nations like Turkey and America will be safer,
because a hopeful Middle East will no longer produce ideologies
and movements that seek to kill our citizens. This transformation
is one of the great and difficult tasks of history. And by our own
patience and hard effort, and with confidence in the peoples of
the Middle East, we will finish the work that history has given
us.

Democracy, by definition, must be chosen and defended by the
people themselves. The future of freedom in the Islamic world
will be determined by the citizens of Islamic nations, not by
outsiders. And for citizens of the broader Middle East, the
alternatives could not be more clear. One alternative is a
political doctrine of tyranny, suicide, and murder that goes
against the standards of justice found in Islam and every other
great religion. The other alternative is a society of justice, where
men and women live peacefully and build better lives for
themselves and their children. This is the true cause of the
people of the Middle East, and that cause can never be served by
the murder of the innocent.

This struggle between political extremism and civilized values is
unfolding in many places. We see the struggle in Iraq, where
killers are attempting to undermine and intimidate a free
government. We see the struggle in Iran, where tired, discredited
autocrats are trying to hold back the democratic will of a rising
generation. We see that struggle in Turkey, where the PKK has
abandoned its cease-fire with the Turkish people and resumed
violence. We see it in the Holy Land, where terrorist murderers
are setting back the good cause of the Palestinian people, who
deserve a reformed, peaceful, and democratic state of their own.

The terrorists are ruthless and resourceful, but they will not
prevail. Already more than half of the world’s Muslims live
under democratically – constituted governments – from
Indonesia to West Africa, from Europe to North America. And
the ideal of democracy is also powerful and popular in the
Middle East. Surveys in Arab nations reveal broad support for
representative government and individual liberty. We are seeing
reform in Kuwait and Qatar, Bahrain and Yemen, Jordan and
Morocco. We’re seeing men and women of conscience and
courage step forward to advocate democracy and justice in the
broader Middle East.

As we found in the Soviet Union, and behind the Iron Curtain,
this kind of moral conviction was more powerful than vast
armies and prison walls and the will of dictators. And this kind
of moral conviction is also more powerful than the whips of the
Taliban, the police state of Saddam Hussein, or the cruel designs
of terrorists. The way ahead is long and difficult, yet people of
conscience go forward with hope. The rule of fear did not
survive in Europe; the rule of free peoples will come to the
Middle East.

Leaders throughout that region, including some friends of the
United States, must recognize the direction of the events of the
day. Any nation that compromises with violent extremists only
emboldens them, and invites future violence. Suppressing
dissent only increases radicalism. The long-term stability of any
government depends on being open to change, and responsive to
citizens. By learning these lessons, Turkey has become a great
and stable democracy – and America shares your hope that other
nations will take this path.

Western nations, including my own, want to be helpful in the
democratic progress of the Middle East, yet we know there are
suspicions, rooted in centuries of conflict and colonialism. And
in the last 60 years, many in the West have added to this distrust
by excusing tyranny in the region, hoping to purchase stability at
the price of liberty. But it did not serve the people of the Middle
East to betray their hope of freedom. It has not made Western
nations more secure to ignore the cycle of dictatorship and
extremism. Instead we’ve seen the malice grow deeper, and the
violence spread, until both have appeared on the streets of our
own cities. Some types of hatred will never be appeased; they
must be opposed and discredited and defeated by a hopeful
alternative – and that alternative is freedom.

Reformers in the broader Middle East are working to build freer
and more prosperous societies – and America and Turkey, the G-
8, the EU and NATO have now agreed to support them. Many
nations are helping the people of Afghanistan to secure a free
government. And NATO now leads a military operation in
Afghanistan, in the first action by the alliance outside of Europe.
In Iraq, a broad coalition – including the military forces of many
NATO countries – is helping the people of that country to build a
decent and democratic government after decades of corrupt
oppression. And NATO is providing support to a Polish-led
division.

The government of Iraq has now taken a crucial step forward. In
a nation that suffered for decades under tyranny, we have
witnessed the transfer of sovereignty and the beginning of self-
government. In just 15 months, the Iraqi people have left behind
one of the worst regimes in the Middle East, and their country is
becoming the world’s newest democracy. The world has seen a
great event in the history of Iraq, in the history of the Middle
East, and in the history of liberty.

The rise of Iraqi democracy is brining hope to reformers across
the Middle East, and sending a very different message to Tehran
and Damascus. A free and sovereign Iraq is a decisive defeat for
extremists and terrorists, because their hateful ideology will lose
its appeal in a free and tolerant and successful country. The
terrorists are doing everything they can to undermine Iraqi
democracy, by attacking all who stand for order and justice, and
by committing terrible crimes to break the will of free nations.
These terrorists have the ability to cause suffering and grief, but
they do not have the power to alter the outcome in Iraq. The
civilized world will keep its resolve, the leaders of Iraq are
strong and determined, and the people of Iraq will live in
freedom.

Iraq still faces hard challenges in the days and months ahead.
Iraq’s leaders are eager to assume responsibility for their own
security, and that is our wish, as well. So this week at our
summit, NATO agreed to provide assistance in training Iraqi
security forces. I am grateful to Turkey and other NATO allies
for helping our friends in Iraq to build a nation that governs itself
and defends itself.

Our efforts to promote reform and democracy in the Middle East
are moving forward. At the NATO summit, we approved the
Istanbul Cooperative Initiative, offering to work together with
nations of the broader Middle East to fight terrorism, to control
their borders, and to aid victims of disaster. We’re thankful for
the important role that Turkey is playing as a democratic partner
in the Broader Middle East Initiative.

For all of our efforts to succeed, however, more is needed than
plans and policies. We must strengthen the ties of trust and good
will between ourselves and the peoples of the Middle East. And
trust and good will come more easily when men and women
clear their minds, and their hearts, of suspicion and prejudice and
unreasoned fear. When some in my country speak in an ill-
informed and insulting manner about the Muslim faith, their
words are heard abroad, and do great harm to our cause in the
Middle East. When some in the Muslim world incite hatred and
murder with conspiracy theories and propaganda, their words are
also heard – by a generation of young Muslims who need truth
and hope, not lies and anger. All such talk, in America or in the
Middle East, is dangerous and reckless and unworthy of any
religious tradition. Whatever our culture differences may be,
there should be respect and peace in the House of Abraham.

The Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk has said that the finest view of
Istanbul is not from the shores of Europe, or from the shores of
Asia, but from a bridge that unites them, and lets you see both.
His work has been a bridge between cultures, and so is the
Republic of Turkey. The people of this land understand, as that
great writer has observed, that “What is important is not a clash
of parties, civilizations, cultures, East and West.” What is
important, he says, is to realize “that other people in other
continents and civilizations” are “exactly like you.”

Ladies and gentlemen, in their need for hope, in their desire for
peace, in their right to freedom, the peoples of the Middle East
are exactly like you and like me. Their birthright of freedom has
been denied for too long. We will do all in our power to help
them find the blessings of liberty.

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Hott Spotts will return July 15.

Brian Trumbore