“I am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed and the greatest force for good on this Earth.”
In his Republican National Convention acceptance speech, President George W. Bush laid forth this vision to guide America during these dangerous times and assured us that he will continue to defend our country against the forces that seek to destroy us. “Nothing will hold us back.”
President Bush’s regional policies have proved effective over the past four years. Together with allies abroad, we have proved to be the “greatest force for good,” advancing liberty for those who have been exploited by the governments that are responsible for protecting them. Saddam Hussein has been captured and will face repercussions for his evil-doing. The Taliban’s oppressive regime has been eliminated. Democratic elections are being held in both Iraq and Afghanistan. For the first time, the people can have their voices heard without fear of persecution.
America has been a symbol of hope to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, inspiring both to destroy the terrorist threat within their own borders. Once a breeding ground for terrorists, Bush’s steady cooperation with Saudi Arabia has led to its renewed efforts to root out its remaining al Qaeda cells. Bush’s policies toward Pakistan show his commitment to a lasting relationship. He has structured a far-reaching, bilateral partnership with Pakistan and chose to make it a major, non-NATO ally. Cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan has led to the increased effort to stop terrorism and Pakistan’s strengthened relationships with Afghanistan and India. Bush has provided $400 million to Pakistan this year to help with development and further stabilization of the nation, which will in turn help stabilize the entire region.
During Bush’s presidency, we have seen Muammar al-Qadhafi change his policies of proliferation and decide to disarm Libya of unconventional weapons. Bush will repeat this effort towards nonproliferation in Iran. General Colin Powell has recently approached the U.N. to gather support against Iran’s continued efforts to develop weapons grade uranium and further advance a nuclear weapons program. President Bush has made it clear that he will not stand for these intolerable actions.
Renewed leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will hopefully soon lead to a resolution. Bush has not faltered in his dedication to the Israelis nor his efforts for Palestinian reform. President Bush seeks and maintains positive relationships with foreign powers to work towards mutual goals.
The 2004 budget increases foreign aid for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan and Turkey, to combat terrorism and stabilize the region. This is an example of Bush’s forward thinking and continued dedication to regional politics. In addition, Bush has outlined his hopeful vision for the future, which encompasses more than the short-term goals of an election year. He is making the world not only a safer, but a better place to live, granting hope for future generations.
America, under Bush’s strong leadership, is the only “hope of the oppressed.” Through key initiatives, America has shown its dedication to fighting poverty, disease and injustice in countries around the world. These conditions create an environment susceptible to terrorist influence.
Through dramatic increases in foreign aid spending over the last two years, the Bush administration has targeted the socially debilitating effects of poverty and disease in many developing nations. The Millennium Challenge Account has provided $5 billion annually in development funding for reforming countries and $15 billion for HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean over the next five years. In Uganda, the successful efforts to provide treatment to those struggling with HIV/AIDS illustrate America’s relentless dedication to this pressing issue.
Bush has vehemently fought against injustice worldwide. Regime change in Iraq and Afghanistan has eradicated a system of corruption and abuse, replacing it with a democratic and just government. These two countries now serve as an example to their neighbors that a democratic nation is a nation of opportunity. Women in the Middle East can now look forward to a promise of equality and justice. No longer will only one voice dictate the course of the nation.
Sept. 11, 2001, everything that America values and holds dear was attacked. The very core of our nation was targeted, and life as we knew it had changed. In the face of this, our policies must be responsive to a changing, more interconnected, global society. Threats that were once local are now global issues. Terrorism is not solely an American problem; its effects have been felt around the world. The recent attacks in Russia serve as a painful reminder of a nation’s vulnerability. “If America shows uncertainty or weakness in this decade, the world will drift towards tragedy.” We will not be held back by terrorist fanatics trying to intimidate us. We will not be held back by those reluctant to make a strong stand towards a common enemy. The only thing that can hold us back now is weak, inconsistent leadership in the face of difficult choices. You know where Bush stands; can you say the same for Kerry?
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