Bush: U.S. Must Lead in Freedom's Cause

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This week is Captive Nations Week, and to commemorate the historic cause of struggling nations, President Bush spoke about the fight to spread freedom around the world.

In a speech delivered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, Bush called on future Presidents and Congresses to continue to lead the cause of freedom around the world.

Bush said Captive Nations Week was a chance to reflect on the changes in world history over the past 50 years. It offers a time to reflect on the challenges the world faces in the 21st century, especially the fight against terror.

"Over the past seven years, we've learned that leading the cause of freedom requires combating hopelessness in struggling nations," Bush said.

"Combating hopelessness is in America's security interests, because the only way our enemies can recruit people to their dark ideology is to exploit distress and despair," he said. "Combating hopelessness is in our moral interests. Americans believe that to whom much is given, much is required."

The President also challenged members of the NATO alliance to aid other rising young democracies.

"During the Cold War, the nations of Central and Eastern Europe were part of the Warsaw Pact alliance that was poised to attack Western Europe, " Bush said. "Today, most of those nations are members of the NATO alliance, who are using their freedom to aid the rise of other young democracies.

"In these experiences, we have seen the transformative power of freedom. We've seen that free societies don't harbor terrorists, or launch unprovoked attacks on their neighbors," he said. "Free societies are peaceful societies. And that is why the United States of America must continue to cause -- to lead the cause of freedom."

The President also laid out a set of challenges for America in the years ahead.

He said the U.S must continue to help people in struggling nations achieve freedom from corruption, freedom from disease, freedom from poverty, freedom from hunger and freedom from tyranny.

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