Bush calls for global cooperation
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — President Bush yesterday challenged
international leaders to create a new world order, declaring
pre-September 11 multilateralism outmoded and asserting that freedom
from terrorism will come only through pre-emptive action against
enemies of democracy.
But even as Mr. Bush urged a new effort by free nations to join
forces, he criticized the multilateral process that splintered as his
administration moved toward war in the absence of action by the United
Nations against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
In his first major foreign-policy speech since his
re-election, the president set out an expansive second-term agenda with
three distinct goals: reforming multilateral institutions, prosecuting
the war on terrorism and spreading democracy in the Middle East.
"The success of multilateralism is measured not merely by
following a process, but by achieving results," Mr. Bush said. "The
objective of the U.N. and other institutions must be collective
security, not endless debate."
The president, who was seated near Canadian Prime Minister
Paul Martin, did not bring up the United States' disagreement with
Canada over the U.S.-led Iraq war or chastise other nations that
opposed the pre-emptive strike on Saddam, such as France, Germany or
But one day after declaring in Ottawa that Americans on
Election Day had endorsed the Bush administration's foreign policy and
its doctrine — which calls for pre-emptive action against states that
harbor or aid terrorists — the president had a clear message for the
rest of the world.
"Defense alone is not a sufficient strategy," he said. "There
is only one way to deal with enemies who plot in secret and set out to
murder the innocent and the unsuspecting: We must take the fight to
The president declared that multilateralism has, of late,
resulted in little action. Although he vowed to make an effort to build
coalitions with foreign powers, he said those efforts must be geared
"My country is determined to work as far as possible within
the framework of international organizations, and we're hoping that
other nations will work with us to make those institutions more
relevant and more effective in meeting the unique threats of our time,"
While applauding Canada's expansive military role in the
world, with its peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Haiti, Sudan, Cyprus and the Middle East, Mr. Bush recalled Canada's
pre-emptive entry into World War II, noting, "Some Canadians argued
that Canada had not been attacked and had no interest in fighting a
The Canadian prime minister echoed Mr. Bush's view of the
post-September 11 world, saying the terrorist attacks on America "have
redefined many realities in the world and on our own continent."
"We're in a war against terrorism, and we are in it together,
Americans and Canadians. ... Together we have come to realize that the
world is indeed smaller since 9/11. It's more complex, perilous, more
challenging," Mr. Martin said.
Both leaders called for renewed efforts in prosecuting the war on terrorism.
"In the new era the threat is different, but our duties are the
same. Our enemies have declared their intentions — and so have we.
Peaceful nations must keep the peace by going after the terrorists,"
Mr. Bush said.
He also called on all free nations to become more involved in spreading democracy in the Middle East.
"By taking the side of reformers and democrats in the Middle
East, we will gain allies in the war on terror and isolate the ideology
of murder and help to defeat the despair and hopelessness that feeds
terror. The world will become a much safer place as democracy
advances," Mr. Bush said.
But again, he urged all parties to avoid the endless debate
over the decades-old issue, dismissing past efforts to accept small
compromises over borders and settlement sites.
"This approach has been tried before without success," he
said. "The Palestinian people deserve a peaceful government that truly
serves their interests, and the Israeli people need a true partner in
The president caused a bit of a stir when he mentioned the
U.S. missile-defense program, which many Canadians oppose. The first
U.S. missile bases in the shield have been set up in Alaska and
California — and with Canada in between, the question of whether Canada
will help out could become a sensitive point.
Mr. Martin told reporters after Mr. Bush had left that
whatever his government decides, it "will be in Canada's interests. We
are a sovereign nation, and we will make our own decisions on our
airspace," he said, but added, "We are opposed to the weaponization of
During his speech, Mr. Bush was conciliatory toward Canada and
its prime minister, who replaced Jean Chretien, a vehement opponent to
the war in Iraq.
He said that because the United States and Canada are
neighbors that are engaged in "more multilateral institutions than
perhaps any two nations on Earth" and conduct $1 billion in trade each
day, "when frustrations are vented, we must not take it personally."
Mr. Bush visited Halifax because on September 11, 2001, about
33,000 passengers on airplanes bound for U.S. airports were diverted to
Canadian provinces, including Nova Scotia.
"You opened your homes and your churches to strangers, you
brought food, you set up clinics, you arranged for calls to their loved
ones, and you asked for nothing in return," the president said. "Thank
you for your kindness to America in an hour of need."
Mr. Martin replied, "Well, Mr. President, that's what neighbors do."