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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 February, 2005, 05:58 GMT
State of the Union: Key quotes
The following are excerpts from US President George W Bush's 2005 State of the Union address:


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Tonight, with a healthy, growing economy, with more Americans going back to work, with our nation an active force for good in the world - the state of our union is confident and strong.

Our generation has been blessed - by the expansion of opportunity, by advances in medicine, and by the security purchased by our parents' sacrifice.

Now, as we see a little grey in the mirror - or a lot of grey - and we watch our children moving into adulthood, we ask the question: What will be the state of their union?

THE ECONOMY

America's economy is the fastest growing of any major industrialised nation. In the past four years, we have provided tax relief to every person who pays income taxes, overcome a recession, opened up new markets abroad, prosecuted corporate criminals, raised homeownership to the highest level in history, and in the last year alone, the United States has added 2.3 million new jobs...

Now we must add to these achievements. By making our economy more flexible, more innovative, and more competitive, we will keep America the economic leader of the world.

SOCIAL SECURITY

One of America's most important institutions - a symbol of the trust between generations - is also in need of wise and effective reform. Social security was a great moral success of the 20th Century, and we must honour its great purposes in this new century. The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy...

If you've got children in their 20s, as some of us do, the idea of social security collapsing before they retire does not seem like a small matter...

We must pass reforms that solve the financial problems of social security once and for all.

MARRIAGE

Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage.

MEDICAL RESEARCH

To build a culture of life, we must ... ensure that scientific advances always serve human dignity, not take advantage of some lives for the benefit of others... America will continue to lead the world in medical research that is ambitious, aggressive, and always ethical.

WAR ON TERROR

We will pass along to our children all the freedoms we enjoy - and chief among them is freedom from fear...

Our country is still the target of terrorists who want to kill many, and intimidate us all - and we will stay on the offensive against them, until the fight is won.

SPREADING DEMOCRACY

The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else. That is one of the main differences between us and our enemies. They seek to impose and expand an empire of oppression, in which a tiny group of brutal, self-appointed rulers control every aspect of every life.

Our aim is to build and preserve a community of free and independent nations, with governments that answer to their citizens, and reflect their own cultures. And because democracies respect their own people and their neighbours, the advance of freedom will lead to peace.

MIDDLE EAST

The goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace is within reach - and America will help them achieve that goal.

To promote peace in the broader Middle East, we must confront regimes that continue to harbour terrorists and pursue weapons of mass murder. Syria still allows its territory, and parts of Lebanon, to be used by terrorists who seek to destroy every chance of peace in the region.

IRAN

Today, Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror - pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve...

To the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.

IRAQ

Our generational commitment to the advance of freedom, especially in the Middle East, is now being tested and honoured in Iraq. That country is a vital front in the war on terror, which is why the terrorists have chosen to make a stand there... We will succeed because the Iraqi people value their own liberty - as they showed the world last Sunday.

The terrorists and insurgents are violently opposed to democracy, and will continue to attack it. Yet the terrorists' most powerful myth is being destroyed... And the whole world now knows that a small group of extremists will not overturn the will of the Iraqi people.

'BIGGEST DREAMS'

As Franklin Roosevelt once reminded Americans, "each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth". And we live in the country where the biggest dreams are born. The abolition of slavery was only a dream - until it was fulfilled. The liberation of Europe from fascism was only a dream - until it was achieved. The fall of imperial communism was only a dream - until, one day, it was accomplished.

Our generation has dreams of its own, and we also go forward with confidence. The road of Providence is uneven and unpredictable - yet we know where it leads: it leads to freedom.


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