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Text of Blair's speech (pt II)
The following is the text of the speech by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to the US Congress, the first by a British prime minister since Margaret Thatcher in 1985. [continued]

To be a serious partner, Europe must take on and defeat the anti-Americanism that sometimes passes for its political discourse.

And what America must do is show that this is a partnership built on persuasion, not command.

Who helped Japan renew, or Germany reconstruct, or Europe get back on its feet after World War II? America
Then the other great nations of our world and the small will gather around in one place, not many.

And our understanding of this threat will become theirs. And the United Nations can then become what it should be: an instrument of action as well as debate.

The Security Council should be reformed. We need a new international regime on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

And we need to say clearly to United Nations members: "If you engage in the systematic and gross abuse of human rights in defiance of the UN charter, you cannot expect to enjoy the same privileges as those that conform to it."

I agree. It is not the coalition that determines the mission, but the mission the coalition.

But let us start preferring a coalition and acting alone if we have to, not the other way around.

True, winning wars is not easier that way, but winning the peace is.

And we have to win both. And you have an extraordinary record of doing so.

Who helped Japan renew, or Germany reconstruct, or Europe get back on its feet after World War II? America.

So when we invade Afghanistan or Iraq, our responsibility does not end with military victory.

Finishing the job

Finishing the fighting is not finishing the job.

So if Afghanistan needs more troops from the international community to police outside Kabul, our duty is to get them.

Let us help them eradicate their dependency on the poppy, the crop whose wicked residue turns up on the streets of Britain as heroin to destroy young British lives, as much as their harvest warps the lives of Afghans.

We promised Iraq democratic government. We will deliver it.

We promised them the chance to use their oil wealth to build prosperity for all their citizens, not a corrupt elite, and we will do so.

We will stay with these people so in need of our help until the job is done.

When we removed the Taleban and Saddam Hussein, this was not imperialism. For these oppressed people, it was their liberation
And then reflect on this: How hollow would the charges of American imperialism be when these failed countries are and are seen to be transformed from states of terror to nations of prosperity, from governments of dictatorship to examples of democracy, from sources of instability to beacons of calm?

And how risible would be the claims that these were wars on Muslims if the world could see these Muslim nations still Muslim, but with some hope for the future, not shackled by brutal regimes whose principal victims were the very Muslims they pretended to protect?

It would be the most richly observed advertisement for the values of freedom we can imagine.

When we removed the Taleban and Saddam Hussein, this was not imperialism. For these oppressed people, it was their liberation.

And why can the terrorists even mount an argument in the Muslim world that it isn't?

Because there is one cause terrorism rides upon, a cause they have no belief in, but can manipulate.

Mid-East peace call

I want to be very plain: This terrorism will not be defeated without peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine.

Here it is that the poison is incubated.

Here it is that the extremist is able to confuse in the mind of a frighteningly large number of people the case for a Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel, and to translate this moreover into a battle between East and West, Muslim, Jew and Christian.

You cannot teach people hate and then ask them to practice peace. But neither can you teach people peace except by according them dignity and granting them hope
May this never compromise the security of the state of Israel.

The state of Israel should be recognised by the entire Arab world, and the vile propaganda used to indoctrinate children, not just against Israel but against Jews, must cease.

You cannot teach people hate and then ask them to practice peace.

But neither can you teach people peace except by according them dignity and granting them hope.

Innocent Israelis suffer. So do innocent Palestinians.

The ending of Saddam's regime in Iraq must be the starting point of a new dispensation for the Middle East: Iraq, free and stable; Iran and Syria, who give succour to the rejectionist men of violence, made to realise that the world will no longer countenance it, that the hand of friendship can only be offered them if they resile completely from this malice, but that if they do, that hand will be there for them and their people; the whole of region helped toward democracy.

Palestinian state

And to symbolise it all, the creation of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian state side by side with the state of Israel.

What the president is doing in the Middle East is tough but right.

And let me at this point thank the president for his support, and that of President Clinton before him, and the support of members of this Congress, for our attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

You know, one thing I've learned about peace processes: They're always frustrating, they're often agonising, and occasionally they seem hopeless.

But for all that, having a peace process is better than not having one.

And why has a resolution of Palestine such a powerful appeal across the world?

Because it embodies an even-handed approach to justice, just as when this president recommended and this Congress supported a $15bn increase in spending on the world's poorest nations to combat HIV/Aids.

It was a statement of concern that echoed rightly around the world.

There can be no freedom for Africa without justice and no justice without declaring war on Africa's poverty, disease and famine with as much vehemence as we removed the tyrant and the terrorists.

Free trade

In Mexico in September, the world should unite and give us a trade round that opens up our markets.

I'm for free trade, and I'll tell you why: because we can't say to the poorest people in the world: "We want you to be free, but just don't try to sell your goods in our market."

And because ever since the world started to open up, it has prospered. And that prosperity has to be environmentally sustainable, too.

You know, I remember at one of our earliest international meetings, a European prime minister telling President Bush that the solution was quite simple: Just double the tax on American gasoline.

Your president gave him a most eloquent look.

It reminded me of the first leader of my party, Keir Hardie, in the early part of the 20th Century.

He was a man who used to correspond with the Pankhursts, the great campaigners for women's votes.

And shortly before the election, June 1913, one of the Pankhurst sisters wrote to Hardie saying she had been studying Britain carefully and there was a worrying rise in sexual immorality linked to heavy drinking.

So she suggested he fight the election on the platform of votes for women, chastity for men and prohibition for all.

He replied by saying: "Thank you for your advice - the electoral benefits of which are not immediately discernible."

We all get that kind of advice, don't we?

Environment

But frankly, we need to go beyond even Kyoto, and science and technology is the way.

Climate change, deforestation, the voracious drain on natural resources cannot be ignored.

Unchecked, these forces will hinder the economic development of the most vulnerable nations first and ultimately all nations.

So we must show the world that we are willing to step up to these challenges around the world and in our own backyards.

Members of Congress, if this seems a long way from the threat of terror and weapons of mass destruction, it is only to say again that the world security cannot be protected without the world's heart being one.

So America must listen as well as lead.

But, members of Congress, don't ever apologise for your values.

We're not fighting for domination. We're not fighting for an American world, though we want a world in which America is at ease
Tell the world why you're proud of America. Tell them when the Star-Spangled Banner starts, Americans get to their feet, Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Central Europeans, East Europeans, Jews, Muslims, white, Asian, black, those who go back to the early settlers and those whose English is the same as some New York cab drivers I've dealt with, but whose sons and daughters could run for this Congress.

Tell them why Americans, one and all, stand upright and respectful.

Not because some state official told them to, but because whatever race, colour, class or creed they are, being American means being free. That's why they're proud.

As Britain knows, all predominant power seems for a time invincible, but, in fact, it is transient.

Legacy

The question is: What do you leave behind?

And what you can bequeath to this anxious world is the light of liberty.

That is what this struggle against terrorist groups or states is about.

We're not fighting for domination. We're not fighting for an American world, though we want a world in which America is at ease.

We will be with you in this fight for liberty. And if our spirit is right and our courage firm, the world will be with us
We're not fighting for Christianity, but against religious fanaticism of all kinds.

And this is not a war of civilisations, because each civilisation has a unique capacity to enrich the stock of human heritage.

We are fighting for the inalienable right of humankind - black or white, Christian or not, left, right or a million different - to be free, free to raise a family in love and hope, free to earn a living and be rewarded by your efforts, free not to bend your knee to any man in fear, free to be you so long as being you does not impair the freedom of others.

That's what we're fighting for. And it's a battle worth fighting.

And I know it's hard on America, and in some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I've never been to, but always wanted to go.

I know out there there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, "Why me? And why us? And why America?"

And the only answer is: "Because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do."

And our job, my nation that watched you grow, that you fought alongside and now fights alongside you, that takes enormous pride in our alliance and great affection in our common bond, our job is to be there with you.

You are not going to be alone. We will be with you in this fight for liberty.

We will be with you in this fight for liberty. And if our spirit is right and our courage firm, the world will be with us.

Thank you.




WATCH AND LISTEN
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
"We will be with you in this fight for liberty"



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