For Immediate Release
January 29, 2004
From remarks by Vice President Cheney, Rome, 1/26/04
Civilized people must do everything possible to defeat terrorism and to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
We must confront the ideologies of violence at the source. This can be done by promoting democracy throughout the greater Middle East and beyond.
Democracies do not breed the anger and radicalism that drag down whole societies and export violence. Terrorists do not find fertile recruiting grounds in societies where young people have the right to guide their own destiny and choose their own leaders.
The desire for freedom is universal. It is condescending and false to say that democratic values can never take root in the Middle East.
America's forward strategy for freedom leads us to support those who work and sacrifice for reform across the greater Middle East.
Americans and our allies know that the days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nation's wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of anti-Western hatred are over.
We must seek a higher standard, one that will apply to our friends in the region no less than to our adversaries.
Democratic reform is essential to a peaceful resolution of the long-standing Arab-Israeli dispute. The United States seeks recognition and security for Israel and supports a viable, independent Palestinian state.
The best hope for lasting peace depends on true democracy.