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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 22, 2007
Fact Sheet: Promoting Democracy to Help Make America Safer
President Bush Attends Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention, Discusses War on Terror
In Focus: Veterans
President Bush Draws On The Lessons From The Far East To Explain Why We Must Keep Our Commitment To Democracy In The Middle East
Today, President Bush Will Address The Veterans Of Foreign Wars National Convention In Kansas City And Further Illustrate Why Helping Democracies Of The Middle East Stand Up To Violent Islamic Extremists Is The Reasonable Path Toward A Safer World For The American People. Using the example of Asia's development, he will show that there is long precedent for the work we are doing in the Middle East that will make America safer and good reason for confidence in our success.
While There Were Many Doubters Along The Way, The Fruit Of American Sacrifice And Perseverance In Asia Is A Freer, More Prosperous, And Stable Continent.
In The Aftermath Of Japan's Surrender In World War II, Many Thought It Naïve To Help The Japanese Transform Themselves Into A Democracy, But Today A Democratic Japan Has Brought Peace And Prosperity To Its People. Then as now, the critics argued that some people were simply not ready for democracy. With every reform in Japan, experts stepped forward to assert that a democratic Japan was a hopeless dream. For example, a former U.S. ambassador to Japan who served as Truman's undersecretary of state told the President flatly that "democracy in Japan would never work."
Japan Has Transformed From America's Enemy In The Ideological Struggle Of The 20th Century To One Of America's Strongest Allies In The Ideological Struggle Of The 21st Century. Japan's foreign trade and investment have helped jump-start the economies of others in the region. The Alliance between our two nations is the lynchpin of freedom and stability throughout the Pacific, which has added immeasurably to American security.
Critics Of The Korean War Argued That America Should Not Intervene To Save South Korea From Communist Invasion, But Today South Korea Is A Strong, Democratic Ally Of The United States. Then as now, critics argued that the war was futile, that we never should have sent our troops in, or that America's intervention was divisive here at home. For example, a Washington Post reporter wrote that "Korea is an open wound. It is bleeding and there is no cure for it in sight." Many of these criticisms were offered as reasons for abandoning our commitments in Korea.
Without America's Intervention During The War And Our Willingness To Stick With The South Koreans After The War Millions Of South Koreans Would Now Be Living Under A Brutal And Repressive Regime. The Soviets and Chinese Communists would have learned the lesson that aggression pays. And the world would now be facing a larger, stronger, and more implacable threat.
Critics Of The Vietnam War Argued The Real Problem Was America's Presence And That If We Would Just Withdraw, The Killing Would End. For example, a New York Times columnist wrote that "it is difficult to imagine how [the Vietnamese peoples] lives could be anything but better with the Americans gone."
Helping Iraq Stand Up A Functioning Democracy Is Critical To The Safety Of The American People
Like Past Enemies, The Terrorists Who Wage War In Iraq, Afghanistan, And Other Places Kill Americans Because We Stand In The Way Of Their Goal To Crush Freedom And Tolerance And They Will Be Defeated.
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