President George W. Bush in Latvia and Georgia
President George W. Bush made two important appearances this week in Riga, Latvia and in Tbilisi, Georgia. At each stop, he spoke about freedom and democracy:
Here is how a Wall Street Journal editorial described the visits to Latvia and Georgia:
…two…moments from the trip better capture its real import.
The first was the sight of Mr. Bush standing alongside the presidents of the Baltic states at a press conference in Riga, Latvia. Asked by a reporter what he had to say to those who argue the U.S. is “inappropriately meddling in the neighborhood,” Mr. Bush replied: “The idea of countries helping others become free, I would hope that would be viewed as not revolutionary, but rational foreign policy, as decent foreign policy, as humane foreign policy.”
The second moment came Monday upon Mr. Bush’s arrival in Tbilisi, Georgia. The President was met at the airport by his Georgian counterpart, Mikhail Saakashvili, with a bouquet of roses, a reminder of the Rose Revolution that peacefully toppled Eduard Sheverdnadze’s post-Soviet regime. His motorcade was then cheered by thousands of onlookers as it made its way into the city; some 100,000 Georgians were expected to hear Mr. Bush speak today in the city’s Freedom Square…
But perhaps the most important aspect of Mr. Bush’s trip is that it underscores the coherence of his broader foreign-policy objectives. “Freedom is on the march,” the President likes to remind his audiences, and that message is as apt in Riga or Tbilisi as it is in Baghdad or Beirut. It also serves as a reminder that the achievement celebrated on May 9 was an incomplete one, and that the project Mr. Bush is embarked on now is nothing if not an extension of that achievement. As Mr. Bush said in his extemporaneous remarks in Riga:
“We now have the same opportunity — this generation has the same opportunity — to leave behind lasting peace for the next generation, by working on the spread of freedom and democracy. And the United States has got great partners in doing what I think is our duty to spread democracy and freedom with the three nations represented here.”
These speeches are important additions to the public debate about freedom and democracy, joining the arsenal of other key speeches put forth by the President since the War on Terror began. This posting links to those other key speeches since September 11, 2001.