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PRIME MINISTER'S INTERNET BROADCAST, 13 APRIL 2000 - RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA I'm sometimes asked why so much of a Prime Minister's time is spent on foreign affairs when there are so many pressing problems here at home. And I've got some sympathy with this point of view, not least because I know more than anyone what needs to be done here. But I also know that in a world which is increasingly interdependent, building good relationships between countries has never been more important. For Britain's national interests. Next week I will meet Vladimir Putin, the Acting President of the Russian Federation here in London. When I was growing up, like many of you, the Cold War was at its height. Our relations with Russia and the old Soviet Union were characterised by hostility and mutual suspicion. Since then, we have witnessed a transformation which few people would have believed possible. President Putin arrives here as the democratically-elected leader of a country in the midst of a massive transformation. He was the overwhelming choice last month of the people of Russia in free and fair elections. And while much has changed, Russia remains a great and powerful country - and an increasingly important partner for us in business. It's a country with which we share a continent and many common concerns and interests. Russia is the European Union's largest trading partner. Many British firms are aly playing their part in rebuilding and modernising its economy and many more firms want to follow their example. Russia is also a country, freed of the shackles of communism and dictatorship, which has the potential to make a huge contribution for good in the world. Its soldiers serve alongside ours in Bosnia and Kosovo, and we work closely with Russia in the ed Nations Security Council where we are both Permanent Members. All of this explains why the decision to continue building a strong relationship with the new democratic Russia must be the right one. And it is a relationship that Russia is keen to foster as well. Britain is here seen as having something of a pivotal role, because of our place in Europe, the close relationship with our European partners but also the fact that we've got a close partnership with the ed States of America. However I understand why there is some controversy about President Putin's visit, just as there was over my decision to accept his invitation to meet him in St. Petersburg last month. Off course there is real concern over what is happening in Chechnya. Last month when I met President Putin, we talked this over in detail together. I can understand Russia's need to respond to the threat of force from extremists and terrorists. But I am also clear that the measures taken should be proportionate and consistent with its international obligations. Russia should allow full access to international organisations which have a role to play in Chechnya and I hope that Russia will act on the clear lesson from similar such conflicts around the world: that there are no purely military solutions. Political dialogue is essential. So of course I will take the opportunity of the visit to London to repeat our concerns, clearly and frankly to President Putin. But I believe that the best way to ensure that Russia responds to these international anxieties is through engagement not isolation. And this chance to talk directly and frankly about matters of difference as well as issues of shared concern demonstrates why meetings of this kind are so important. It's a fact that today problems and solutions rarely stop at national borders. Events in one country quickly spill over to their neighbours. We live in a global economy. Economic decisions made in one country have an impact on the other side of the world as we saw with the Asian economic crisis a couple of years ago. Politics too, however, is becoming increasingly globalised. So it is more vital than ever that we maintain friendships between countries and leaders, build new ones and share experiences and views for the benefits of our citizens. It is in the end only by building alliances and winning arguments that Britain, for example, was able to help shape a new economic agenda agreed at last month's European summit which focussed the whole direction of European economic policy far more strongly, rightly so, on jobs and future prosperity and economic reform. It's only through our ties with the ed States and European partners that we were able to act successfully together to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and allow one million people who otherwise would be refugees in Europe, allow them to return home. We have aly seen greater co-operation between Russia and this country than anyone could have forecast just fifteen years ago. But we have to build on this, consign the Cold War relationship to the past and grasp the opportunity for real partnership in the future. A partnership from which not just both our countries, but also Europe as a whole, can benefit. And we can see this aly despite our differences. We have worked together, in bringing stability to the Balkans. There is increasingly close co-operation, for instance, between our security forces in tackling international organised crime and drugs. This co-operation has to be in the best interests of our two countries and our citizens. And like all such relationships, it can only be enhanced by direct and personal contact. For some Britain is an island, and as a result of being an Island, and we should almost try to isolate ourselves as much as possible from the world around us. But this inward-looking view is not the true lesson of British history. My belief, passionate belief, is that our historic role has been of a Nation outward-looking and engaged. For me Britain thrives when we make allies, argue our corner; take our case out to the world. That's why we will be having this meeting with President Putin in London next week and why I will continue working at home and abroad to do all I can to protect our security, promote British interests, British jobs and British prosperity. 200705/13317President Bush Delivers Commencement Address at Texas Aamp;M THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Howdy! AUDIENCE: Howdy! THE PRESIDENT: I am thrilled to be back in Aggieland. (Applause.) And it's always an honor to be introduced by the President of the ed States -- especially when he's your Dad. And how about Mom? Mom, I've been meaning to say this publicly for a long time -- thanks, thanks for the gray hair. (Laughter.) I congratulate the graduates of the Fighting Texas Aggie Classes of 2008 -- (applause) -- class of 2007 -- (applause) -- the class of 2006 -- I'd better stop. (Laughter.) Let's just say that I hope there's no one left from when I spoke to the commencement in 1998. (Laughter.) If so, I hope you're walking out of here with a Ph.D. (Laughter.) I am grateful to the faculty and staff of Texas Aamp;M for their devotion to learning and their example of scholarship. I appreciate your outstanding President, Dr. Elsa Murano. And I am glad to be with -- there you go. (Applause.) And I am glad to travel from Washington today with three fine Aggies representing Texas in the ed States Congress -- Congressmen Chet Edwards, Joe Barton, and Jeb Hensarling. (Applause.) I am pleased to see so many of your families and loved ones here today. While you bled maroon, they bled a lot of green. (Laughter.) So please join me in thanking all those whose support made it possible for you to reach this proud day. (Applause.) There is one person who wishes he could be here today -- and that's your former President, and America's Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates. (Applause.) You know, he's got an excused absence. It's not like he's over at the Dixie Chicken. (Laughter.) He's traveling to the Middle East, consulting with our generals, and showing his support for the men and women of the ed States Armed Forces. (Applause.) When I asked Bob to be the Secretary of Defense, it was clear how much he loved Texas Aamp;M. After all, he refused to come to Washington until after he attended the winter commencement. And I was even more impressed when he insisted on standing during the Cabinet meetings -- (laughter) -- claiming he was the "12th Man." (Laughter.) One day, he explained it all. He said: "Mr. President, I'm red ass." (Applause.) I'll say this for Aamp;M -- you've got some mighty fine traditions. (Applause.) Back in my day, I think I would have enjoyed dunking my ring. (Applause.) I would have loved to have taken Laura to "midnight yell." (Applause.) I especially like the traditions around Reveille. Anytime she barks during a class lecture, everyone in the room is dismissed. (Applause.) I wish she had been there for some of those press conferences. (Laughter and applause.) This campus is home to solemn rituals that demonstrate the strength of your bonds. In playing of Silver Taps to honor fallen classmates, in the reunion of students and alumni to the roll call at Muster, and in wearing of your timeless rings, you affirm a powerful truth: Once an Aggie, always an Aggie. (Applause.) Traditions like these are central to the Aamp;M experience. And so is academic excellence, and all of you will benefit from your rigorous courses of study. I suspect you'll also find that some of your most important learning took place outside the classroom -- in the friendships you formed, perspective you gained, and the things you discovered about yourselves. When you leave this campus, you will be well prepared for any endeavor you choose. To those of you who have jobs lined up, I -- congratulations. To those not exactly sure what comes next -- I know how you feel. (Laughter and applause.) As our days in the White House wind down, we're going through a series of "lasts." I pardoned my last Thanksgiving turkey. Laura decorated for her last Christmas in the White House. And Barney bit his last reporter. (Laughter.) Or at least that's what we hope. (Laughter.) This is also my last commencement address as President. (Applause.) And it is fitting that it takes place here in Texas, where I have been so blessed over the years. I was raised here by wonderful parents, surrounded by brothers and sisters whose love still sustains me. And Texas is where I went to a backyard barbeque and met a beautiful teacher named Laura Welch. Texas is where our girls were born and our lifelong friends live. And next month, when our time in Washington is done, Texas is where we're coming home. (Applause.) These days, I'm asked a lot about my time as President. Some days have been happy, some days not so happy -- every day joyous. It's been a tremendous privilege. I have traveled across our nation, and to 74 countries around the world. I have slept in Buckingham Palace; I have feasted in the desert of Abu Dhabi; I've watched the sunrise in Jerusalem. I have spoken to campaign rallies in packed stadiums, and to hundreds of thousands in Romania's Revolution Square. I've taken Marine One into America's biggest cities, and visited many of our smallest towns. Through it all, nothing has inspired me more than the character of the American people -- the acts of courage and service that sustain our free society, and make this the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.) 200812/58660Download mp4 (138MB) | mp3 (4MB) 201105/135178演讲文本US President's speech on social security (February 12,2005) THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. In my State of the Union address, I discussed the need to act to strengthen and save Social Security. Since then, I have traveled to eight states and spoken with tens of thousands of you about my ideas. I have reminded you that Social Security was one of the great moral successes of the 20th century. And for those born before 1950, I have assured you that the Social Security system will not change in any way, and you will receive your checks. I've also warned our younger workers that the government has made promises it cannot pay for with the current pay-as-you-go system. Social Security was created decades ago for a very different era. In 1950, about 16 workers paid into the system for every one person drawing benefits. Today, we have only about three workers for each beneficiary, and over the next few decades, baby boomers like me will retire, people will be living longer and benefits are scheduled to increase dramatically. Eventually, there will be just two workers per beneficiary. With every passing year, fewer workers will be paying ever-higher benefits to ever-larger numbers of retirees. So here is the result: 13 years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it collects in payroll taxes; and every year afterward will bring a new and larger shortfall. For example, in the year 2027, the government will somehow have to come up with an extra 0 billion a year to keep the system afloat. By the year 2033, the annual shortfall would be more than 0 billion a year. And by the year 2042, the entire system would be bankrupt. If we do not act now to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be dramatically higher taxes, massive new borrowing or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs. To keep the promise of Social Security alive for our children and grandchildren, we need to fix the system once and for all. Fixing Social Security permanently will require a candid review of the options. In recent years, many people have offered suggestions, such as limiting benefits for wealthy retirees; indexing benefits to prices, instead of wages; increasing the retirement age; or changing the benefit formulas and creating disincentives for early collection of Social Security benefits. All these ideas are on the table. I will work with members of Congress and listen to any good idea that does not include raising payroll taxes. But we cannot pretend that the problem does not exist. Social Security will go broke when some of our younger workers get y to retire, and that is a fact. And if you're a younger person, you ought to be asking your elected officials, what are you going to do about it -- because every year we wait, the problem becomes worse for our children. And as we fix Social Security permanently, we must make it a better deal for younger workers by allowing them to set aside part of their payroll taxes in personal retirement accounts. The accounts would be voluntary. The money would go into a conservative mix of bond and stock funds that would have the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return than anything the current system could provide. A young person who earns an average of ,000 a year over his or her career would have nearly a quarter million dollars saved in his or her own retirement account. And that money would provide a nest egg to supplement that worker's traditional Social Security check, or to pass on to his or her children. Best of all, it would replace the empty promises of the current system with real assets of ownership. Reforming Social Security will not be easy, but if we approach this debate with courage and honesty, I am confident we will succeed, because our children's retirement security is more important than partisan politics. Thank you for listening. 200603/5031

Reverend Meza, Reverend Reck, Im grateful for your generous invitation to state my views.While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that I believe that we have far more critical issues in the 1960 campaign; the sp of Communist influence, until it now festers only 90 miles from the coast of Florida -- the humiliating treatment of our President and Vice President by those who no longer respect our power -- the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctors bills, the families forced to give up their farms -- an America with too many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and outer space. These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues -- for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barrier.But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured -- perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again -- not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me -- but what kind of America I believe in.I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been -- and may someday be again -- a Jew, or a Quaker, or a arian, or a Baptist. It was Virginias harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jeffersons statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you -- until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time of great national peril.Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end, where all men and all churches are treated as equals, where every man has the same right to attend or not to attend the church of his choice, where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind, and where Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, at both the lay and the pastoral levels, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe, a great office that must be neither humbled by making it the instrument of any religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding it -- its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon himsup1; as a condition to holding that office.I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the first amendments guarantees of religious liberty; nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test, even by indirection. For if they disagree with that safeguard, they should be openly working to repeal it.I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none, who can attend any ceremony, service, or dinner his office may appropriately require of him to fulfill; and whose fulfillment of his Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual, or obligation.This is the kind of America I believe in -- and this is the kind of America I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we might have a divided loyalty, that we did not believe in liberty, or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened -- I e -- ;the freedoms for which our forefathers died.;And in fact this is the kind of America for which our forefathers did die when they fled here to escape religious test oaths that denied office to members of less favored churches -- when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom -- and when they fought at the shrine I visited today, the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died Fuentes, and McCafferty, and Bailey, and Badillo, and Carey -- but no one knows whether they were Catholics or not. For there was no religious test there.I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition -- to judge me on the basis of 14 years in the Congress, on my declared stands against an Ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools, and against any boycott of the public schools -- which I attended myself. And instead of doing this, do not judge me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we all have seen that carefully select ations out of context from the statements of Catholic church leaders, usually in other countries, frequently in other centuries, and rarely relevant to any situation here. And always omitting, of course, the statement of the American Bishops in 1948 which strongly endorsed Church-State separation, and which more nearly reflects the views of almost every American Catholic.I do not consider these other ations binding upon my public acts. Why should you?But let me say, with respect to other countries, that I am wholly opposed to the State being used by any religious group, Catholic or Protestant, to compel, prohibit, or prosecute the free exercise of any other religion. And that goes for any persecution, at any time, by anyone, in any country. And I hope that you and I condemn with equal fervor those nations which deny their Presidency to Protestants, and those which deny it to Catholics. And rather than cite the misdeeds of those who differ, I would also cite the record of the Catholic Church in such nations as France and Ireland, and the independence of such statesmen as De Gaulle and Adenauer.But let me stress again that these are my views.For contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President.I am the Democratic Partys candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views -- in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith; nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election.If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate, satisfied that Id tried my best and was fairly judged.But if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost their chance of being President on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser, in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.But if, on the other hand, I should win this election, then I shall devote every effort of mind and spirit to fulfilling the oath of the Presidency -- practically identical, I might add, with the oath I have taken for 14 years in the Congress. For without reservation, I can, ;solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the ed States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution -- so help me God. /201205/182068

Today, the Vice President hosted an event at the White House where he announced that the President has asked him to take on a new role holding the Cabinet accountable for cutting waste in their agencies as part of the Administration’s ongoing effort to make government more accountable to the American people.Download Video: mp4 (263MB) | mp3 (25MB) 201106/140412

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please, have a seat. Thank you. Thank you, MIT. (Applause.) I am -- I am hugely honored to be here. It's always been a dream of mine to visit the most prestigious school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Applause.) Hold on a second -- certainly the most prestigious school in this part of Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Laughter.) And I'll probably be here for a while -- I understand a bunch of engineering students put my motorcade on top of Building 10. (Laughter.)This tells you something about MIT -- everybody hands out periodic tables. (Laughter.) What's up with that? (Laughter.)I want I want to thank all of you for the warm welcome and for the work all of you are doing to generate and test new ideas that hold so much promise for our economy and for our lives. And in particular, I want to thank two outstanding MIT professors, Eric Lander, a person you just heard from, Ernie Moniz, for their service on my council of advisors on science and technology. And they have been hugely helpful to us aly on looking at, for example, how the federal government can most effectively respond to the threat of the H1N1 virus. So I'm very grateful to them.We've got some other special guests here I just want to acknowledge very briefly. First of all, my great friend and a champion of science and technology here in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, my friend Deval Patrick is here. (Applause.) Our Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray is here. (Applause.) Attorney General Martha Coakley is here. (Applause.) Auditor of the Commonwealth, Joe DeNucci is here. (Applause.) The Mayor of the great City of Cambridge, Denise Simmons is in the house. (Applause.) The Mayor of Boston, Tom Menino, is not here, but he met me at the airport and he is doing great; he sends best wishes.Somebody who really has been an all-star in Capitol Hill over the last 20 years, but certainly over the last year, on a whole range of issues -- everything from Afghanistan to clean energy -- a great friend, John Kerry. Please give John Kerry a round of applause. (Applause.)And a wonderful member of Congress -- I believe this is your district, is that correct, Mike? Mike Capuano. Please give Mike a big round of applause. (Applause.)Now, Dr. Moniz is also the Director of MIT's Energy Initiative, called MITEI. And he and President Hockfield just showed me some of the extraordinary energy research being conducted at this institute: windows that generate electricity by directing light to solar cells; light-weight, high-power batteries that aren't built, but are grown -- that was neat stuff; engineering viruses to create -- to create batteries; more efficient lighting systems that rely on nanotechnology; innovative engineering that will make it possible for offshore wind power plants to deliver electricity even when the air is still.And it's a reminder that all of you are heirs to a legacy of innovation -- not just here but across America -- that has improved our health and our wellbeing and helped us achieve unparalleled prosperity. I was telling John and Deval on the ride over here, you just get excited being here and seeing these extraordinary young people and the extraordinary leadership of Professor Hockfield because it taps into something essential about America -- it's the legacy of daring men and women who put their talents and their efforts into the pursuit of discovery. And it's the legacy of a nation that supported those intrepid few willing to take risks on an idea that might fail -- but might also change the world.Even in the darkest of times this nation has seen, it has always sought a brighter horizon. Think about it. In the middle of the Civil War, President Lincoln designated a system of land grant colleges, including MIT, which helped open the doors of higher education to millions of people. A year -- a full year before the end of World War II, President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill which helped unleash a wave of strong and broadly shared economic growth. And after the Soviet launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, the ed States went about winning the Space Race by investing in science and technology, leading not only to small steps on the moon but also to tremendous economic benefits here on Earth.So the truth is, we have always been about innovation, we have always been about discovery. That's in our DNA. The truth is we also face more complex challenges than generations past. A medical system that holds the promise of unlocking new cures is attached to a health care system that has the potential to bankrupt families and businesses and our government. A global marketplace that links the trader on Wall Street to the homeowner on Main Street to the factory worker in China -- an economy in which we all share opportunity is also an economy in which we all share crisis. We face threats to our security that seek -- there are threats to our security that are based on those who would seek to exploit the very interconnectedness and openness that's so essential to our prosperity. The system of energy that powers our economy also undermines our security and endangers our planet.Now, while the challenges today are different, we have to draw on the same spirit of innovation that's always been central to our success. And that's especially true when it comes to energy. There may be plenty of room for debate as to how we transition from fossil fuels to renewable fuels -- we all understand there's no silver bullet to do it. There's going to be a lot of debate about how we move from an economy that's importing oil to one that's exporting clean energy technology; how we harness the innovative potential on display here at MIT to create millions of new jobs; and how we will lead the world to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. There are going to be all sorts of debates, both in the laboratory and on Capitol Hill. But there's no question that we must do all these things.Countries on every corner of this Earth now recognize that energy supplies are growing scarcer, energy demands are growing larger, and rising energy use imperils the planet we will leave to future generations. And that's why the world is now engaged in a peaceful competition to determine the technologies that will power the 21st century. From China to India, from Japan to Germany, nations everywhere are racing to develop new ways to producing and use energy. The nation that wins this competition will be the nation that leads the global economy. I am convinced of that. And I want America to be that nation. It's that simple. (Applause.)That's why the Recovery Act that we passed back in January makes the largest investment in clean energy in history, not just to help end this recession, but to lay a new foundation for lasting prosperity. The Recovery Act includes billion to put tens of thousands of Americans to work developing new battery technologies for hybrid vehicles; modernizing the electric grid; making our homes and businesses more energy efficient; doubling our capacity to generate renewable electricity. These are creating private-sector jobs weatherizing homes; manufacturing cars and trucks; upgrading to smart electric meters; installing solar panels; assembling wind turbines; building new facilities and factories and laboratories all across America. And, by the way, helping to finance extraordinary research.In fact, in just a few weeks, right here in Boston, workers will break ground on a new Wind Technology Testing Center, a project made possible through a million Recovery Act investment as well as through the support of Massachusetts and its partners. And I want everybody to understand -- Governor Patrick's leadership and vision made this happen. He was bragging about Massachusetts on the way over here -- I told him, you don't have to be a booster, I aly love the state. (Applause.) But he helped make this happen.10/87551

President Bush Hosts Summit on Financial Markets and the World EconomyPRESIDENT BUSH: Welcome. Good afternoon. We just had a very productive summit meeting. Thinking about three weeks ago, when I was talking to President Sarkozy and Barroso at Camp David -- some of you were there -- I don't think we could have predicted then how productive and how successful this meeting would have been. The first decision I had to make was who was coming to the meeting. And obviously I decided that we ought to have the G20 nations, as opposed to the G8 or the G13. But once you make the decision to have the G20, then the fundamental question is, with that many nations, from six different continents, who all represent different stages of economic development -- would it be possible to reach agreements, and not only agreements, would it be possible to reach agreements that were substantive? And I'm pleased to report the answer to that question was, absolutely. One of the things we did, we spent time talking about the actions that we have taken. The ed States has taken some extraordinary measures. Those of you who have followed my career know that I'm a free market person -- until you're told that if you don't take decisive measures then it's conceivable that our country could go into a depression greater than the Great Depression’s. So my administration has taken significant measures to deal with a credit crisis. And then we worked with Congress to deal with the credit crisis, as well. We're beginning to see some positive results. One of the things people around the table were interested in is, are you beginning to see the results of your actions? And our credit markets are beginning to thaw, having been severely frozen; businesses are beginning to get access to short-term credit. It's going to take more time for the measures we have put in place to take hold. No question about that. As a matter of fact, we just started, for example, on the 0 billion fund to start getting money out to our banks. So it's going to take more time. But I was pleased to tell the folks around the table that the significant actions we've taken are beginning to work. All of us committed to continue to work on pro-growth economic policies. It's phrased different ways -- fiscal plans -- but the whole point was, was that we recognize that, on the one hand, there's been a severe credit crisis, and on the other hand, our economies are being hit very hard. And so there was a common understanding that all of us should promote pro-growth economic policy. We also talked about broader reforms -- so in other words, the discussions were focused on today and what we're doing about it, but what are we going to do to make sure it doesn't happen tomorrow. One of the key achievements was to establish certain principles and take certain actions for adapting our financial systems to the realities of the 21st century. Part of the regulatory structures that are in place were 20th century regulatory structures. And obviously, you know, the financial industry went way beyond them. And the question is, how do we establish good regulatory structure without destroying the incentive to innovate, without destroying the marketplace. Our nations agree that we must make the markets -- the financial markets more transparent and accountable. Transparency is very important so that investors and regulators are able to know the truth -- considered improving accounting rules, so that investors can understand the true value of the assets they purchase. We agree that we need to improve our regulations and to ensure that markets, firms, and financial products are subject to proper regulation and oversight. For example, credit default swaps -- financial products that ensure against potential losses -- should be processed through centralized clearinghouses. That's a significant reform. Heretofore, the credit default swaps were traded in over-the-counter, unregulated markets. Yesterday the Working Group on Financial Markets, which is -- which is obviously associated with the White House, announced an initiative to create these kinds of clearing houses. And I know that other nations are working on them as well. This process will help expedite credit default swaps and other types of instruments not being traded in unregulated, over-the-counter markets. By bringing greater stability to this important sector, we will help with liquidity, but also mitigate risk. Third, we agreed that we must enhance the integrity of the financial markets. For example, authorities in every nation should take a fresh look at the rules governing market manipulation and fraud to make sure that investors in all our countries are properly protected. We agree that we must strengthen cooperation among the world's financial authorities. There was a lot of discussion about the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, for example. Leading nations should make regulations consistent. As well, we should reform the international financial institutions. Again, these institutions have been very important -- the World Bank, IMF -- but they were based on an economic order of 1944. And so to better -- we agreed that to better reflect the realities of today's global economy, both IMF and World Bank should modernize their governance structures. They ought to consider extending greater voting power and representation to developing nations, particularly those who have increased their contributions to the institutions. All this is an important first step -- in other words, this is a beginning of a series of meetings. People say, well, why don't you have one meeting and, you know, call it Bretton Woods II. Well, Bretton Woods I took two years to prepare. I don't know what you want to call this one, but whatever name comes from this meeting, it took three weeks to prepare. And so it makes sense to come out of here with a firm action plan -- which we have. It also makes sense to say to people that there is more work to be done and there will be further meetings, sending a clear signal that a meeting is not going to solve the world's problems. A meeting will help begin a process so that we can say over time that we will have a regulatory structure in place that will make this less likely to happen in the future. And so we've directed our finance ministers to work with other experts and consult with officials in other economies and then report back to the leaders with detailed recommendations. Whatever we do, whatever reforms are recommended, we need to be guided by this simple fact: that the best way to solve our problems and solve the people's problems is for there to be economic growth. And the surest path to that growth is free market capitalism. Leaders at this summit agreed on some other matters of importance. One is to reject protectionism and refrain from erecting new trade barriers. This is a very important part of this summit. The temptation in times of economic stress will be to say, oh, trade isn't worth it, let's just throw up protective barriers. And yet that attitude was rejected, thankfully. And matter of fact, not only rejected, there is a determined effort to see if we can't complete the modalities for Doha by the end of December. One of the things I stressed as well is that the ed States, in the midst of this financial crisis, will not abandon our commitments to people in the developing world; that the HIV/AIDS initiative, known as PEPFAR, will remain strong and vibrant; that our deep desire to significantly reduce malaria deaths in countries on the continent of Africa will not be diminished; that our obligation to help feed the hungry will not stop; that in the midst of all this turmoil and financial crisis, we will meet our obligations. These obligations are in our national security interests and our economic security interests and they in -- are in our moral interests. And so I will tell you that I thought this was a very successful summit. And they're going to meet again. I keep saying "they" because some of you may not have heard yet, but I am retiring. But I told the leaders this: that President-Elect Obama's transition team has been fully briefed on what we intended to do here at this meeting. I told them that we will work tirelessly to make sure the transition between my administration and his administration is seamless. And I told them that I hope he succeeds, that it's good for our country that people see a peaceful transfer of power. And I hope it was good for them to hear that even though we're from different political parties, that I believe it's in our country's interest that he succeed. So I want to thank you for giving me a chance to come and visit with you. Thanks for covering this summit. Goodbye. 200811/56375

President Bush Visits Fort Campbell THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please be seated -- unless, of course, you don't have a seat. (Laughter.) I am honored to be here at Fort Campbell. (Applause.) I'm honored to be with the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne -- (applause) -- the Night Stalkers of the 160th -- (applause) -- the Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group -- (applause) -- all members of the Fort Campbell community. (Applause.) You are part of the finest military in the world. I have one word for you: Hooah! (Applause.) I also bring greetings -- I also bring greetings from another man named Bush -- America's only skydiving President. (Laughter.) He said, pass on these two words: Air Assault! (Applause.) In recent weeks, this post has been the scene of heartwarming family reunions. Many of you recently finished deployments to Iraq. You performed with courage and distinction on the front lines of the war on terror. You have returned on success. On behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to welcome home the "Bastogne" Brigade, the "Strike" Brigade, the "Rakkasan" Brigade -- (applause.) Job well done. I want to thank General Townsend for his service. I'm proud to be with his wife, Melissa. I thank General Schloesser's wife, Patty. I appreciate Maria McConville. I want to thank Theresa Vail. These women represent the military families who have sacrificed just like our military has. On behalf of an incredibly grateful nation, I extend our heartfelt thanks and our respect to the military families here on Fort Campbell. (Applause.) I thank Governor Beshear, who is with us, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I want to thank the two Congress folks that represent this important base -- Congressman Ed Whitfield from Kentucky, Congressman Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee. I also want to thank Congressman Zach Wamp from Tennessee, as well, for joining us. I appreciate all the local and state officials who are here today. I particularly want to point out one person -- Staff Sergeant John [sic] Forbess. I had the honor of meeting John [sic] at the base of Air Force One. He was severely wounded in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2003. Yet, despite his wounds, he volunteers in the Fisher House. I'm proud of those of you who not only serve our nation by wearing a fabulous uniform, but serve our nation by feeding the hungry, and providing home -- houses for the homeless, for loving your neighbor just like you like to be yourself -- just like Sergeant Forbess has done. I want to thank very much those who made this event happen. I mean, it's not easy to host the President. (Laughter.) Thanks for coming out. You know, we're getting y to celebrate Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it. (Applause.) The day before my first Thanksgiving as your President, guess where I was. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Right here! THE PRESIDENT: Right here at Fort Campbell. (Applause.) For those of you who weren't here, I can only say that watching a bunch of Screaming Eagles tear into turkey is quite a sight. (Laughter.) That Thanksgiving came shortly after the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history. The war in Afghanistan had just begun -- the "Rakkasans" were the first conventional brigade to join the battle. (Applause.) That November day, I said, "Once again, you have a Rendezvous With Destiny." And today, there is no doubt that you have upheld this motto -- you have done your duty, and you have defended the ed States of America. (Applause.) Over the past seven years, folks from this base have done exactly what they were trained to do. The Screaming Eagles, the Night Stalkers, the Fifth Special Forces Group have gone on the offense in the war against these killers and thugs. You have taken the battle of the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here in the ed States. (Applause.) You have helped counter the hateful ideology of tyranny and terror with a more hopeful vision of justice and liberty. You're part of the great ideological struggle of our time. With the soldiers of Fort Campbell out front, the forces of freedom and liberty will prevail. (Applause.) The war on terror, the war against people who would do us harm again, is being waged on two main fronts -- Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, we removed an oppressive regime that harbored the terrorists who planned the attacks that killed 3,000 folks on September the 11th, 2001. Because of our men and women in uniform, more than 25 million Afghans are free. Afghanistan is a democracy, an ally in the war on terror. And as a result of your courage, the American people are safer. In the recent weeks, the members of the "Thunder" Brigade have begun deploying to Afghanistan for a new mission. You will replace the "Wings of Destiny" Brigade -- and join a powerful coalition of forces, including the "Currahees," members of the "Life Liners." You'll join Major General Schloesser and his Division Headquarters. Together, you will help the people of Afghanistan defend their young democracy. Together, you will ensure that a noble goal is achieved -- that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for those who want to plot and kill American citizens. The other main front in the war on terror is Iraq. In that country, we removed a dictator who murdered his own people, paid the families of suicide bombers, who threatened America's security. As the regime crumbled, the dictator's sons tried to run and hide. They could not hide from the ed States military. They met their fate in Mosul at the hands of the Screaming Eagles. (Applause.) Because we acted, the dictator, his sons, and their regime are no more. More than 25 million Iraqis are free. And a young democracy has taken root where a tyrant once ruled. Removing Saddam Hussein was the right decision then -- and it is the right decision today. (Applause.) With Saddam gone from power, our mission turned to helping the Iraqi people defend their freedom against violent extremists, including al Qaeda. In 2006, our efforts were faltering. So I reviewed our strategy and changed course. Instead of retreating, I ordered more troops into Iraq. And to lead the surge, I chose a former commanding general of the 101st Airborne -- the man formerly known as Eagle Six, General David Petraeus. (Applause.) Our troops conducted this surge with resolve and with valor -- and nobody knows the impact better than the Screaming Eagles. When the "Bastogne" Brigade deployed to Salah al-Din last year, the province was still struggling to recover from the bombing of the famous Golden Mosque. But you partnered with the Iraqis to restore security. Schools and businesses are now open. The Golden Mosque is being rebuilt. Throughout the province, hope is returning; the terrorists are being driven out. The Iraqi people have the Screaming Eagles to thank. Across Iraq, the surge has produced similar results. Since the surge began, violence and sectarian killings have fallen dramatically. Iraqi security forces have taken responsibility for 13 out of Iraq's 18 provinces. Slowly but steadily, economic and political progress is taking place. Iraqis are working together for a more hopeful future. As conditions on the ground continue to improve, we will further reduce American combat forces in Iraq -- it's a strategy I call "return on success." So far, we've brought home a Marine Expeditionary , two Marine battalions, six Army brigades without replacement -- including the Rakkasans. And by the end of January, we'll have brought home more than 4,000 additional troops. As conditions on the ground continue to improve, we're also making progress toward completing a strategic framework agreement and a security agreement with the Iraqi government. These landmark agreements will pave the way for a future of economic and diplomatic and military cooperation between our two countries. Iraqi lawmakers in Baghdad are now debating these agreements through the democratic process. It's a good sign that Iraq has become a strong and vigorous democracy -- and it's a testament to the success of our men and women in uniform. The war in Iraq is not over. But we're drawing closer to the day when our troops can come home. And when they come home, they will come home in victory. (Applause.) The work you have done and are going to do is historical work. You see, the consequences of success in Iraq will resonate far beyond that country's borders, and will resonate when your children and grandchildren begin to study the history of peace. Success will frustrate Iran's ambitions to dominate the region. Success will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty and democracy is possible. Success will deny al Qaida a safe haven for launching new attacks. Success in Iraq will mean that the American people are more secure at home. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond, our men and women in uniform have done everything we have asked of them and more. You've earned the thanks of every American. You know, this is going to be my last Thanksgiving as President. Sometimes I am asked what I will miss most about the job. Well, above all, I'm going to miss spending time with men and women who have volunteered to serve the ed States of America, the fine men and women who wear the uniform. We are blessed to have defenders of such character and courage. I'm grateful to the families who serve by your side. And I will always be thankful for the honor of having served as the Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.) So Laura and I wish you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We join you in praying for our troops spending the holiday far from home. We pray for those who've been wounded in battle, and for all who love and care for them. We hold in our thoughts and prayers the brave men and women who have given their lives, and the families who mourn for them. We ask the Almighty to watch over everyone who puts on the uniform, and has volunteered to serve this great land. It's an honor to be with you today. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the ed States of America. (Applause.) 200811/57194

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