Tags: Bush: | Europe | Must | Fight | Terror; | Plans | Attack

Bush: Europe Must Fight Terror; No Plans to Attack Iraq

Thursday, 23 May 2002 12:00 AM

Standing in the well of the Reichstag, Germany's historic parliamentary building only recently restored after World War II bombings, Bush reminded the audience of the conflicts in Europe that have "drawn the blood of millions, squandering and shattering lives across the Earth.

"There are thousands of monuments in parks and squares across my country to young men of 18 and 19 and 20 whose lives ended in battle on this continent," Bush said. "Ours is the first generation in 100 years that does not expect and does not fear the next European war. That achievement, your achievement, is one of the greatest in modern times.

"When Europe grows in unity, Europe and America grow in security." Bush cited the development of markets and currency integration of European Union. "In all these steps, Americans do not see the rise of a rival, we see the end of old hostilities."

There are no plans now to attack Iraq, he told reporters before his speech.

The president, who arrived in Berlin Wednesday on the first stop of a four-country European tour, spoke for nearly 30 minutes. He was often interrupted by applause.

At one point three communists in the gallery unfolded a hand-painted red and black banner that said: "Mr. Bush Mr. Schroeder Stop Your Wars." The group, a man and two women, were quickly hustled out to cries of "raus" – "out" in German – by other delegates. A German parliamentary assistant said they were members of what was once the East German Communist Party.

Although Bush's speech was sweeping and filled with strong historic allusions, it seemed tame to onlookers compared to the Berlin addresses of presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, who turned some of their most memorable phrases in this city.

Kennedy protested the building of the Cold War by the communists and cast the U.S. lot with Berliners with his famous comment "Ich bin eine Berliner" – "I am a Berliner."

It was a few hundred yards from the Bundestag that Reagan challenged Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev with the words "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Bush said the dangers of world terrorism threaten all of Europe and America. He called for an expansion of NATO and an upgrading of its military capability.

He said the two major stops of his trip after leaving Berlin were the signing today of an arms agreement in Russia and the NATO meeting in Rome on Tuesday, where Russia becomes part of NATO.

He said, however, military prowess was not enough.

"We must recognize that violence and resentment are defeated by the advance of health, and learning and prosperity," Bush said. "Poverty doesn't create terror, yet terror takes root in failing nations that cannot police themselves or provide for their people."

The Bundestag address followed meetings between Bush and Germany's president, Johannes Rau, and his wife, at the ornate Bellevue Palace. Germany's presidency is a ceremonial position. The important policy sessions followed during a meeting and lunch with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

At a brief news conference with Schroeder, Bush said he would urge Russia to end its nuclear cooperation with Iran, which the United States has called a major sponsor of terror.

Bush said he planned to "make his case" with President Putin by reminding him, "You arm Iran, you're liable to get the weapons pointed at you; that you've got to be careful in dealing with a country like Iran."

Bush said he had no "war plans" against Iraq on his desk and would consult with Germany and other allies before taking action.

The streets around the Bundestag and Bush's hotel, the venerable Adlon, were under tight police control Thursday. Early in the day few demonstrators were in evidence.

The events and Bush's hotel are within a few blocks of the famous Brandenberg Gate, the center of historic German government power.

When Bush arrived Wednesday he was met with

"When your planes don't have to stop at Ramstein [a U.S. air base] to refuel," he said, "things have changed." His remark alluded to U.S. military and technological advances that mean U.S. planes no longer must make refueling stops at Ramstein en route to other sites in Europe or the Middle East.

Though Germany supported the U.S. war in Afghanistan and has contributed armed forces and police trainers to assist Afghanistan form a national police force, it is Washington's continued warnings about military action against Iraq and its alleged tilt toward Israel in the Middle East that causes anxiety.

Germany "wants to be a partner," this official said, "but it wants to be considered."

The president flew to Moscow later Thursday.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Standing in the well of the Reichstag, Germany's historic parliamentary building only recently restored after World War II bombings, Bush reminded the audience of the conflicts in Europe that have drawn the blood of millions, squandering and shattering lives across the...
Thursday, 23 May 2002 12:00 AM
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