Bush shouts 224.88.
(photo credit: AP)
In an address defending American policies in the war on terror, US President George W. Bush warned Thursday against ignoring the lessons of World World II, when the world didn't take Adolf Hitler at his word.
"In the 1920s the world ignored the words of Hitler, as he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany, take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews. The world paid a terrible price," Bush told the audience at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank here. He vowed the US wouldn't make the same mistake with al-Qaida.
"Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their terrorist intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them, and the question is, will we listen? America and our coalition partners are listening. We have made our choice. We take the words of our enemy seriously," he said.
Israel has been saying the world needs to take the threats of Islamic extremist groups - particularly those calling for the destruction of Israel - seriously and often invokes Hitler's rise as a historical lesson. Most frequently this is done in reference to Iran, a subject that was not part of the president's speech.
Bush did, however, refer to the debate going on about his Middle East policy, and dismissed the increasingly loud calls for the US to return to promoting stability in the region, rather than threatening the status quo.
"Voices in Washington are arguing that the watchword of the policy should be 'stability,'" he said, noting similar statements were common during the Cold War. "Once again, they're wrong."
"We are standing with those who yearn for liberty in the Middle East because we understand that the desire for freedom is universal, written by the Almighty into the hearts of every man, woman and child on this earth," he said.
His words were greeted with warm applause.
"When free societies take root in that part of the world, they will yield the peace we all desire," Bush concluded. "The lessons of the past have taught us that liberty is transformative."