The President's News Conference on the Persian Gulf Crisis
August 30, 1990
The President. Well, I think on the second part of the question that we ought to get on with the business at hand, the shorter run business, which is the solution to this question: the making right the situation in Kuwait, meaning the pulling out of forces, obviously, and the restoration of the rulers. As I look at the countries that are chipping in here now, I think we do have a chance at a new world order
, and I'd like to think that out of this dreary performance by Saddam Hussein there could be now an opportunity for peace all through the Middle East. But we have to be sure that what's been undertaken so far is successful before we can move to that other agenda, it seems to me.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=18820
Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the Persian Gulf Crisis and the Federal Budget Deficit
September 11, 1990
Mr. President and Mr. Speaker and Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, fellow Americans, thank you very much for that warm welcome. We gather tonight, witness to events in the Persian Gulf as significant as they are tragic. In the early morning hours of August 2d, following negotiations and promises by Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein not to use force, a powerful Iraqi army invaded its trusting and much weaker neighbor, Kuwait. Within 3 days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then that I decided to act to check that aggression.
At this moment, our brave servicemen and women stand watch in that distant desert and on distant seas, side by side with the forces of more than 20 other nations. They are some of the finest men and women of the United States of America. And they're doing one terrific job. These valiant Americans were ready at a moment's notice to leave their spouses and their children, to serve on the front line halfway around the world. They remind us who keeps America strong: they do. In the trying circumstances of the Gulf, the morale of our service men and women is excellent. In the face of danger, they're brave, they're well-trained, and dedicated.
A soldier, Private First Class Wade Merritt of Knoxville, Tennessee, now stationed in Saudi Arabia, wrote his parents of his worries, his love of family, and his hope for peace. But Wade also wrote, "I am proud of my country and its firm stance against inhumane aggression. I am proud of my army and its men. I am proud to serve my country." Well, let me just say, Wade, America is proud of you and is grateful to every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman serving the cause of peace in the Persian Gulf. I also want to thank the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Powell; the Chiefs here tonight; our commander in the Persian Gulf, General Schwartzkopf; and the men and women of the Department of Defense. What a magnificent job you all are doing. And thank you very, very much from a grateful people. I wish I could say that their work is done. But we all know it's not.
So, if there ever was a time to put country before self and patriotism before party, the time is now. And let me thank all Americans, especially those here in this Chamber tonight, for your support for our armed forces and for their mission. That support will be even more important in the days to come. So, tonight I want to talk to you about what's at stake -- what we must do together to defend civilized values around the world and maintain our economic strength at home.
Our objectives in the Persian Gulf are clear, our goals defined and familiar: Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait completely, immediately, and without condition. Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored. The security and stability of the Persian Gulf must be assured. And American citizens abroad must be protected. These goals are not ours alone. They've been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council five times in as many weeks. Most countries share our concern for principle. And many have a stake in the stability of the Persian Gulf. This is not, as Saddam Hussein would have it, the United States against Iraq. It is Iraq against the world.
As you know, I've just returned from a very productive meeting with Soviet President Gorbachev. And I am pleased that we are working together to build a new relationship. In Helsinki, our joint statement affirmed to the world our shared resolve to counter Iraq's threat to peace. Let me quote: "We are united in the belief that Iraq's aggression must not be tolerated. No peaceful international order is possible if larger states can devour their smaller neighbors." Clearly, no longer can a dictator count on East-West confrontation to stymie concerted United Nations action against aggression. A new partnership of nations has begun.
We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -- a new world order
-- can emerge: a new era -- freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony. A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor. Today that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we've known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak. This is the vision that I shared with President Gorbachev in Helsinki. He and other leaders from Europe, the Gulf, and around the world understand that how we manage this crisis today could shape the future for generations to come.
The test we face is great, and so are the stakes. This is the first assault on the new world that we seek, the first test of our mettle. Had we not responded to this first provocation with clarity of purpose, if we do not continue to demonstrate our determination, it would be a signal to actual and potential despots around the world. America and the world must defend common vital interests -- and we will. America and the world must support the rule of law -- and we will. America and the world must stand up to aggression -- and we will. And one thing more: In the pursuit of these goals America will not be intimidated.
Vital issues of principle are at stake. Saddam Hussein is literally trying to wipe a country off the face of the Earth. We do not exaggerate. Nor do we exaggerate when we say Saddam Hussein will fail. Vital economic interests are at risk as well. Iraq itself controls some 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. Iraq plus Kuwait controls twice that. An Iraq permitted to swallow Kuwait would have the economic and military power, as well as the arrogance, to intimidate and coerce its neighbors -- neighbors who control the lion's share of the world's remaining oil reserves. We cannot permit a resource so vital to be dominated by one so ruthless. And we won't.
Recent events have surely proven that there is no substitute for American leadership. In the face of tyranny, let no one doubt American credibility and reliability. Let no one doubt our staying power. We will stand by our friends. One way or another, the leader of Iraq must learn this fundamental truth. From the outset, acting hand in hand with others, we've sought to fashion the broadest possible international response to Iraq's aggression. The level of world cooperation and condemnation of Iraq is unprecedented. Armed forces from countries spanning four continents are there at the request of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to deter and, if need be, to defend against attack. Moslems and non-Moslems, Arabs and non-Arabs, soldiers from many nations stand shoulder to shoulder, resolute against Saddam Hussein's ambitions.
We can now point to five United Nations Security Council resolutions that condemn Iraq's aggression. They call for Iraq's immediate and unconditional withdrawal, the restoration of Kuwait's legitimate government, and categorically reject Iraq's cynical and self-serving attempt to annex Kuwait. Finally, the United Nations has demanded the release of all foreign nationals held hostage against their will and in contravention of international law. It is a mockery of human decency to call these people "guests." They are hostages, and the whole world knows it.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a dependable ally, said it all: "We do not bargain over hostages. We will not stoop to the level of using human beings as bargaining chips ever." Of course, of course, our hearts go out to the hostages and to their families. But our policy cannot change, and it will not change. America and the world will not be blackmailed by this ruthless policy.
We're now in sight of a United Nations that performs as envisioned by its founders. We owe much to the outstanding leadership of Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. The United Nations is backing up its words with action. The Security Council has imposed mandatory economic sanctions on Iraq, designed to force Iraq to relinquish the spoils of its illegal conquest. The Security Council has also taken the decisive step of authorizing the use of all means necessary to ensure compliance with these sanctions. Together with our friends and allies, ships of the United States Navy are today patrolling Mideast waters. They've already intercepted more than 700 ships to enforce the sanctions. Three regional leaders I spoke with just yesterday told me that these sanctions are working. Iraq is feeling the heat. We continue to hope that Iraq's leaders will recalculate just what their aggression has cost them. They are cut off from world trade, unable to sell their oil. And only a tiny fraction of goods gets through.
The communique with President Gorbachev made mention of what happens when the embargo is so effective that children of Iraq literally need milk or the sick truly need medicine. Then, under strict international supervision that guarantees the proper destination, then food will be permitted.
At home, the material cost of our leadership can be steep. That's why Secretary of State Baker and Treasury Secretary Brady have met with many world leaders to underscore that the burden of this collective effort must be shared. We are prepared to do our share and more to help carry that load; we insist that others do their share as well.
The response of most of our friends and allies has been good. To help defray costs, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE -- the United Arab Emirates -- have pledged to provide our deployed troops with all the food and fuel they need. Generous assistance will also be provided to stalwart front-line nations, such as Turkey and Egypt. I am also heartened to report that this international response extends to the neediest victims of this conflict -- those refugees. For our part, we've contributed $28 million for relief efforts. This is but a portion of what is needed. I commend, in particular, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and several European nations who have joined us in this purely humanitarian effort.
There's an energy-related cost to be borne as well. Oil-producing nations are already replacing lost Iraqi and Kuwaiti output. More than half of what was lost has been made up. And we're getting superb cooperation. If producers, including the United States, continue steps to expand oil and gas production, we can stabilize prices and guarantee against hardship. Additionally, we and several of our allies always have the option to extract oil from our strategic petroleum reserves if conditions warrant. As I've pointed out before, conservation efforts are essential to keep our energy needs as low as possible. And we must then take advantage of our energy sources across the board: coal, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear. Our failure to do these things has made us more dependent on foreign oil than ever before. Finally, let no one even contemplate profiteering from this crisis. We will not have it.
I cannot predict just how long it will take to convince Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. Sanctions will take time to have their full intended effect. We will continue to review all options with our allies, but let it be clear: we will not let this aggression stand.
Our interest, our involvement in the Gulf is not transitory. It predated Saddam Hussein's aggression and will survive it. Long after all our troops come home -- and we all hope it's soon, very soon -- there will be a lasting role for the United States in assisting the nations of the Persian Gulf. Our role then: to deter future aggression. Our role is to help our friends in their own self-defense. And something else: to curb the proliferation of chemical, biological, ballistic missile and, above all, nuclear technologies.
Let me also make clear that the United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. Our quarrel is with Iraq's dictator and with his aggression. Iraq will not be permitted to annex Kuwait. That's not a threat, that's not a boast, that's just the way it's going to be.
Our ability to function effectively as a great power abroad depends on how we conduct ourselves at home. Our economy, our Armed Forces, our energy dependence, and our cohesion all determine whether we can help our friends and stand up to our foes. For America to lead, America must remain strong and vital. Our world leadership and domestic strength are mutual and reinforcing; a woven piece, strongly bound as Old Glory. To revitalize our leadership, our leadership capacity, we must address our budget deficit -- not after election day, or next year, but now.
Higher oil prices slow our growth, and higher defense costs would only make our fiscal deficit problem worse. That deficit was already greater than it should have been -- a projected $232 billion for the coming year. It must -- it will -- be reduced.
To my friends in Congress, together we must act this very month -- before the next fiscal year begins on October 1st -- to get America's economic house in order. The Gulf situation helps us realize we are more economically vulnerable than we ever should be. Americans must never again enter any crisis, economic or military, with an excessive dependence on foreign oil and an excessive burden of Federal debt.
Most Americans are sick and tired of endless battles in the Congress and between the branches over budget matters. It is high time we pulled together and get the job done right. It's up to us to straighten this out. This job has four basic parts. First, the Congress should, this month, within a budget agreement, enact growth-oriented tax measures -- to help avoid recession in the short term and to increase savings, investment, productivity, and competitiveness for the longer term. These measures include extending incentives for research and experimentation; expanding the use of IRA's for new homeowners; establishing tax-deferred family savings accounts; creating incentives for the creation of enterprise zones and initiatives to encourage more domestic drilling; and, yes, reducing the tax rate on capital gains.
And second, the Congress should, this month, enact a prudent multiyear defense program, one that reflects not only the improvement in East-West relations but our broader responsibilities to deal with the continuing risks of outlaw action and regional conflict. Even with our obligations in the Gulf, a sound defense budget can have some reduction in real terms; and we're prepared to accept that. But to go beyond such levels, where cutting defense would threaten our vital margin of safety, is something I will never accept. The world is still dangerous. And surely, that is now clear. Stability's not secure. American interests are far reaching. Interdependence has increased. The consequences of regional instability can be global. This is no time to risk America's capacity to protect her vital interests.
And third, the Congress should, this month, enact measures to increase domestic energy production and energy conservation in order to reduce dependence on foreign oil. These measures should include my proposals to increase incentives for domestic oil and gas exploration, fuel-switching, and to accelerate the development of the Alaskan energy resources without damage to wildlife. As you know, when the oil embargo was imposed in the early 1970's, the United States imported almost 6 million barrels of oil a day. This year, before the Iraqi invasion, U.S. imports had risen to nearly 8 million barrels per day. And we'd moved in the wrong direction. And now we must act to correct that trend.
And fourth, the Congress should, this month, enact a 5-year program to reduce the projected debt and deficits by $500 billion -- that's by half a trillion dollars. And if, with the Congress, we can develop a satisfactory program by the end of the month, we can avoid the ax of sequester -- deep across-the-board cuts that would threaten our military capacity and risk substantial domestic disruption. I want to be able to tell the American people that we have truly solved the deficit problem. And for me to do that, a budget agreement must meet these tests: It must include the measures I've recommended to increase economic growth and reduce dependence on foreign oil. It must be fair. All should contribute, but the burden should not be excessive for any one group of programs or people. It must address the growth of government's hidden liabilities. It must reform the budget process and, further, it must be real.
I urge Congress to provide a comprehensive 5-year deficit reduction program to me as a complete legislative package, with measures to assure that it can be fully enforced. America is tired of phony deficit reduction or promise-now, save-later plans. It is time for a program that is credible and real. And finally, to the extent that the deficit reduction program includes new revenue measures, it must avoid any measure that would threaten economic growth or turn us back toward the days of punishing income tax rates. That is one path we should not head down again.
I have been pleased with recent progress, although it has not always seemed so smooth. But now it's time to produce. I hope we can work out a responsible plan. But with or without agreement from the budget summit, I ask both Houses of the Congress to allow a straight up-or-down vote on a complete $500-billion deficit reduction package not later than September 28. If the Congress cannot get me a budget, then Americans will have to face a tough, mandated sequester. I'm hopeful, in fact, I'm confident that the Congress will do what it should. And I can assure you that we in the executive branch will do our part.
In the final analysis, our ability to meet our responsibilities abroad depends upon political will and consensus at home. This is never easy in democracies, for we govern only with the consent of the governed. And although free people in a free society are bound to have their differences, Americans traditionally come together in times of adversity and challenge.
Once again, Americans have stepped forward to share a tearful goodbye with their families before leaving for a strange and distant shore. At this very moment, they serve together with Arabs, Europeans, Asians, and Africans in defense of principle and the dream of a new world order
. That's why they sweat and toil in the sand and the heat and the sun. If they can come together under such adversity, if old adversaries like the Soviet Union and the United States can work in common cause, then surely we who are so fortunate to be in this great Chamber -- Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives -- can come together to fulfill our responsibilities here. Thank you. Good night. And God bless the United States of America.
Note: The President spoke at 9:09 p.m. in the House Chamber at the Capitol. He was introduced by Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The address was broadcast live on nationwide television and radio.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=18838
Remarks at a Fundraising Dinner for Gubernatorial Candidate Pete Wilson in Los Angeles, California
September 18, 1990
I spoke of our four objectives. But we have another, final objective; and that is to create a new partnership of nations, a new world order
-- freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, more secure in the quest for peace. The international community has already taken a giant step toward that day. Together with our friends and allies, ships of the United States Navy are patrolling the Mideast waters -- already intercepted more than 700 ships to enforce these sanctions against Iraq. And the world is simply telling Saddam Hussein, we will not give in to intimidation.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=18839
Remarks at a Fundraising Luncheon for Gubernatorial Candidate Pete Wilson in San Francisco, California
September 19, 1990
What a dramatic legacy for our children to inherit, this stunning new partnership of nations. Ours is a generation to finally see the emergence of promising, exciting new world order
which we've sought for generations. And we are witness to the first demonstration of this new partnership for peace: a united world response to Iraq's aggressive ambition.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=18851
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a White House Briefing for Representatives of the Arab-American Community
September 24, 1990
Our objectives remain clear: Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait completely, immediately, and without condition; Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored; the security and stability of the Persian Gulf assured; and American citizens abroad must be protected. And finally, a fifth objective can emerge from these: a new world order
in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live together.
The extent of world cooperation in condemning Saddam Hussein is literally unprecedented. The concept of burden-sharing is gaining acceptance with our allies and with our friends -- from Britain and France to Germany, Japan, and the Arab world -- contributing troops and supplies and economic assistance to those countries affected by the economic blockade. In fact, since Saddam Hussein's unprovoked attack on Kuwait, more than 20 countries have answered the call for help from the Gulf nations to provide defensive assistance against Iraq. And indeed, Iraq stands alone against the world community. Over and over again, Saddam Hussein has attempted to make this the Arab world against the United States. You've heard it over and over and over again. And that lie is not going to be perpetuated. It simply is not true. We are joined with many others around the world. Iraq stands alone against the world community. The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned Saddam Hussein's actions no less than seven times. Active consideration going on for another resolution right now. United against aggression, the world community is working to resolve the crisis peacefully.
The President. This thing is so complex over there that it's pretty hard to give you a definitive answer. Out of this, though, there could well be a new world order
. And part of that must be the peaceful resolution of the division of Lebanon. I've been there; I've worked there years ago. And I'm old enough -- you're too young, but I'm old enough -- no, you're not too young, but she is -- [laughter] -- no, seriously, to remember Lebanon as the peaceful crossroad. It didn't matter what was going on in the rest of the world; commerce survived, people got along one with the other, different religions and different ways of life all thriving there.
We want to help on that. I've been frustrated. One of the great frustrations of my job, as John Sununu can tell you from sitting there and listening to me wring my hands all the time, is my inability to have helped bring peace to the Lebanon. And Syria does have a key role. And I hope out of this that we can use this new world order
, if you will, that might emerge if we all stay together to be catalysts for peace in the Lebanon. That's why I came back here, because you struck a chord that I really feel strongly about. And so, I would hope that that and many other things that are happening over there would result in the solution to these problems that have escaped us for so many years.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=18865
Remarks at a Fundraising Luncheon for Gubernatorial Candidate George Voinovich in Akron, Ohio
September 26, 1990
But we have another, final objective: to create a new partnership of nations; a new world order
that is free from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, more secure in the quest for peace.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=18879
Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the United Nations World Summit for Children in New York City
September 30, 1990
In recent days, the world community has acted decisively in defense of a principle: that small states shall not become souvenirs of conquest. It was just 3 weeks ago that I spoke to the American people about a new world order
, a new partnership of nations -- freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, more secure in the quest for peace. Today we are holding this unprecedented world summit to work for the well-being of those who will live in and lead this new world. Their voices are still faint and unheard. So, we've come together, more than 70 strong -- heads of state, chiefs of government -- chiefs of state and heads of government -- to speak for the children of the Earth.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=18883
Address Before the 45th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New York
October 1, 1990
The United Nations can help bring about a new day, a day when these kinds of terrible weapons and the terrible despots who would use them are both a thing of the past. It is in our hands to leave these dark machines behind, in the Dark Ages where they belong, and to press forward to cap a historic movement towards a new world order
and a long era of peace.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19064
Remarks to the Federal Assembly in Prague, Czechoslovakia
November 17, 1990
Every new nation that embraces these common values, every new nation that joins the ranks of this commonwealth of freedom, advances us one step closer to a new world order
, a world in which the use of force gives way to a shared respect for the rule of law. This new world will be incomplete without a vision that extends beyond the boundaries of Europe alone. Now that unity is within reach in Europe is no time for our vision of change to stop at the edge of this continent.
From this first crisis of the post-cold-war era comes an historic opportunity: the opportunity to draw upon the great and growing strength of the commonwealth of freedom and forge for all nations a new world order
far more stable and secure than any we have known.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19072
Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Following Discussions With Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom in Paris, France
November 19, 1990
The President. I don't see any irony in it whatsoever. What I see is the fact that we're able to enter into a CFE [conventional armed forces in Europe] agreement with full cooperation and support of the Soviet Union who, heretofore, has been an enormous adversary of the West. And now this reduces to practically nil the tensions that have existed. It is the farthest reaching arms control agreement in history; and it signals the new world order
that is emerging, and to some degree has emerged, and that is the best hope for rolling back the brutality and the aggression of Saddam Hussein, who has nothing to do with the CFE agreement.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19076
Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union in Paris, France
November 19, 1990
President Bush. And inasmuch as you mentioned my name, I totally agree with that. And what's been lost today because events in other parts of the world is the significance of this meeting here in Paris, and it was historic. And President Gorbachev is correct. The fact that the Soviet Union and the United States could work together not only to achieve an arms control agreement but to start looking into the future with harmony and in cooperation is very, very promising for the new world order
, for a Europe whole and free, and for peace in the world. So, somehow that's been lost today, given the understandable concerns about the Persian Gulf. But I'm glad you asked it because it is a highly significant point.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19086
Remarks to United States Army Troops Near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
November 22, 1990
You know, in Eastern Europe, the economic shock wave of the Gulf threatens to disrupt the already difficult process of creating both new and democratic governments and free market economies. And while Saddam loudly professes his desire to help the most impoverished nations of the region -- the have-nots, he calls them -- his aggression is taking a terrible toll on the already hard lives of millions. And we can't hope to achieve our vision of a new world order
, the safer and better world for all our kids, if the economic destiny of the world can be threatened by a vicious dictator. The world cannot, must not and, in my view, will not let this aggression stand.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19090
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Following Discussions With President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Egypt
November 23, 1990
We are proud of this partnership which has helped us to advance the cause of peace and the fraternity among all nations, to stand for eradication of injustice and the elimination of war and violence, and to contribute to the construction of a new world order
-- a world in which all nations, big or small, have a right to live in peace and dignity.
You heard President Mubarak refer to that. This, the integration of Arab countries into a CSCE process, wasn't discussed but implicit in our optimistic assessment that once Iraq is out of the way -- once the Iraq-Kuwait struggle is out of the way -- we can have a new world order
. And that new world order
certainly offers a much better chance for peace for the Middle East.
President Bush. This, I'm told by our leader over here on the right, not on the left this time, is the last question.New World Order
Q. You said, President Bush, that a new world order
would emerge once the Gulf crisis has been solved. How do you envisage this new world order
President Bush. Well, I envisage it, one, where the whole -- once we're -- let me start over. Once we set back this aggression, and once it is clear that the security and the stability of the Gulf are enhanced by whatever arrangements are set into place -- once that this invading dictator gets out of Kuwait -- then I think that it's clear we're going to have an opportunity, given the diversity of this coalition, to work more closely together. And part of that -- I want to see a solution to the question of the West Bank, for example. But I think if we work cooperatively as are -- with our common sights set -- this aggressor will not succeed -- it opens up all kinds of possibilities for a new world order
We're already seeing that world order means world. And we're beginning to see that with what happened out of the -- well, just as a result of the actions that led up to this successful CSCE meeting. I'm going down to South America, and the evolving democracies there are strengthening their economies, and we've got a program that I think will be very helpful there.
But as it relates to the Middle East, I think we've got all kinds of potentials for peace, given the fact that we've come together almost unanimously, standing up against this brutal dictator. And out of that and out of the contexts that go with that, I hope we can be catalytic in solving other problems, and I think that will lead to a new world order
that has much better chance for peace for our children and our grandchildren.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19126
Remarks to a Joint Session of the Congress in Brasilia, Brazil
December 3, 1990
Two weeks ago in Czechoslovakia, I spoke to a people that had paid dearly for its freedom. I talked about a new commonwealth of freedom based on four key principles. This hemisphere already shares these convictions: an unshakable belief in the dignity and rights of man, the conviction that just government derives its power from the people, the belief that men and women everywhere must be free to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and four, that the rule of law must govern the conduct of nations. Every nation that joins this commonwealth of freedom advances us one step closer to a new world order
. We must persist until this victory for freedom and democracy is won completely.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19164
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Following Discussions With Allies on the Persian Gulf Crisis
December 17, 1990
And it is so clear that -- see, the optimistic side is when we prevail we have the promise of a new world order
. You have a vitalized United Nations, the peacekeeping function of which, up until now, has been rather dismal, as you look over the years; and now there's a real chance. But the chance doesn't exist if we fail. So, we've got to prevail, and we will. And I think I can confidently speak for all the countries represented here. If they felt differently, I don't expect they'd be here.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19205
Open Letter to College Students on the Persian Gulf Crisis
January 9, 1991
This brutality has reverberated throughout the entire world. If we do not follow the dictates of our inner moral compass and stand up for human life, then his lawlessness will threaten the peace and democracy of the emerging new world order
we now see: this long dreamed-of vision we've all worked toward for so long. A year after the joyous dawn of freedom's light in eastern Europe, a dark evil has descended in another part of the world. But we have the chance -- and we have the obligation -- to stop ruthless aggression.
Terry waits thousands of miles from the White House, yet we share the same thoughts. We desperately want peace. But we know that to reward aggression would be to end the promise of our new world order
. To reward aggression would be to destroy the United Nations' promise as international peacekeeper. To reward aggression would be to condone the acts of those who would desecrate the promise of human life itself. And we will do none of this. There are times in life when we confront values worth fighting for. This is one such time.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19202
The President's News Conference on the Persian Gulf Crisis
January 9, 1991
I listened to that `Aziz meeting, and all he tried to do is obfuscate, to confuse, to make everybody think this had to do with the West Bank, for example. And it doesn't. It has to do with the aggression against Kuwait -- the invasion of Kuwait, the brutalizing of the people in Kuwait. And it has to do with a new world order
. And that world order is only going to be enhanced if this newly-activated peacekeeping function of the United Nations proves to be effective. That is the only way the new world order
will be enhanced.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19222
Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf
January 16, 1991
This is an historic moment. We have in this past year made great progress in ending the long era of conflict and cold war. We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order
-- a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful -- and we will be -- we have a real chance at this new world order
, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.'s founders.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19229
The President's News Conference on the Persian Gulf Conflict
January 18, 1991
Now, there are some elements that, clearly, you might say, are on the other side. And that would worry me in a sense, but it worries me for the future, not so much for the present. I think when all this is over, we want to be the healers. We want to do what we can to facilitate what I might optimistically call a new world order
But that new world order
should have a conciliatory component to it. It should say to those countries that are on the other side at this juncture -- and there aren't many of them -- look, you're part of this new world order
. You're part of this. You can play an important part in seeing that the world can live at peace in the Middle East and elsewhere. So, there are some that oppose us. There are some of the more radical elements that will always oppose the West and the United States.
But there are countries involved there that may have leaned -- tilted, to use an old diplomatic expression, towards Saddam Hussein and towards Iraq that will clearly be in the forefront of this new world order
. I am not going to write off Jordan. We've had a long-standing relationship with King Hussein, but he's in a very difficult position there. I have had some differences with him, but they've been respectful, but I would like to see him be more publicly understanding of what it is the United Nations is trying to do here and the United States role. We're not going to suggest that Jordan, because they've taken this position, can't continue to be a tremendously important country in this new world order
Remarks to the Reserve Officers Association
January 23, 1991
From the day Saddam's forces first crossed into Kuwait, it was clear that this aggression required a swift response from our nation and the world community. What was, and is, at stake is not simply our energy or economic security and the stability of a vital region but the prospects for peace in the post-cold-war era -- the promise of a new world order
based upon the rule of law.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19250
Remarks at the Annual Convention of the National Religious Broadcasters
January 28, 1991
A just war must be a last resort. As I have often said, we did not want war. But you all know the verse from Ecclesiastes -- there is "a time for peace, a time for war." From August 2d, 1990 -- last summer, August 2d -- to January 15, 1991 -- 166 days -- we tried to resolve this conflict. Secretary of State Jim Baker made an extraordinary effort to achieve peace: more than 200 meetings with foreign dignitaries; 10 diplomatic missions; 6 congressional appearances; over 103,000 miles traveled to talk with, among others, members of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the European Community. And sadly, Saddam Hussein rejected out of hand every overture made by the United States and by other countries as well. He made this just war an inevitable war.
But with the support and prayers of so many, there can be no question in the minds of our soldiers or in the minds of our enemy about what Americans think. We know that this is a just war. And we know that, God willing, this is a war we will win. But most of all, we know that ours would not be the land of the free if it were not also the home of the brave. No one wanted war less than I did. No one is more determined to seize from battle the real peace that can offer hope, that can create a new world order
Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union
January 29, 1991
What is at stake is more than one small country; it is a big idea: a new world order
, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind -- peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle and worthy of our children's future.
We will succeed in the Gulf. And when we do, the world community will have sent an enduring warning to any dictator or despot, present or future, who contemplates outlaw aggression.
The world can, therefore, seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order
, where brutality will go unrewarded and aggression will meet collective resistance.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19255
Remarks at the 50th Anniversary Observance of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech
January 30, 1991
As we look around the world at the events of the past year, we see how these very same beliefs are bringing about the emergence of a new world order
, one based on respect for the individual and for the rule of law -- a new world order
that can lead to the lasting peace we all seek, where children will never have to repeat Quang's ordeal. And that's what's at stake -- a new chapter of human history.
And that's why an international coalition of 28 nations backed by the United Nations is standing up to the evil that challenges this ideal halfway around the world in the Middle East. We cannot, we must not, and we will not let that hope for a better world be threatened.
It is our commitment to the new world order
that takes us to the sands and the seas of the Gulf. And we're there because we realize that each of Roosevelt's four freedoms leads us to the greatest of all human aspirations -- the freedom to live in peace.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19267
Remarks to Community Members at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in North Carolina
February 1, 1991
No, but their courage and commitment will help punish aggression and protect our new world order
from the tyranny of ruthless dictators with no concern for human life.
We're now more than 2 weeks into Operation Desert Storm. My report to you today is that we are on course, we are on schedule, and things go well. Day by day, night by night, Iraq's capacity to wage war is being systematically destroyed by U.S. and coalition military forces. And our investment, our training, and our planning are paying off. And yes, achieving our goals will require time and sacrifice, but we will prevail -- make no mistake about that. And when we do -- and when we do, we will have taught a dangerous tyrant and those few who would follow in his footsteps that there is no place for lawless aggression in this critical region and in the new world order
that we seek to create.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19268
Remarks to Community Members at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina
February 1, 1991
You know, we're now more than 2 weeks into Desert Storm. And I'm happy to say -- and put it this way -- we are on course and we are on schedule. And as each day passes, Iraq's war machine, thanks to many of your loved ones, is being systematically destroyed by our allied military forces. Our investment, our training, and our planning are paying off. And yes, sacrifices still lay ahead, but we will succeed. And when we do, we will have taught Saddam Hussein and all others like him that there is no place for lawless aggression in the region or in this new world order
that we envision.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19269
Remarks to Community Members at Fort Stewart, Georgia
February 1, 1991
And when we win -- and we will -- we will have taught a dangerous dictator and any tyrant tempted to follow in his footsteps that the U.S. has a new credibility, and that what we say goes, and that there is no place for lawless aggression in the Persian Gulf and in this new world order
that we seek to create. And we mean it. And he will understand that when the day is done.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19288
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Meeting of the Economic Club in New York, New York
February 6, 1991
The road to real peace will be difficult -- long and tough, I'd say. But we will prevail. And when we do, we will have before us an historic opportunity. From the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates, where civilization began, civilized behavior can begin anew. We can build a better world and a better new world order
So, I would like to encourage support for this new approach which empowers the people and I think will lead to far more housing.New World Order
Q. Mr. President, you have talked several times about basing the future on a new world order
. Can you give us a definition of the new world order
? And if it depends on the collaboration between the Soviet Union and the United States, how do events in the Soviet Union affect this concept?
The President. Well, it doesn't depend entirely on it, but it would be greatly enhanced by a Soviet Union that goes down the line with its commitment to market reform, to private ownership of land, to a free economic system, to a system that resists and does not use force to assure order amongst the Republics, that goes farther down the road with elections and all the openness that I give President Gorbachev credit for. And as well as the openness in terms of glasnost and the reforms in terms of perestroika -- we're going to continue to support those concepts. But it was this, it was the farsighted vision of Mr. Gorbachev that enabled us to work together in the United Nations.
Now, my vision of a new world order
foresees a United Nations with a revitalized peacekeeping function. I think most that follow the United Nations see the economic and social side of the United Nations as having performed well since it was founded. Most people that follow it find that the peacekeeping function for the most part has not been effective. And one of the reasons it hasn't is because of the veto in the hands of the five permanent members of the Security Council, one of them being the Soviet Union.
When I was Ambassador 20 years ago in the U.N., we hardly ever voted with the Soviet Union. Now we're with them on many, many things. So, the new world order
I think foresees a revitalized peacekeeping function of the United Nations. But I cannot and I will not predict a Soviet Union going back, turning its back on reform -- perestroika -- turning its back on glasnost -- openness. I don't believe, no matter what the ferment in the Soviet Union today, that they're ever going to go back to that. And I don't think anyone there wants to go back to that.
And so it would envision, though, a much more cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union. And on matters of the Gulf, in international matters, not bilateral, it envisions a greatly enhanced peacekeeping function of the United Nations itself.
One of the reasons we have so much support for this is that we went to the United Nations 12 times. There are 12 resolutions that speak to the Gulf, and that has mobilized world opinion. And so when we are successful in fulfilling all 12 of those resolutions, I think there's going to be new credibility for that peacekeeping function, new credibility for the United States. But we should have and should strive to have Soviet cooperation all along the way. And that's why I'm not going to back off on my efforts to try to improve relations with the Soviet Union.
Then we've left China out of the equation, and we ought not to do that. They've been through a difficult time. I took on some shots for trying to keep relations from China. I was offended as anybody else was by the human rights abuses at Tiananmen Square and spoke out on it. But I think it is in the interest of the United States to have continued relations with China. And I think it is vital to this new world order
that that veto-holding member of the Security Council go along and be with us on these matters of trying to bring peace to troubled corners of the world.
Remarks on the Observance of National Afro-American (Black) History Month
February 25, 1991
This was a war thrust upon us, not a war that we sought. But naked aggression, such as we have seen, must be resisted if it is not to become a pattern. Our success in the Gulf will bring with it not just a new opportunity for peace and stability in a critical part of the world but a chance to build a new world order
based upon the principles of collective security and the rule of law.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19342
Remarks at a Meeting of the American Society of Association Executives
February 27, 1991
We face a new century, a new American century. Half a world away, our allied troops face a defining moment in the new world order
. And they are succeeding in their battle because each and every one of them possesses a pride in their country, integrity in their cause, and courage in their heart.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19352
The President's News Conference on the Persian Gulf Conflict
March 1, 1991
Q. Mr. President, today you declared an end to the Vietnam syndrome and, of course, we've heard you talk a lot about the new world order
. Can you tell us, do you envision a new era now of using U.S. military forces around the world for different conflicts that arise?
The President. No, I think because of what has happened, we won't have to use U.S. forces around the world. I think when we say something that is objectively correct, like don't take over a neighbor or you're going to bear some responsibility, people are going to listen because I think out of all this will be a newfound -- put it this way, a reestablished credibility for the United States of America.
So, I look at the opposite. I say that what our troops have done over there will not only enhance the peace but reduce the risk that their successors have to go into battle someplace.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19355
Radio Address to United States Armed Forces Stationed in the Persian Gulf Region
March 2, 1991
Yes, there remain vital and difficult tests ahead, both here and abroad, but nothing the American people can't handle. America has always accepted the challenge, paid the price, and passed the test. On this day, our spirits are high as our flag, and our future is as bright as Liberty's torch. Tomorrow we dedicate ourselves anew, as Americans always have and as Americans always will.
The first test of the new world order
has been passed. The hard work of freedom awaits. Thank you. Congratulations. And God bless the United States of America.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19364
Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the Cessation of the Persian Gulf Conflict
March 6, 1991
Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order
. In the words of Winston Churchill, a world order in which "the principles of justice and fair play protect the weak against the strong. . . ." A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations. The Gulf war put this new world to its first test. And my fellow Americans, we passed that test.
For the sake of our principles, for the sake of the Kuwaiti people, we stood our ground. Because the world would not look the other way, Ambassador al-Sabah, tonight Kuwait is free. And we're very happy about that.
Tonight, as our troops begin to come home, let us recognize that the hard work of freedom still calls us forward. We've learned the hard lessons of history. The victory over Iraq was not waged as "a war to end all wars." Even the new world order
cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace. But enduring peace must be our mission. Our success in the Gulf will shape not only the new world order
we seek but our mission here at home.http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=19398
Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the Elie Wiesel Foundation Humanitarian Award and an Exchange With Reporters
March 18, 1991
Dr. Wiesel. This is the award presented to you, Mr. President. It reads: "To George Bush, for he defends the victims of dictatorship and oppression with passion, courage, and fervor. Elie Wiesel Foundation for the Humanity. March 18, 1991."
The President. It's a great honor to receive this. And it's a special honor for me to receive it from you, a man I admire greatly. Thank you, sir, very very much.
Dr. Wiesel. And this is the citation.
Dear Mr. President: At another time, in another age, another President declared that "Victory has a thousand fathers." But the most recent American triumph in the Gulf had only one father. And yet we are here today not only because you have brought about that magnificent victory. We of the Foundation have wished to honor you long before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, thus becoming a symbol of dictatorship and oppression.
Mr. President, 10 months ago, we invited you to accept this award because we perceived in you those qualities that the whole world now celebrates today -- your moral courage and unshakeable resolve. We knew that we shared the common belief that the world must change, not only for the United States and for the West but for all humanity.
Among the tasks our Foundation has set for itself is the unrelenting examination of the roots of hate. Why are some nations trapped in a circle of evil? Why are some peoples the continual targets for persecution? Why do tyrannies flourish in some parts of the world and not in others?
These are the vital questions of our era -- of any era. The difference is that for the first time in this tortured century we are truly on the threshold of "a new world order
," to use your inspiring and memorable phrase.
Thanks to you, Mr. President, small nations feel more secure. Thanks to you, evil has been dealt a dramatic blow. Thanks to you, Mr. President, the last decade of the 20th century may well be remembered for its quest for peace rather than its obsession with violence and death.
As for Israel, Mr. President, I am sure that you are aware of the depths of our involvement with her trials and struggles. We thank you for your understanding of those trials and struggles. We thank you for the Patriots. We thank you for helping to rescue Jews from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union.
Mr. President, I, a refugee from Eastern Europe, am now a proud and loyal citizen of the United States. But spiritually I claim Israel's destiny as my own. I do not live in Israel, and yet I cannot imagine living without Israel.
We of the Foundation fervently hope that your administration will continue its resounding commitment to her security. Surely, she will remain our most steadfast ally in the Middle East. We are confident that persuasion other than pressure, trust rather than suspicion, will continue to govern your relationship with Jerusalem, whose prophetic message of peace is at the heart of its legacy.
We believe in your vision, Mr. President. We believe in the dawn of the new world order
. For that reason and many others, it is a privilege for us to honor you today.
Signed Elie Wiesel.
I shall sign it for you.
The President. Please do.
Dr. Wiesel. Mr. President, you have given out so many pens, I think the time has come for you to receive one. [Laughter]
The President. I don't give out such nice ones, though. [Laughter] This is beautiful. Thank you very much.
Dr. Wiesel. I hope you will sign the peace agreement between Israel and the Arab States with this pen.
The President. Well, we're going to try. We've just had a meeting with our Secretary of State who had good visits in Israel and in other countries. So, we want to seize the moment. We want to go forward now while there is this feeling of good will and then common agreement -- common position on things that have not always been agreed. I'm thinking of the common stand in getting rid of Saddam's military offense.
So, we will try hard, sir. But I am very honored with this and grateful to you. Receiving it from this one is very special to me, I'll tell you. Thank you, sir, very much. Thank you.
Middle East Peace Process
Q. Dr. Wiesel, what precisely would you like to see the President do to achieve that kind of peace in the Middle East? What do you think is necessary?
Dr. Wiesel. I think the President should be himself, a man who listens. I have known the President for some years -- when he was still Vice President -- and he was always listening. I think the President knows how to listen and knows how to make people talk. What I would like the President to do, of course, is to listen to Israel's fears, just as Israel should listen to the President's hopes.
Q. Mr. President, can you share anything with us about your talk with Secretary Baker?
The President. No. We just met for 45 minutes, and then we'll be meeting again, either today or tomorrow. But I responded to a question down either in Bermuda or in Martinique, where I said that there is reason to be hopeful. And I think he found not just in Israel but in other capitals a recognition of the fact that we ought to try to go forward. And I think the climate for fulfilling some of these hopes is probably better than it's ever been. And I'm talking about on all sides out there. So, we will be working very hard. But there's no -- I don't want to add any specifics. He has some specific ideas that we need to talk about here.
But I found the Secretary of State, in spite of an arduous trip, hopeful that we can move forward. And we're certainly going to try. We are not going to miss this opportunity.
Q. What's the next step, Mr. President?
The President. Well, there are a lot of next steps. Of course, one of them relates -- there's three areas, as you know: the Lebanon, the Israel question with Palestine and all of that, and then, obviously, the Gulf. And so, the next steps -- the earlier, practical steps have to be in getting a cease-fire in the Gulf area. But we will go forward, trying our best to do that, using the United Nations structure, inasmuch as we're operating under the U.N. resolutions there. That is not the case, necessarily, say, in the Lebanon.
I don't think the American people ought to think that you can wave a wand and solve all three of these very difficult problems at once. But all I know is, I think the United States is in a stronger position, a more credible position to be the most important catalyst for peace, and that has been reinforced by what Secretary Baker has told me -- what he's found in Moscow, what he's found in the Arab countries, what he's found in Israel.
Q. He spoke during his trip of a window of opportunity here to try to find elements of peace. Is that window narrow? Does that window close after a certain length of time here just because, in part, of some of the frustrations and failures of the past in that region?
The President. Well, I think the longer one waits to take any initiatives, the danger is things revert back to a status quo. And I think that will be unacceptable. And so we're working on these two tracks as it relates to the State of Israel, trying to get peace going between countries that had been at war and then try to have suggestions for the solution of the Palestinian question that has avoided us for a long, long time -- avoided the countries and various individuals in the area.
So, we're going to try. But I'm not putting any timeframe on this, Norm [Norm Sandler, United Press International]. All I'm saying is that while people are thinking peace and while it is clear that a major threat has been diminished, we ought to try to move forward now. And I like very much the -- I would say, the endorsement by Dr. Wiesel of this concept of a new world order
, because encompassed in that are countries living at peace that have heretofore been at war. And that's what we're going to be trying to -- --
Q. Are you encouraged by the -- --
Q. -- -- the talks with Syria?
The President. Well, I think that there's some good talks there. We still have differences, as everyone knows. But let's find common ground. Let's see if we can take these historic enmities and bring them -- eliminate them. And that's what we're going to try to do. But nobody is suggesting it's easy, including the Secretary of State, who tried very hard.
Q. What is the state of play, Mr. President, now on a permanent cease-fire? Are you going to the U.N. this week?
The President. Well, there will be some U.N. action this week, I think, or certainly U.N. consultation is already beginning. But we've got to work out between the coalition partners, get common ground between the coalition partners. But broadly speaking, people know what is required. I would like to see us reduce the flow of weapons into the area, which is an important -- could be an important part of this. But there are a lot of other difficult points.
Iraq must pay reparations or pay damages. The more one looks at the environmental terrorism that they embraced, that they brought about, the more the world understands that they have got to do something about that. So how do you do it? Well, they are potentially a wealthy country. The trouble is they've taken all that wealth and spread it into weapons and then into aggression. And the aggression has been checked, but now we've got to see that they use their resources for helping their own people. And that's a little complicated, given the three areas of contest right now -- almost combat right now -- the south, up to the north, and then some in Baghdad itself.
So anyway, all of these areas have to be dealt with. And we're trying. We're beginning to go to work on all of them.
Q. Mr. President, do you think Arab countries are willing to talk to Israel, and is there a genuine reciprocal view?
The President. Well, Secretary Baker had good discussions with Prime Minister Shamir on that. He had good discussions with the heads of many other governments on that. Talked to the Soviets about that, who still have an interest in the Middle East. And so, we'll just wait and see how all that develops. But I would hope that that would prove to be the case. Israel has restated its willingness to talk, and I think that's a very great thing.
Thank you all.
Q. When will you go to the Middle East?
The President. No plans yet. It's not set.