September 24, 2008
George Bush today used his final speech to the UN before stepping down as the US president to defend the “war on terror” and urge other countries to support it.
Bush said terrorism was the biggest challenge faced by the UN since its charter was drawn up in 1945.
The US president – who ultimately ignored the UN in pressing ahead with the 2003 invasion of Iraq – said the scale of the threat illustrated that the UN and other multilateral organisations “are needed more urgently than ever”.
In a rebuff to those arguing that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had acted as a recruiting tool for extremists, Bush said: “Bringing the terrorists to justice doesn’t create terrorism – it’s the best way to protect our people.”
He described the theory that not all countries wanted democracy as “self-serving condescension”.
“Whatever disagreements we nations have had in Iraq, we should all welcome this progress [over the past 20 months] towards democracy and peace,” he said.