[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book I)]
[April 1, 1993]
[Pages 372-379]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Annapolis
April 1, 1993

    Thank you very much, Mr. Topping, distinguished guests at the head 
table, ladies and gentlemen. I want to say a special word of thanks and 
acknowledgement to the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, Admiral 
Lynch, who's here with us and who came up with me. He just gave me 
something I was told even a politician couldn't get in this country 
anymore, a free lunch. [Laughter]
    I just had lunch with 4,000 of the finest young men and women in 
this country or in any country, who are here at the Naval Academy. I 
went around the table, the table where I was sitting, and I asked every 
one of the young men and women who were seated at my table why they 
decided to come to the Naval Academy. And I wish every one of you could 
have heard their answers. It would have moved you immensely.
    And as I go now to meet with President Yeltsin in Vancouver, I will 
be even more freshly reminded about what the stakes are, because as much 
as any group of Americans, those young people about to enter our 
Nation's Armed Forces have a very great stake in what will occur.
    I'm delighted to be here with all of you who do so much to shape 
what our people think and even to give them access to what they need to 
know about these and other important issues. Had we met last year, if my 
voice had been in full flower, we doubtless would have talked almost 
exclusively about the economic issues facing America. And I am quite 
mindful of the fact that I am the first member of my party for a very 
long time who received a majority of the editorial endorsements of 
America's newspapers. That is something that I took very seriously. I 
was honored to receive them. And I can only hope that a year or so from 
now, those of you who did it will still be glad you did. In my heart of 
hearts, I hope that those of you who didn't will be sorry you didn't. 
[Laughter] But today, in this magnificent place in this wonderful State, 
I might also say I'm delighted to be joined here by my former colleague 
in the Governors' Association and my friend Governor Don Schaefer, the 
Governor of Maryland. Thank you for being here.
    I want to talk to you about the events in Russia, about our policies 
toward the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, and 
about my meetings with President Boris Yeltsin this weekend. But first, 
I wish to speak about America's purposes in the world. That is not 
something we often examine, for it is human nature to focus on daily 
affairs most of the time. In our own lives, we do our jobs, we raise our 
children, we nurture our relationships, we struggle with the dilemmas of 
the moment one day at a time. Yet we are each guided by some sense of 
purpose, drawn from our families and our faith, which shapes the 
millions of small events of our life into a larger work that bears the 
imprint of our character.
    And so it is in the life of a nation. Decisions command attention. 
Crises drive action. But it is only with an overriding sense of purpose, 
drawn from their history and their cultures, that great nations can rise 
above the daily tyranny of the urgent to construct their security, to 
build their prosperity, to advance their interests, and to reaffirm 
their values.
    A clear sense of purpose is most essential, yet most elusive, at 
times of profound global change. A half a century ago, our Nation 
emerged victorious from the Second World War to discover itself in 
wholly unfamiliar terrain. The old empires of Europe and Asia were gone. 
A new Communist empire loomed. Ours was the only economy in the world 
still strong and dominant.
    Former Secretary of State, the late Dean Acheson, later described it 
as a time of ``great obscurity.'' Yet in that dim obscurity, he and 
George Marshall and President Harry Truman and other leaders in both 
political parties saw

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the stakes clearly enough. They acted decisively. They accepted the 
mantle of leadership. Their sense of purpose helped to rescue Europe, to 
rebuild Japan, to contain aggression, and to foster two generations of 
unprecedented prosperity and peace.
    And now thanks in large measure to their vision, carried forward 
through succeeding generations, and thanks, too, to the enormous courage 
of the people of Russia and the other Republics of the former Soviet 
Union and the people of Eastern Europe, freedom has once again won a 
very great victory.
    Over the past 4 years, the Berlin Wall crumbled. The cold war ended. 
The Soviet Union gave way to 15 sovereign states. Millions threw off the 
constricting yoke of communism so they could assume instead the 
ennobling burdens of democracy.
    Yet these victories also confront us with a moment of profound 
change, a challenge. The collapse of the Soviet Union changed the 
international order forever. The emerging economic powerhouses of the 
Pacific are changing the financial order forever. The proliferation of 
demonic weapons of mass destruction threaten to change the distribution 
of military power forever. Resurgent ethnic conflict is challenging the 
very meaning of the nation state. The rise of a global economy has 
changed the linkages between our domestic and our foreign policies and, 
I would argue to you, has made them indivisible.
    In a time of dramatic global change we must define America's broader 
purposes anew. And part of that purpose clearly consists of reviving 
economic opportunity and growth here at home, for the opportunity to do 
well here at home is the ultimate basis of our influence abroad.
    Congress is acting this week to break the gridlock, to build our 
prosperity. Just today, the Congress passed the heart of my economic 
program, a long-term plan to drastically reduce the deficit and increase 
investment in our Nation's economic future. After years of policies that 
have diminished our future, Washington has finally realized that the 
best social program is a good job, and the best route to deficit 
reduction is a growing economy founded on a bold plan of change that 
will both cut spending and increase investment to empower the working 
people of this country.
    Our program invests in people by changing the Tax Code to reward 
work and investment; by working to ensure that anybody who works 40 
hours a week and has children in the home won't have to live in poverty 
anymore; by providing our children with education and nutrition and the 
immunizations they need to start life successfully; by reinvesting the 
way we educate and train our workers to make it properly adequate for 
the new global economy; and by creating jobs now through investment in 
infrastructure and safe streets and community development in communities 
large and small all across this land.
    The American people had the courage to call for change last November 
and gave me the awesome opportunity and responsibility to try to 
implement that change. I am hopeful that Congress will now have the 
courage to vote for all those changes this week. As I said, today they 
voted for a plan that both reduces the long-term deficit and increases 
our investment in the things that will grow this economy, in new jobs 
and new technologies and new education strategies.
    I hope now they will adopt the short-term jobs program that will add 
a half a million new jobs to this country over the next 2 years. Let me 
say parenthetically that one of the great challenges of every wealthy 
country in the world today is not only to promote growth but to create 
jobs. There are many, many examples in the 1980's, when in Europe and 
elsewhere countries had great growth but produced no new jobs. That is 
what has happened here in the last year or so. And we must prove that we 
can do better.
    As I have said so often over the last year and a half, in the global 
village, with this kind of global economy, there is simply no clear 
dividing line between domestic and foreign policy. We can't be strong 
abroad unless we're strong at home. And we cannot be strong at home 
unless we are actively engaged in the world which is shaping events for 
every American. There is a sense in which every one of the young people 
in this country today will live a life which is shaped by events beyond 
our borders as well as events within our borders.
    And so today I say again we must have a clear sense of our purposes 
around the world. Everyone knows the world remains a dangerous place. 
And our preeminent imperative is to ensure our own security. That is why 
we're working to ensure that our military is not only the finest in the 
world but also specifically tailored

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for the challenges of this new era, for the central fronts of our fight 
for a safe world have moved from the plains of northern Europe to our 
efforts to stem weapons of mass destruction, to relieve ethnic turmoil, 
to promote democracy, to expand markets, and to protect the global 
    During the cold war our foreign policies largely focused on 
relations among nations. Our strategies sought a balance of power to 
keep the peace. Today, our policies must also focus on relations within 
nations, on a nation's form of governance, on its economic structure, on 
its ethnic tolerance. These are of concern to us, for they shape how 
these nations treat their neighbors as well as their own people and 
whether they are reliable when they give their word. In particular, 
democracies are far less likely to wage war on other nations than 
dictatorships are.
    Emphatically, the international community cannot seek to heal every 
domestic dispute or to resolve every ethnic conflict. Some are simply 
beyond our reach. But within practical bounds and with a sense of clear 
strategic priorities, we must do what we can to promote the democratic 
spirit and the economic reforms that can tip the balance for progress 
well into the next century.
    From the first hours of my administration, several critical 
situations have demanded our attention, in Iraq, in Somalia, in Haiti, 
in the Middle East, in the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. We have 
sought to develop strategies to address these and other immediate 
challenges. And I'm encouraged by the progress which has been made in 
most of the areas of challenge.
    Yet all of us must also focus on the larger questions that this new 
era presents. For if we act out of a larger sense of purpose and 
strategy, our work on the crises of the late 20th century can lay the 
basis for a more peaceful and democratic world at the start of the 21st 
    The end of the long, twilight struggle does not ensure the start of 
a long peace. Like a wise homeowner who recognizes that you cannot stop 
investing in your house once you buy it, we cannot stop investing in the 
peace now that we have obtained it. That recognition was a triumph of 
President Truman's era. But unlike then, we lack the specter of a 
menacing adversary to spur our efforts to engage other nations. Now, not 
fear but vision must drive our investment and our engagement in this new 
    Nowhere is that engagement more important than in our policies 
toward Russia and the newly independent states of the former Soviet 
Union. Their struggle to build free societies is one of the great human 
dramas of our day. It presents the greatest security challenge for our 
generation and offers one of the greatest economic opportunities of our 
lifetime. That's why my first trip out of the country will be to 
Vancouver, to meet with President Yeltsin.
    Over the past month, we have seen incredibly tumultuous events in 
Russia. They've filled our headlines and probably confused our heads. 
President Yeltsin has been at loggerheads with the People's Congress of 
Deputies. Heated political standoffs have obstructed economic change. 
Meanwhile, neighboring states, such as Ukraine and the Baltic nations, 
have watched Russia anxiously while they grapple with their own reforms 
and while they deal with economic problems equally severe.
    For most Americans, these events, while dramatic, are still very 
remote from their immediate concerns. After all, in every community we 
have our own problems. We've got our own needs. We face a stagnant 
economy and dislocations brought about by the end of the cold war and 
the downsizing of the military budget. We've got all these big companies 
restructuring themselves. And for the last 2 years small business has 
not created enough new jobs to offset that. It's projected that two-
thirds of the growth of our income in the next 5 years, two-thirds, will 
be absorbed by health care cost increases. And 100 percent of the wage 
increases for the next 5 years will be absorbed by health care cost 
increases unless we act. We're worried about our cities, like Los 
Angeles, coming up on the anniversary of the disturbances there a year 
ago. And many people say, in the face of all this and with a huge budget 
deficit, why in the world should we help a distant people when times are 
so tough here at home?
    Well, I know that we cannot guarantee the future of reform in Russia 
or any of the other newly independent states. I know and you know that 
ultimately, the history of Russia will be written by Russians and the 
future of Russia must be charted by Russians. But I would argue that we 
must do what we can. We must act now, not out of charity, but because it 
is a wise investment, a wise investment building on what has already 
been done and looking to our

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own future. While our efforts will entail new costs, we can reap even 
larger dividends for our safety and our prosperity if we act now.
    To understand why, I think we must grasp the scope of the 
transformation now occurring in Russia and the other states. From 
Vilnius on the Baltic to Vladivostok on the Pacific, we have witnessed a 
political miracle, genuinely historic and heroic deeds without precedent 
in all of human history. The other two world-changing events of this 
century, World Wars I and II, exacted a price of over 60 million lives. 
By contrast, look at this world-changing event. It has been remarkably 
bloodless, and we pray that it remains so.
    Now free markets and free politics are replacing repression. Central 
Europe is in command of its own fate. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are 
again independent. Ukraine, Armenia, and other proud nations are free to 
pursue their own destinies.
    The heart of it all is Russia. Her rebirth has begun. A great 
nation, rich in natural and human resources and unbelievable history, 
has once again moved to rejoin the political and economic cultures of 
the West. President Yeltsin and his fellow reformers throughout Russia 
are courageously leading three modern Russian revolutions at once to 
transform their country: from a totalitarian state into a democracy; 
from a command economy into a market; from an empire into a modern 
nation-state that freely let go of countries once under their control 
and now freely respect their integrity.
    Russia's rebirth is not only material and political; it is genuinely 
spiritual. As the Librarian of Congress James Billington said, ``Evil 
has been transcended by repentance without revenge. Innocent suffering 
in past gulags has been given redemptive value. And the amazingly 
nonviolent breakthrough of August 1991, which occurred on the Feast of 
the Transfiguration, was indeed a miracle through which ordinary people 
rediscovered a moral dimension to their own lives.'' Across what was the 
Soviet Union, the freedom to pray has been met by a resurgence of 
    Nothing could contribute more to global freedom, to security, to 
prosperity than the peaceful progression of this rebirth of Russia. It 
could mean a modern state, at peace not only with itself but with the 
world. It could mean one productively and prosperously integrated into a 
global economy, a source of raw materials and manufactured products and 
a vast market for American goods and services. It could mean a populous 
democracy contributing to the stability of both Europe and Asia.
    The success of Russia's renewal must be a first-order concern to our 
country because it confronts us with four distinct opportunities. First, 
it offers us an historic opportunity to improve our own security. The 
danger is clear if Russia's reforms turn sour, if it reverts to 
authoritarianism or disintegrates into chaos. The world cannot afford 
the strife of the former Yugoslavia replicated in a nation as big as 
Russia, spanning 11 time zones with an armed arsenal of nuclear weapons 
that is still very vast.
    But there is great opportunity here. Across most of our history, our 
security was challenged by European nations, set on domination of their 
continent and the high seas that lie between us. The tragic violence in 
Bosnia reminds us again that Europe has not seen the end of conflict 
within its own borders.
    Now, we could at last face a Europe in which no great power, not 
one, harbors continental designs. Think of it: Land wars in Europe cost 
hundreds of thousands of American lives in the 20th century. The rise of 
a democratic Russia, satisfied within her own boundaries, bordered by 
other peaceful democracies, could ensure that our Nation never needs to 
pay that kind of price again.
    We also face the opportunity to increase our own security by 
reducing the chances of nuclear war. Russia still holds over 20,000 
strategic and tactical nuclear warheads. Ukraine, Belarus, and 
Kazakhstan have nuclear weapons on their own soil as well. We are 
implementing historic arms control agreements that for the first time 
will radically reduce the number of strategic nuclear weapons. Now, by 
supporting Russia's reforms, we can help to turn the promise of those 
agreements into a reality for ourselves and for our children, and for 
the Russians and their children, too.
    Second, Russia's reforms offer us the opportunity to complete the 
movement from having an adversary in foreign policy to having a partner 
in global problem solving. Think back to the cold war. Recall the arenas 
in which we played out its conflicts: Berlin, Korea, the Congo, Cuba, 
Vietnam, Nicaragua, Angola, Afghanistan. We competed everywhere. We 
battled the Soviets at the U.N. We tracked each other's movements around 
the globe. We lost

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tens of thousands of our finest young people to hold freedom's line. 
Those efforts were worthy. But their worth was measured in prevention 
more than in creation, in the containment of terror and oppression 
rather than the advancement of human happiness and opportunity.
    Now reflect on what has happened just since Russia joined us in a 
search for peaceful solutions. We cooperated in the United Nations to 
defeat Iraqi aggression in Kuwait. We cosponsored promising peace talks 
in the Mideast. We worked together to foster reconciliation in Cambodia 
and El Salvador. We joined forces to protect the global environment. 
Progress of this kind strengthens our security and that of other 
nations. If we can help Russia to remain increasingly democratic, we can 
leave an era of standoff behind us and explore expanding horizons of 
progress and peace.
    Third, Russia's reforms are important to us because they hold one of 
the keys to investing more in our own future. America's taxpayers have 
literally spent trillions of dollars to prosecute the cold war. Now we 
can reduce that pace of spending, and indeed, we have been able to 
reduce that pace of spending, not only because the arms of the former 
Soviet Union pose a diminishing threat to us and our allies. If Russia 
were to revert to imperialism or were to plunge into chaos, we would 
need to reassess all our plans for defense savings. We would have to 
restructure our defenses to meet a whole different set of threats than 
those we now think will occur. That means billions of dollars less for 
other uses: less for creating new businesses and new jobs; less for 
preparing our children for the future; less for the new technologies of 
the 21st century which our competitors in Germany, Japan, and elsewhere 
are pouring money into right now, hoping they can capture the high wage 
jobs of the future. Therefore, our ability to put people first at home 
requires that we put Russia and its neighbors first on our agenda 
    Fourth, Russia's reforms offer us an historic opportunity. Russia, 
after all, is in a profound economic crisis today. But it is still an 
inherently rich nation. She has a wealth of oil and gas and coal and 
gold and diamonds and timbers for her own people to develop. The Russian 
people are among the most well educated and highly skilled in the world. 
They are good people sitting on a rich land. They have been victimized 
by a system which has failed them. We must look beyond the Russia of 
today and see her potential for prosperity. Think of it: a nation of 150 
million people able to trade with us in a way that helps both our 
peoples. Russia's economic recovery may be slow, but it is in the 
interest of all who seek more robust global growth to ensure that, aided 
by American business and trade, Russia rises to her great economic 
    The burning question today is whether Russia's economic progress, 
whether Russia's democratic progress will continue or be thwarted. I 
believe that freedom, like anything sweet, is hard to take from people 
once they have had a taste of it. The human spirit is hard to bottle up 
again, and it will be hard to bottle up again in Russia. Yet if we 
cannot be certain of how Russia's affairs will proceed, we are 
nonetheless certain of our own interests. The interest of all Americans 
lie with efforts that enhance our security and our prosperity. That's 
why our interests lie with Russian reform and with Russian reformers led 
by Boris Yeltsin.
    America's position is unequivocal. We support democracy. We support 
free markets. We support freedom of speech, conscience, and religion. We 
support respect for ethnic minorities in Russia and for Russian and 
other minorities throughout the region.
    I believe it is essential that we act prudently but urgently to do 
all that we can to strike a strategic alliance with Russian reform. My 
goal in Vancouver will be that. And that will be my message to the man 
who stands as the leader of reform, Russia's democratically elected 
President, Boris Yeltsin. I won't describe today all the specific ideas 
that I plan to discuss with him. And of course, I don't know all those 
that he will discuss with me. But I want to tell you the principles on 
which our efforts to assist reform will rest.
    First, our investments in Russian reform must be tangible to the 
Russian people. Support for reform must come from the ground up. And 
that will only occur if our efforts are broadly dispersed and not 
focused just on Moscow. I plan to talk with President Yeltsin about 
measures intended to help promote the broad development of small 
businesses, to accelerate privatization of state enterprises, to assist 
local food processing and distribution efforts, and to ease the 
transition to private markets. Our goal must be to ensure that the 
Russian people soon come to feel that they are the beneficiaries of 

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and not its victims. We must help them to recognize that their 
sufferings today are not the birth pangs of democracy and capitalism but 
the death throes of dictatorship and communism.
    Second, our investments in Russian reform must be designed to have 
lasting impact. Russia's economic vessel is too large and leaky for us 
to bail it out. That's not what's at issue here. Our challenge is to 
provide some tools to help the Russians do things that work for 
themselves. A good example is Russia's energy sector. Russia is one of 
the world's largest oil producers; yet millions of barrels of the oil 
Russia pumps each month seep out of the system before ever reaching the 
market. Just the leakage from Russia's natural gas pipelines could 
supply the entire State of Connecticut. The Russians must make many 
reforms to attract energy investments. And by helping to introduce 
modern drilling practices and to repair Russia's energy infrastructure, 
we can help Russia regain a large and lasting source of hard currency. 
Over the long run, that effort can help to protect the environment as 
well and to moderate world energy prices. We have a direct interest in 
doing that.
    Third, our people must do what we can to have people-to-people 
initiatives, not just government-to-government ones. We have entered a 
new era in which the best way to achieve many of our goals abroad is not 
through diplomats or dollars but through private citizens who can impart 
the skills and habits that are the lifeblood of democracy and free 
markets. We intend to expand efforts for retired American business 
executives to work with Russian entrepreneurs to start new businesses. 
We intend to work so that our farmers can teach modern farming 
practices; so that our labor leaders can share the basics of trade 
unionism; so that Americans experienced in grassroots activities can 
impart the techniques that ensure responsive government; so that our 
Armed Forces can engage in more exchanges with the Russian military; and 
so that thousands and thousands of young Russians who are reform's 
primary beneficiaries and reform's primary constituency--so that they 
can come to our country and study our government, our economy, and our 
society, not because it's perfect but because it's a great example of a 
democracy at work.
    Fourth, our investments in reform must be part of a partnership 
among all the newly independent states and the international community. 
They must be extended in concert with measures from our allies, many of 
whom have at least as much stake in the survival of Russian democracy as 
we do. Working through the international financial institutions, we can 
do great things together that none of us can do by ourselves.
    This principle is especially important as we help Russia to 
stabilize its currency and its markets. Russia's central bank prints too 
many rubles and extends too many credits. The result is inflation that 
has been nearly one percent a day. Inflation at such levels gravely 
imperils Russia's emerging markets. In Vancouver, I plan to discuss the 
progress we are making among the major industrialized nations to help 
Russia make the leap to a stable currency and a market economy. While we 
cannot support this effort alone in the United States and while we must 
insist on reciprocal commensurate Russian reforms, American leadership 
to curb inflation and stabilize the currency is essential.
    Fifth, we must emphasize investments in Russia that enhance our own 
security. I want to talk with President Yeltsin about steps we can take 
together to ensure that denuclearization continues in Russia and her 
neighboring states. We will explore new initiatives to reassure Ukraine 
so that it embraces the START Treaty, and to move toward the goal of the 
Lisbon Protocol agenda, which was intended to ensure that Russia is the 
only nuclear-armed successor state to the Soviet Union. Ukraine will 
play a special role in the realization of these objectives, and we 
recognize our interest in the success of reform in Ukraine and the other 
new states. I'll talk with President Yeltsin about new efforts to 
realize the two-thirds reduction in United States and Soviet strategic 
nuclear arsenals envisioned under START. And I'll suggest steps both of 
us can take to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, 
something that will be a major, major cause of concern for years to 
    Sixth, we must recognize that our policies toward Russia and the 
other states comprise a long-term strategy. It may take years to work 
completely. That was the key to our success in the cold war. We were in 
it for the long run, not to win every day, not to know what every 
development in every country would be. We had clear principles, clear 
interests, clear values, a clear strategy, and we were in it for the 
long run. As the Soviets veered from the

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terror of Stalin to the thaw of Khrushchev, to the gray days of 
Brezhnev, to the perestroika of Gorbachev, our purpose always remained 
constant: containment, deterrence, human freedom.
    Our goals must remain equally fixed today: above all, our security 
and that of our allies but also democracy, market economies, human 
rights, and respect for international law. In this regard, I welcome 
President Yeltsin's assurance that civil liberties will be respected and 
continuity in Russia's foreign policy maintained as Russia strives to 
determine her own future.
    The path that Russia and the other states take toward reform will 
have rough stretches. Their politics may seem especially tumultuous 
today, in part because it's so much more public than in decades past, 
thanks to the television and to the other mass media. Then, the ruler of 
the Kremlin had only subjects; now, the ruler of the Kremlin has 
constituents, just like me, and it's a lot more complicated. We must be 
concerned over every retreat from democracy but not every growing pain 
within democracy.
    Let me remind you of our own early history. It was marked by 
revision of our governing charter and fistfights in Congress. Vaclav 
Havel has noted, ``Democracy is not a destination, but it's a horizon 
toward which we make continual progress.'' Just remember how long it was 
from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to forging a real 
new Constitution to the election of the first President, and then you 
can't be so impatient about what's happened in the short stretch of time 
from Gorbachev to Yeltsin to the present crisis. As long as there are 
reformers in the Russian Federation and other states leading the journey 
toward democracy's horizon, our strategy must be to support them. And 
our place must be at their side.
    Moreover, we and the Russian people must not give up on reform 
simply because of the slow pace of economic renewal. Recall for a moment 
how many of the world's economic success stories were written off too 
soon. Western visitors to Japan in 1915 dismissed its economic prospects 
as dismal. Korea's economy was described as a ``hopeless case'' by 
American experts in 1958, and look at them now. Many Germans after World 
War II anticipated decades of national poverty. A German Minister of 
Economic Affairs noted after the war, ``Few realized that if people were 
allowed once more to become aware of the value and worth of freedom, 
dynamic forces would be released.'' The miracle of prosperity that 
Japan, Korea, and Germany have discovered awaits those who are willing 
to sustain democratic and economic reforms in Russia and in her 
neighboring states. I believe that, and I hope you do too.
    Despite today's troubles, I have great faith that Russian reform 
will continue and eventually succeed. Let me here address directly the 
Russian people who will read or hear my words. You are a people who 
understand patriotic struggle. You have persevered through an 
unforgiving climate. Your whole history has been punctuated with 
suffering on a scale unknown to the American people. You heroically 
withstood murderous invasions by Napoleon and Hitler. Your great 
literature and your music, which has so enriched our own culture, were 
composed with the pen of longing and the ink of sorrow. Your 
accomplishments of education and science speak to your faith in 
progress. And now, as you seek to build a great tomorrow for Russia upon 
a foundation of democracy and commerce, I speak for Americans everywhere 
when I say, we are with you. For we share this bond: The key to each of 
our futures is not in clinging to the past but in having the courage to 
    As we look upon Russia's challenges, we should remember, all of us, 
that the American and Russian people have in common so much. We are both 
rooted deeply in our own land. We are both built of diverse heritage. We 
are both forever struggling with the responsibilities that come with 
vast territory and power. We both have had to deal with the dilemmas of 
human nature on an immense scale. That may be why there has been so 
little real hatred between our people, even across the decades when we 
pointed weapons of nightmarish destruction at each other's lands.
    Now, as in the past, America's future is tied in important ways to 
Russia's. During the cold war, it was tied in negative ways. We saw in 
each other only danger. Now that the walls have come down, we can see 
hope and opportunity.
    In the end, our hope for the future of Russian reform is rooted 
simply in our faith in the institutions that have secured our own 
freedom and prosperity. But it is also rooted in the Russian people. The 
diversity of their past accomplishments gives us hope that there are 
diverse possibilities for the future. The vitality of Russian journalism 
and public debate today gives us

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hope that the great truth-seeking traditions of Russian culture will 
endure and that Russia's antidemocratic demagogs will not, indeed, must 
not in the long run prevail. And the discipline of Russia's military, 
which has proved itself anew in August of 1991 and since, that 
discipline gives us hope that Russia's transition can continue to be 
    Fifty years ago, in a different period of historic challenge for 
Russia, the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova wrote, ``We know what lies 
in the balance at this moment and what is happening right now. The hour 
for courage strikes upon our clocks, and the courage will not desert 
    The opportunity that lies before our Nation today is to answer the 
courageous call of Russian reform, as an expression of our own values, 
as an investment in our own security and prosperity, as a demonstration 
of our purpose in a new world.
    Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 1:26 p.m. in Dahlgren Hall at the U.S. 
Naval Academy. In his remarks, he referred to Seymour Topping, president 
of the society.