Former President George W. Bush on Thursday warned of “the dangers of isolation” as President Donald Trump pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal, calling the role America plays in the world “indispensable.”
“America is indispensable for the world. The price of greatness is responsibility. One cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilized world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes,” Bush said at an awards dinner held by the Atlantic Council, invoking a speech by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
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“If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided, all will fail,” he added, again quoting Churchill.
“Some Americans may ask, ‘Is this really in our national interest? Why are we spending money abroad when we’ve got big problems here at home?’ Those are legitimate questions,” Bush said.
“Here’s my answer: I believe that spending less than two-tenths of 1 percent of our federal budget to save millions of lives is the moral, the practical and in the national security interests of the United States,” he said.
The Hill added:
Bush, who was recognized by the organization with its Distinguished International Leadership Award, used his remarks to urge the international community to continue fighting against HIV and AIDS.
During his presidency, Bush championed an initiative to fund AIDS relief as part of his push for a massive increase in federal funding to developing countries friendly to democracy.
Since leaving office, Bush has remained a vocal proponent for AIDS relief funding, urging lawmakers in an op-ed last year to continue fully funding his initiative.
“When we confront suffering, when we save lives, we breathe hope into the devastated populations, strengthen & stabilize societies, and make our country and the world safer,” Bush said Thursday.