President Bush Delivers Commencement Address at
(Note: Mad Plato's words are in bold letters.)
(Note: Mad Plato's words are in bold letters.)
Your teachers are proud, your parents are thrilled, and your Commander-in-Chief is grateful for your devotion to duty. (And another duty now calls you to go to
This Academy has tested your minds, your bodies, and your character, and having passed these trials, you now embark on a voyage as officers in the oldest continuous Maritime service. (You embark for
The history of the Coast Guard dates back more than two centuries, to the Revenue Cutter Service, established under the presidency of George Washington -- or as I call him, the first George W.
(His poll numbers were much larger than mine are.)
(Laughter and applause.)
On September the 11th, the home front you protect became a battlefront in a new and unprecedented war. That day, our nation changed forever, and so did the mission of the United States Coast Guard. This service assumed new and essential responsibilities: to defend our nation against terrorist infiltration, and to help stop new attacks before they kill our people.
To help stop new attacks on our country, we have undertaken the most sweeping reorganization of the federal government since the start of the Cold War. We created the new Department of Homeland Security, merging 22 different government organizations, including the Coast Guard, into a single Department with a clear mission: to protect America from future attacks.
(Meanwhile, only 5% of incoming shipments are inspected at our ports. And the southern
To help stop new attacks on our country, we passed the Patriot Act, breaking down the walls that had prevented federal law enforcement and intelligence communities from sharing information about potential terrorist activities.
(And putting up walls around innocent Americans...checking what they read and write and say on the Internets.)
All these steps are making our country safer, but we're not yet safe. To strike our country, the terrorists only have to be right once; to protect our country, we have to be right 100 percent of the time. That means the best way to protect our people is to take the fight to the enemy. So after 9/11, I vowed to America that we would go on the offense against the terrorists, fighting them across the world so we do not have to face them here at home. And since 9/11, that is precisely what that
(This war on terror will go on and on and on as long as I am your president. We will cultivate more and more enemies as long as we are on the offense. Our military will continue to receive its billions and billions. Our
Today, because we acted, the terrorist camps in
In Iraq, we removed a cruel dictator who harbored terrorists (Which terrorists I can’t say), paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, invaded his neighbors, defied the United Nations Security Council, pursued and used weapons of mass destruction.
(Or I am in a state of denial)
And today the Iraqi people are building a young democracy on the rubble of Saddam Hussein's tyranny.
(And on the continuing rubble of my SHOCK AND AWE INVASION and OCCUPATION.)
In 2006, a thinking enemy responded to this progress and struck back with brutality. They staged sensational attacks that led to a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal. If the sectarian violence continued to spiral out of control, the Iraqi government would have been in danger of collapse. The ensuing chaos would embolden Iran, which is fueling the violence, and al Qaeda, a key driver of Iraq's sectarian conflict. The chaos could eventually spread across the Middle East, and generations of Americans would be in even greater danger.
So I had a choice to make: withdraw our troops, or send reinforcements to help the Iraqis quell the sectarian violence. I decided to send more troops with a new mission: to help the Iraqi government secure their population and get control of
(Never mind that more of our troops and not fewer are being killed.)
Our security depends on helping the Iraqis succeed and defeating
Some in our country question whether the battle in
There is a reason that bin Laden sent one of his most experienced paramilitary leaders to Iraq: He believes that if al Qaeda can drive us out, they can establish Iraq as a new terrorist sanctuary. Our intelligence community believes that, "al Qaeda leaders see victory in Iraq -- the heart of the caliphate and currently the most active front in their war -- as a religious and strategic imperative." If al Qaeda succeeds in Iraq, they would pursue their stated goals of turning that nation into a base from which to overthrow moderate governments in the region, impose their hateful ideology on millions, and launch new attacks on America and other nations. Victory in
(But if the
I've often warned that if we fail in Iraq, the enemy will follow us home. Many ask: How do you know?
(I keep in touch with God.)
Despite our pressure, despite the setbacks that al Qaeda has suffered, it remains extremely dangerous. As we've surged our forces in
In his State of the Union Address last Tuesday, President Bush warned that if the
In late 2005, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld warned that al Qaeda leaders "would turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was before 9/11 -- a haven for terrorist recruitment and training and a launching pad for attacks against U.S. interests and our fellow citizens."
Despite such scare mongering, it is highly improbable that al Qaeda could use
Indeed, foreign fighters make up a relatively small component of the Sunni insurgency against the
The challenge for al Qaeda in
A September 2006 poll conducted by the
[From The Myth of an al Qaeda Takeover of
By Ted Galen Carpenter
Ted Galen Carpenter is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies and co-author of Exiting Iraq: Why the U.S. Must End the Military Occupation and Renew the War Against Al Qaeda (2004).
Bush's Commencement Address at
The fight in
(Remember what I told you before:
"In my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.")
Now, many critics compare the battle in
(Both were a quagmire. Both were based upon lies. Both were wrong and wasteful.)
There are many differences between the two conflicts, but one stands out above all: The enemy in Vietnam had neither the intent nor the capability to strike our homeland. The enemy in Iraq does. Nine-eleven taught us that to protect the American people, we must fight the terrorists where they live so that we don't have to fight them where we live.
(I’m still catapulting the propaganda!)
However difficult the fight in
Al Qaeda is public enemy number one for Iraq's young democracy, and al Qaeda is public enemy number one for America, as well. And that is why we must support our troops, we must support the Iraqi government, and we must defeat al Qaeda in
(Good. The audience is buying this and swallowing it line, hook and sinker!)
I see the intelligence every day. The danger has not passed. Here in America, we're living in the eye of a storm. All around us, dangerous winds are swirling, and these winds could reach our shores at any moment.
(It is after all Hurricane season again.)
IT'S THE OIL STUPID!