(Note: Mad Plato's words are between parentheses.)
President Bush Discusses War on Terror in South Carolina
Charleston Air Force Base
Charleston, South Carolina
July 24, 2007
11:50 A.M. EDT
I'm proud to be back here in the great state of South Carolina. I'm proud to be with some of the Palmetto State's finest citizens. I'm glad to be eating lunch with you. The food is pretty good, Colonel. (Laughter.) I always like a good barbecue.
(We barbecue some of the world's tastiest Armadillos down at Crawford)
This base is represented by Congressman Henry Brown, of South Carolina. (Applause.) He understands what I understand; when we have somebody in harm's way, that person deserves the full support of the Congress and the President.
(Please don’t think about the protective helmets and armored vehicles that soldiers haven’t had to protect them from getting their brains and bodies blown away by IEDS.)
And you'll have the full support of the President of the United States during this war against these radicals and extremists.
(By radicals and extremists I don’t mean Hillary or Obama.)
Nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks, America remains a nation at war. The terrorist network that attacked us that day is determined to strike our country again, and we must do everything in our power to stop them.
(Don't remind me that our Homeland's borders and ports are open arteries for these potential strikes, and that we are doing very little to prevent terrorists from coming into America.)
A key lesson of September the 11th is that the best way to protect America is to go on the offense, to fight the terrorists overseas so we don't have to face them here at home.
(I wonder how much longer I can use this line?)
Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
The key theater in this global war is Iraq.
(Back in London it was the Globe.)
There's a debate in Washington about Iraq, and nothing wrong with a healthy debate.
(Just as long as I'm the Master debater and Decider.)
There's also a debate about al-Qaida's role in Iraq. Some say that Iraq is not part of the broader war on terror.
(And it wasn't until I bombed Iraq.)
They complain when I say that the al-Qaida terrorists we face in Iraq are part of the same enemy that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001.
(Stop complaining about this lie.)
I say that there will be a big defeat in Iraq and it will be the defeat of al-Qaida.
(Even though only 1% of the fighters are al- Qaida. I have to pump up the propaganda in order for our military to remain in Iraq long after I retire in Crawford or Paraguay.)
See, 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.
George W. Bush
According to our intelligence community, many of al-Qaida in Iraq's other senior leaders are also foreign terrorists. They include a Syrian who is al- Qaida in Iraq's emir in Baghdad, a Saudi who is al-Qaida in Iraq's top spiritual and legal advisor, an Egyptian who fought in Afghanistan in the 1990s and who has met with Osama bin Laden, a Tunisian who we believe plays a key role in managing foreign fighters. Last month in Iraq, we killed a senior al-Qaida facilitator named Mehmet Yilmaz, a Turkish national who fought with al-Qaida in Afghanistan, and met with September the 11th mastermind Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, and other senior al-Qaida leaders.
(As you can see, al-Qaida gets its leaders from many countries. Why don't they like the United States and its invasion and occupation of Iraq?)
Al-Qaida in Iraq is a group founded by foreign terrorists, led largely by foreign terrorists, and loyal to a foreign terrorist leader -- Osama bin Laden. They know they're al-Qaida. The Iraqi people know they are al-Qaida. People across the Muslim world know they are al-Qaida. And there's a good reason they are called al-Qaida in Iraq: They are al-Qaida ... in ... Iraq.
(And if the U.S. left Iraq, the sectarian fighters would fight al-Qaida instead of us, and we would have more money and manpower to fight terrorists when they come to the United States.)
Here's the bottom line: Al-Qaida in Iraq is run by foreign leaders loyal to Osama bin Laden. Like bin Laden, they are cold-blooded killers who murder the innocent to achieve al-Qaida's political objectives. Yet despite all the evidence, some will tell you that al-Qaida in Iraq is not really al-Qaida -- and not really a threat to America. Well, that's like watching a man walk into a bank with a mask and a gun, and saying he's probably just there to cash a check.
(Iraq was the bank we walked into...Shotgun Cheney had a mask on...the check was called Shock and Awe...but the check bounced and we got al-Qaeda in Iraq instead. Now we have a cooked-up reason and self-made enemy…and we will have to stay in Iraq until we defeat that enemy and secure the oil.)
You might wonder why some in Washington insist on making this distinction about the enemy in Iraq. It's because they know that if they can convince America we're not fighting bin Laden's al-Qaida there, they can paint the battle in Iraq as a distraction from the real war on terror.
(Just like saying that by invading Iraq the actual war on bin Laden and Al Qaida in Afghanistan was distracted. Sorry...but Shotgun Dick had to make it possible for Halliburton to have more profits.)
We are fighting bin Laden's al-Qaida in Iraq; Iraq is central to the war on terror; and against this enemy, America can accept nothing less than complete victory. (Applause.)
(Victory...victory...victory...What is victory?)
After victory, you have more enemies.
Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.
George W. Bush
There are others who accept that al-Qaida is operating in Iraq, but say its role is overstated.
(Al-Qaida makes up about 1% of the terrorists in Iraq.)
And most important for the people who wonder if the fight in Iraq is worth it, al-Qaida in Iraq shares Osama bin Laden's goal of making Iraq a base for its radical Islamic empire, and using it as a safe haven for attacks on America.
(If the U.S. left, the Iraqi sects would not want Iraq to become a base for al-Qaida's radical empire, and would fight al-Qaida instead of each other; and, therefore, Iraq would not remain a safe haven for attacks on America.)
Our top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has said that al-Qaida is "public enemy number one" in Iraq.
(If the U.S. left, do you believe that the Iraqi people would fight enemy number one?)
Fellow citizens, these people have sworn allegiance to the man who ordered the death of nearly 3,000 people on our soil. Al-Qaida is public enemy number one for the Iraqi people; al- Qaida is public enemy number one for the American people. And that is why, for the security of our country, we will stay on the hunt, we'll deny them safe haven, and we will defeat them where they have made their stand.
(I was just having a bad hair day when I said: "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority. I am truly not that concerned about him." Or maybe my speech writers were having a bad hair day.)
We were not in Iraq when the terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993. We were not in Iraq when they attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We were not in Iraq when they attacked the USS Cole in 2000. And we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001.
(Therefore, I bombed Iraq!)
He that is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.
Our action to remove Saddam Hussein did not start the terrorist violence -- and America’s withdrawal from Iraq would not end it.
(Our action to remove Saddam Hussein didn't start the terrorist violence... it just gave it a turbo boost!)
These people are trying to shake the will of the Iraqi citizens, and they want us to leave...I think the world would be better off if we did leave...
George W. Bush (on Iraqi Insurgency)
(Yes, George did say these words.)
War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.
If we were not fighting these al-Qaida extremists and terrorists in Iraq, they would not be leading productive lives of service and charity.
(Therefore, by fighting these extremists and terrorists in Iraq, it permits them to lead productive lives. What? What?)
(Note: Yes, the President Bush DID say the above words. I checked the script for a second time at www.whitehouse.gov)
Most would be trying to kill Americans and other civilians elsewhere -- in Afghanistan, or other foreign capitals, or on the streets of our own cities.
(The Russians are not coming...the Russians are not coming...al-Qaida is coming!)
Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificually induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear.
General Douglas MacArthur
Al-Qaida is in Iraq -- and they're there for a reason.
(Because a foreign invader and occupier is there.)
If we were to cede Iraq to men like this, we would leave them free to operate from a safe haven which they could use to launch new attacks on our country.
If we were to allow this to happen, sectarian violence in Iraq could increase dramatically, raising the prospect of mass casualties.
(Notice I said could. If we left them free to operate in Iraq it could also inspire the Iraqi people to fight them even harder than us.)
For the security of our citizens, and the peace of the world, we must give General Petraeus and his troops the time and resources they need, so they can defeat al=Qaida in Iraq.
(This time and resources may be for 2 years, 20 years, or 200 years. This perpetual war on terrorism has no time-table...and that's the way our corporations like it.)
No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.
A. J. P. Taylor
I have confidence in our country, and I have faith in our cause, because I know the character of the men and women gathered before me. I thank you for your patriotism; I thank you for your courage. You're living up to your motto: "one family, one mission, one fight." Thank you for all you do. God bless your families. God bless America.
Democracies become dictatorships if governments do not listen to the voice of the people.
Tom Van Meurs
The voice of protest...is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum...is bidding all men...obey in silence the tyrannous word of command.
Charles Eliot Norton
If a war be undertaken...before the resources of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no defense, it is a national crime.
Charles Eliot Norton
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths...I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Military glory--that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood--that serpent's eye, that charms to destroy...
In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
This administration led this nation into war based on lies. I think that this Congress, and the American people, have a right to know what information this Administration had, and how they justify their public comments. Now is the time for truth-telling.
Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, June 3, 2003
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose-and you allow him to make war at pleasure.