"Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."
Former US deputy defence secretary
Former US deputy defence secretary
“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”
Address by the President to the Nation on the Way Forward in Iraq
September 13, 2007
In the life of all free nations (And this one has become less free with me as your president), there come moments that decide the direction of a country and reveal the character of its people
(And their president).
We are now at such a moment.
In Iraq, an ally of the United States is fighting for its survival. Terrorists and extremists who are at war with us around the world are seeking to topple Iraq's government, dominate the region, and attack us here at home
(Don't ask me to show you any intelligence).
If Iraq's young democracy can turn back these enemies, it will mean a more hopeful Middle East and a more secure America. This ally has placed its trust in the United States
(Just as we have placed tons of radioactive Uranium dust from our depleted uranium weapons into their air, soil and water.)
And tonight, our moral and strategic imperatives are one: We must help Iraq defeat those who threaten its future and also threaten ours.
(Even though 70% of the remaining Iraqi people want the U.S. to leave their country, and 60% support killing American troops.)
This week, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified before Congress about how that strategy is progressing. In their testimony, these men made clear that our challenge in Iraq is formidable. Yet they concluded that conditions in Iraq are improving, that we are seizing the initiative from the enemy, and that the troop surge is working.
(Even though there are higher numbers of Iraqis dying than one year ago, and our American soldiers are dying every day.)
One year ago, much of Baghdad was under siege. Schools were closed, markets were shuttered, and sectarian violence was spiraling out of control. Today, most of Baghdad's neighborhoods are being patrolled by coalition and Iraqi forces who live among the people they protect. Many schools and markets are reopening. Citizens are coming forward with vital intelligence. Sectarian killings are down. And ordinary life is beginning to return.
(Even though most citizens will not go outside for fear of being killed, and there is very little water, food or electricity.)
One year ago, much of Diyala province was a sanctuary for al Qaeda and other extremist groups, and its capital of Baqubah was emerging as an al Qaeda stronghold. Today, Baqubah is cleared. Diyala province is the site of a growing popular uprising against the extremists. And some local tribes are working alongside coalition and Iraqi forces to clear out the enemy and reclaim their communities.
(We just hope that these same tribes don't turn on us once they gain control.)
One year ago, Shia extremists and Iranian-backed militants were gaining strength and targeting Sunnis for assassination. Today, these groups are being broken up, and many of their leaders are being captured or killed.
(But more militants are certain to replace the captured and killed ones and this will require that we stay in Iraq for years to come.)
These gains are a tribute to our military, they are a tribute to the courage of the Iraqi security forces, and they are the tribute to an Iraqi government that has decided to take on the extremists.
(And I'll take some of that tribute, too.)
Now the Iraqi government must bring the same determination to achieving reconciliation. This is an enormous undertaking
(Just as I have become an enormous Executive Undertaker)
after more than three decades of tyranny and division.
Yet Iraq's national leaders are getting some things done.
(They have completed their vacation. I know a lot about vacations.)
Our troops in Iraq are performing brilliantly.
(This isn't a play. Why did my writer write performing? Oh well, I just read 'em, I don't write 'em.)
The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is "return on success."
(Kind of like those profits that the Pentagon and the oil industry get a return on.)
The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home.
( If we aren't successful, troops will have to stay.)
Americans want our country to be safe and our troops to begin coming home from Iraq. Yet those of us who believe success in Iraq is essential to our security, and those who believe we should begin bringing our troops home, have been at odds.
(Just as I am odd and have been ever since I started this tragic and needless war.)
Now, because of the measure of success we are seeing in Iraq, we can begin seeing troops come home. The way forward I have described tonight makes it possible, for the first time in years, for people who have been on opposite sides of this difficult debate to come together.
(But not too together, because there's an election coming.)
This vision for a reduced American presence also has the support of Iraqi leaders from all communities.
(Vision? Sounds kind of Biblical.)
At the same time, they understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic, and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency.
(I didn't pre-emptively bomb and invade Iraq just so that American soldiers could leave under the watch of a new president. This engagement will become a long-lasting marriage).
These Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America. And we are ready to begin building that relationship -- in a way that protects our interests in the region and requires many fewer American troops.
(Up is down, black is white, war is peace...the new way forward is the way to hell and back, forever and ever.)
The success of a free Iraq is critical to the security of the United States. A free Iraq will deny al Qaeda a safe haven. A free Iraq will counter the destructive ambitions of Iran. A free Iraq will marginalize extremists, unleash the talent of its people, and be an anchor of stability in the region. A free Iraq will set an example for people across the Middle East. A free Iraq will be our partner in the fight against terror -- and that will make us safer here at home.
(Damn, this sounds too good to be true. My writers are something else.)
If we were to be driven out of Iraq, extremists of all strains would be emboldened.
(Just as more and more strains of Cholera have been kindled in thousands of Iraqis.)
Al Qaeda could gain new recruits and new sanctuaries.
(As they already have from my invasion and occupation.)
Iran would benefit from the chaos and would be encouraged in its efforts to gain nuclear weapons and dominate the region.
(Even though Iran is benefiting from the chaos of the civil war right now.)
Extremists could control a key part of the global energy supply.
(Therefore, more blood, blood, blood...for oil...oil...oil!)
Iraq could face a humanitarian nightmare.
(Right now it's just a very bad dream.)
Democracy movements would be violently reversed. We would leave our children to face a far more dangerous world.
(But not much more dangerous than the world I have left them.)
And as we saw on September the 11th, 2001, those dangers can reach our cities and kill our people.
(Ah..9-11...my scare and trump card!)
Whatever political party you belong to, whatever your position on Iraq, we should be able to agree that America has a vital interest in preventing chaos and providing hope in the Middle East.
(That's why I bombed Iraq! To prevent chaos and give hope!)
To the Iraqi people: You have voted for freedom, and now you are liberating your country from terrorists and death squads. You must demand that your leaders make the tough choices needed to achieve reconciliation. As you do, have confidence that America does not abandon our friends, and we will not abandon you.
(America does not cut loose from where the oil is!)
To Iraq's neighbors who seek peace: The violent extremists who target Iraq are also targeting you. The best way to secure your interests and protect your own people is to stand with the people of Iraq. That means using your economic and diplomatic leverage to strengthen the government in Baghdad. And it means the efforts by Iran and Syria to undermine that government must end.
(Or Uncle Sam will start bombing them too!),
Good night, and God bless America.