Thursday, January 11, 2007
The Speech to the Nation on the War Bush Should Have Made - But Didn't
My Fellow Americans
Three years ago I together with your elected representatives and a coalition of nations from around the world made the decision that Saddam Hussein's tyranny had to end. Saddam had been responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands, he had used chemical weapons for ethnic cleansing and invaded his neighbors. The countless acts of barbarity and cruelty of his regime ranging from rape rooms to dismembering critics of his regime and murdering their children alone created an unanswerable case for his removal.
Three years later Saddam has been executed but parts of Iraq remain in turmoil and our casualties have passed 3000 dead. Our strategy was to rebuild Iraq but its neighbors threatened by an emerging democracy were determined that we should not succeed. They trained, financed and transported terrorists who killed our soldiers, kidnapped foreign aid workers, cut pipelines, bombed medical facilities and transformed the rebuilding process into an endless war. We have done our best to bring peace and stability to Iraq but that is impossible as long as outside forces continue to wage war against us.
We believed that we could take one nation and remake it as a model to the rest of the region. But Iraq cannot be a model so long as the terrorism continues. For three years we have tried to fight the terrorists from within with tremendous losses in American lives and the lives of ordinary Iraqis caught in the firefight. This cannot go on any longer. To defeat the terrorists the supply chain of terrorist must be cut. There is only one way to do that, by destroying the source.
We know who is responsible for much of the terrorism against us and against ordinary Iraqis attempting to live their lives in peace and security. We have interrogated terrorists and heard their confessions, learned who trained them and who supplied them and who funded them. As a result of this process we have gathered extensive evidence that the government of Iran is behind these attacks against us.
For many decades Iran has waged a deadly campaign against us. They invaded our embassy and held our people hostage. The man who took part in that attack is the President of Iran today who is busy developing nuclear weapons. Weapons that will be able to annihilate millions. The Iranian government funds terrorism around the world. They have been behind bombings in Argentina, France and Lebanon. They control organized crime syndicates that reach deep inside our own borders in the United States. They have been behind the murders of hundreds of our marines in Beirut. They are behind the killings of hundreds of American soldiers in the past few years alone. This must end.
In removing Saddam Hussein we also removed one of the top sponsors of Sunni Islamic terrorism. Iran is incontestably the number one sponsor of Shiite Islamic terrorism and a destructive force in the region. The terrorist groups they sponsor have gone on to disrupt Lebanon, Israel and Iraq among other countries. They are a pariah stage that relentlessly oppresses its own people, reduces women and minorities to second class citizens and maintains the occupation of South Azerbajian and the Azeri people. The time has come to end it.
Many people, particularly my political opponents in congress, expect me to call for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and I will not disappoint them. The majority of our troops will indeed be leaving Iraq but they will not be going far. Withdrawal is another word for surrender and when you surrender you must pay the price of defeat. This country will not be defeated. We are not withdrawing, we are advancing to take on the real enemy. To take on the people behind the terrorists, behind the bombings and behind the kidnappings and murders.
A popular criticism of our invasion of Iraq is that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. He did. Unlike Saddam though Iran is openly developing weapons of mass destruction and it is making no attempt whatsoever to hide them. While the President of Iran denies the Holocaust that happened, he is planning another one to take its place. That Holocaust may take place in Israel, it may take place in Iraq, it may take place in New York or Washington D.C. or London. We do not know where he will strike and the only way to make sure he never gets the chance is to stop him before it is too late. The primary sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and the world today cannot be allowed to wield nuclear weapons.
Iran has murdered American soldiers and they will continue to do so. We have three choices before us. We can retreat, go home, climb under our covers and hope that the terrorists don't come after us. Like they did last time. We can keep fighting in Iraq throwing more troops into a meatgrinder where they cannot distinguish between enemies and friends on the battlefield. Or we can strike at the source of terrorism and win this war. Those are the three choices before us today. Of such choices is the nature of human courage determined.
There are no people on earth who desire peace more than the American people but peace requires the determination to withstand evil by force. At the start of our great republic, Patrick Henry warned the House of Burgesses that peace cannot be purchased at the price of appeasement and surrender. It was true then. It is true now. Our choices are to fight or to surrender. This nation was born out of the decision made by men, some extraordinary, most ordinary, that to fight tyranny was better than to give in to it. That the cause of human freedom and the defense of our nation are things worth killing and dying for. This choice is ours to make today.
In response to the murder of American soldiers by terrorists trained, financed and equipped by Iran and by Iranian military officers operating as insurgents. In response to the Iranian regime's aggressive development of atomic weapons in contravention of international norms. In response to this brutal tyranny's oppression of their own people and the threat they represent to our own citizens, I ask Congress to declare a State of War between us and Iran. This will enable the quickest and most efficient resolution of this conflict. Should Congress fail to act promptly and dawdle while the killing of our troops goes on, I am authorized as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to conduct a military campaign as a police action. This is not a matter of politics, it is a matter of national urgency which should draw out a bipartisan spirit of unity. Should Congress fail to provide that spirit of unity, I have no doubt that the American people will provide it as they always have in times of crisis.
It has been three bloody years. In three days they come to an end and a new era will begin for the Middle East and the World. God bless you and God bless America.