Excerpts of Mr. Bush’s speech are in quotations. My responses follow each quote.
“We went to war because we were attacked,”
Mr. Bush once again insinuates that the war in Iraq is a response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, which Iraq had nothing to do with. The truth is that his main justification for war with Iraq was Saddam’s supposed possession of WMD, which were never found.
“and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens.”
News flash to Mr. Bush: there will ALWAYS be people ‘who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens’. This sets the stage for a war that can never end.
“Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power,”
There were many who disagreed with Mr. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. This decision should have been made in the Congress, which the U.S. Constitution clearly states has the power to declare war, not the President.
“…but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror.”
No, by deciding to invade Iraq, Mr. Bush and his military machine have transformed Iraq into the terrorist recruiting ground that it is.
“These foreign terrorists violently oppose the rise of a free and democratic Iraq, because they know that when we replace despair and hatred with liberty and hope, they lose their recruiting grounds for terror.”
At best this is wishful thinking. If Iraq ever obtains ‘liberty and hope’, [whatever that means] this in itself will have little, if any, effect on the Iraqi insurgency, which is aimed at driving the foreign invaders from their country.
“Our troops are fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home.”
This is a false dichotomy which is aimed at scaring the population into supporting the war. The invasion of Iraq in no way prevents terrorists from attacking the ‘homeland’ again. In fact, our country is in greater danger from terrorism now, than before the invasion.
“We mourn every one of these brave men and women who have given his or her life for our liberty.”
Mr. Bush hasn’t attended a single funeral for a fallen U.S. troop. He must be doing his mourning in private. Not a single military funeral has been televised nationally, unlike in Italy and in other ‘coalition’ countries. There is a news blackout on the flag-draped coffins being returned at Dover AFB. Furthermore, these troops are not dying ‘for our liberty’. They are dying for a lie.
“The terrorists know they cannot defeat our troops, so they seek to weaken our nation's resolve.”
The Iraq resistance has been able to kill an average of two troops every day for the last two years. If this war was justified, our nation’s resolve would not weaken no matter how many troops were killed in combat.
“They know there is no room for them in a free and democratic Middle East, so the terrorists and insurgents are trying to get us to retreat.”
Mr. Bush projects his new rationale for the war, ‘Iraqi freedom’ as the reason for the insurgency. This is, at best, only partly true. They are attacking U.S. forces because they are seen as foreign invaders of their country.
“Their goal is to get us to leave before Iraqis have had a chance to show the region what a government that is elected and truly accountable to its citizens can do for its people.”
Not quite. Their goal is to repel the foreign invading army.
“Time and again, the Iraqi people have defied the skeptics who claim they are not up to the job of building a free society. Nearly a year ago, Iraqis showed they were ready to resume sovereignty. A few months ago, Iraqis showed they could hold free elections. This week, Iraqis have worked on an agreement to expand their constitutional drafting committee to ensure that all communities are represented in the process.”
All of this ‘progress’ is fine and dandy, but the insurgency and terror has continued in Iraq undeterred by elections, or sovereignty, or freedom.
“I am confident that Iraqis will continue to defy the skeptics as they build a new Iraq that represents the diversity of their nation and assumes greater responsibility for their own security. And when they do, our troops can come home with the honor they have earned.”
Here is another nebulous vision of the non-existent exit strategy. Compare with what Mr. Bush said at the 2004 Republican National Convention, September 2, 2004: ‘So our mission in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear: We will help new leaders to train their armies, and move toward elections, and get on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned.’
“This mission isn't easy, and it will not be accomplished overnight.”
“We're fighting a ruthless enemy that relishes the killing of innocent men, women, and children.”
Our enemy isn’t the only one who has killed the innocent. Our bombs and bullets have also killed thousands of Iraqis. Sure, we regret the ‘collateral damage’ and ‘friendly fire’ incidents when they occur, but they will continue to happen.
“By making their stand in Iraq, the terrorists have made Iraq a vital test for the future security of our country and the free world.”
Terrorists aren’t the only ones making a stand in Iraq. The U.S. military is there too, making their stand. Mr. Bush again claims that fighting terror in Iraq will help the security of our country, using fear to drum up support for the war.
“We will settle for nothing less than victory.”
Translation: We will use any and all means to attempt to solve the problem of terrorism by attacking its symptoms indefinitely. Get ready for a long, drawn out war that will run for years, perhaps decades. It is just now getting started.
“I'll continue to act to keep our people safe from harm and our future bright. Together we will do what Americans have always done: build a better and more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.”
Mr. Bush does not know the first thing about creating peace. The last thing you do to create peace is invade a sovereign nation that has never attacked your country. Our children are being sent to Iraq to fight and die for a lie. If Mr. Bush doesn’t provide an exit strategy, our grandchildren will suffer the same fate. They will also be the ones who foot the bill for this terrible misadventure.
Analysis by Don Hodges, 6/20/2005