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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

George Bush tells it like it is

On the morning of September the 11th, 2001, we saw the destruction that terrorists intend for our nation. We know that they want to strike again. And our nation has made a clear choice: We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not rest or tire until the war on terror is won.

In four years since September the 11th, the evil that reached our shores has reappeared on other days, in other places...All these separate images of destruction and suffering that we see on the news can seem like random and isolated acts of madness. Innocent men and women and children have died simply because they were in the wrong train, or worked in the wrong building, or checked into the wrong hotel. Yet, while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology -- a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane.

...These extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace, and we stand in the way of their ambitions.

Earlier this month, the world learned of a letter written by al Qaeda's number two leader, a man named Zawahiri, a letter he wrote to his chief deputy in Iraq, the terrorist Zarqawi. In it, Zawahiri points to Vietnam as a model for al Qaeda. He writes: "The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam, and how they ran and left their agents, is noteworthy." The terrorists witnessed a similar response after the attacks of American troops in Beirut in 1983, Mogadishu in 1993. They believe that America can be made to run again -- only this time, on a larger scale, with greater consequences.

...The militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country, a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments. Over the past few decades, radicals have specifically targeted Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and Jordan for potential takeover. They've achieved their goal, for a time, in Afghanistan. And now they've set their sights on Iraq. In his recent letter, Zawahiri writes that al Qaeda views Iraq as, "the place for the greatest battle." The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror.

...The militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia. Zawahiri writes that the terrorists, "must not have their mission end with the expulsion of Americans from Iraq." He goes on to say, "The jihad requires several incremental goals -- expel the Americans from Iraq; establish the Islamic authority over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq; extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq."

Some might be tempted to dismiss these goals as fanatical or extreme. Well, they are fanatical and extreme -- and they should not be dismissed. Our enemy is utterly committed. As Zarqawi has vowed, "We will either achieve victory over the human race, or we will pass to the eternal life." And the civilized world knows very well that other fanatics in history -- from Hitler to Stalin to Pol Pot -- consumed whole nations in war and genocide before leaving the stage of history. Evil men, obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience, must be taken very seriously -- and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply.

Some have argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse.

The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 150 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan. Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence -- the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world.

No acts of ours involves the rage of killers. And no concessions, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans of murder. On the contrary; they target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory.

The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet, in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century. Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses. Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims -- and I quote -- "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers. He assures them that this is the road to paradise -- though he never offers to go along for the ride.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy teaches that innocent individuals can be sacrificed to serve a political vision. And this explains their cold-blooded contempt for human life...In a courtroom in the Netherlands, the killer of Theo Van Gogh turned to the victim's grieving mother and said, "I do not feel your pain because I believe you're an infidel." And in spite of this veneer of religious rhetoric, most of the victims claimed by the militants are fellow Muslims.

When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing, or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple -- the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion. These militants are not just enemies of America or enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and enemies of humanity.

We have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before -- in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags, the Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields. Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy pursues totalitarian aims. Its leaders pretend to be an aggrieved party, representing the powerless against imperial enemies. In truth, they have endless ambitions of imperial domination; they wish to make everyone powerless, except themselves. Under their rule, they have banned books and desecrated historical monuments and brutalized women. They seek to end dissent in every form, to control every aspect of life, and to rule the soul, itself. While promising a future of justice and holiness, the terrorists are preparing a future of oppression and misery.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy is dismissive of free peoples, claiming that men and women who live in liberty are weak and decadent. Zarqawi has said that Americans are, "the most cowardly of God's creatures." But let us be clear: It is cowardice that seeks to kill children and the elderly with car bombs. It's cowardice that cuts the throat of a bound captive. It is cowardice that targets worshipers leaving a mosque. It is courage that liberated more than 50 million people; it is courage that keeps an untiring vigil against the enemies of a rising democracy. It is courage in the cause of freedom that will once again destroy the enemies of freedom.
Read his speech at the link. Go on, lefties, I dare ya.

Unless of course you believe you don't need to read it. And you'd be right. This selection says it all. Enough to shut you up for years I hope (and pray).
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Posted by Gooner | 10/26/2005 07:47:00 PM


Blogger Keith said...

"This selection says it all."
It surely does, but not for lefties. In their arrogant blind stupidity they'll dismiss it as "Bush rhetoric" or something similar, because opposition to Bush is more important in their juvenile world than adherence to the principles and courage that freedom requires.They're no more than the "civilian arm" of the jihadist movement.

10/26/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Kimble said...

What a racist.

10/26/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

What a pointless, moronic comment.

10/26/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

I think there's been miscommunication.

10/26/2005 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

uh huh..Kimble's comment was ironic?
If so, Kimble, my sincere apologies. :o)

10/26/2005 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Yes, this is one of Kimble's briefer comments missing the usual sarcasm dripping off each word (not saying its a bad thing - just an observation).

10/26/2005 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

Really trembling Gooner. The wisdom of Dubya. There's a reason he's in free fall and no one is listening any more....except perhaps you. Good on ya mate.

10/26/2005 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

It was an interesting speech. Didn't read anything unexpected, but didn't expect to. What was with the Beslan reference? Doesn't Bush know or care what the Russian military has been doing to civilians in Chechnya for ten or more years? The Chechen women who become "black widows" and blow themselves up are doing this because all their men are gone. Where have their men gone? Ask the Russian military.

10/26/2005 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Colonel Tux said...

I tend to like GWs speeches - they always have a very hollywoodish ring to them. Having said that like all good rhetoric this is obvious truth in what he says, but the problem many people have with the US is that they just as often implement their foreign policy for the sole purpose of personal gain, that is without any regard for the moral values they love espousing in speeches. It is this perception of hypocracy which winds people up.

10/26/2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gooner said...

Thanks ackers. I'll keep listening and posting the odd snippet here. Be sure to drop by and educate yourself.

10/26/2005 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger waymad said...

Great speech - the one RWDB's (generic, not your resident one) have been urging for quite some time now.

To the commenters who by their words appear to be apologists for tyrants: a simple question.

Exactly how would you stop a megalomaniac dictator who, if you so much as raise an eyebrow at his antics, will have his minions kill your children in front of you, rape then execute your wife in front of you, feed you slowly feet-first into a shredder, and then for good measure decimate the males in your village?

And, please, not 'dialogue with him'. Been tried. Didn't work.

10/27/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

waymad, this is becoming a tiresome question, asked by people with questionable motive. To answer your question, if you were referring to me, I have never supported or apologised for a tyrant, unlike many of the Western governments that you have probably supported while claiming to support freedom and democracy. Does that answer your question?

10/27/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger waymad said...

Forget the history, we all have blood on our hands, some of us have just quit endlessly apologising for that.

So, answer the question. How would you go about removing said dictator?

Oh, and we'd better rule out the UN. A few too many rapists, thieves and extortionists amongst their minions, too.

10/27/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Kimble said...

I just felt like stealing the trolls' thunder.

10/27/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

"Forget the history". How convienient!

I wouldn't have to remove him because I wouldn't have built him up or supported him in the first place, and if anyone else did I would give them a firm talking-to and impose genocidal sanctions on their country.

10/27/2005 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

Have you looked up sophistry in the dictionary yet roge?

10/27/2005 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Roger, are you sure the US is the only country that "builds up" places like Iraq?

10/27/2005 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I never suggested it was the USA, Zen, obviously you have that country on the brain.

And Chefen, no, I haven't looked it up yet, might do so this afternoon.

10/28/2005 11:06:00 AM  

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