“And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces.”
-- President Bush, making a pitch for new recruits at Fort Bragg, June 28, 2005.
Under the roof of the White House, George Bush has assembled what appears to be the most lethargic unimaginative group of speech meisters ever to gain government employment. The amount of redundancy in his smoke and mirrors show at Fort Bragg was astounding. Virtually every sentence in the speech was plagiarized from previous Bush pep talks, and whole paragraphs were plagiarized from other parts of the same speech. Are we paying these guys? I want a refund. If this is government work, privatize speech writing or outsource it to China.
I can understand why Bush wanted to emphasize certain points given the growing unpopularity of his war of choice. But first, Mr. President, you need to keep the audience awake.
After a complete review of the president’s speech, I managed to shrink it to a seven-minute pep talk:
“Hello. Be seated. Thanks for your sacrifices. You guys can really fight. The terrorists in Iraq are the same bad guys who attacked us on 9/11 and we need to fight them over there before we have to confront them over here. We invaded Iraq because we needed to create a central front on the war on terror. In this we have succeeded. No terrorists were there before the invasion and now we can’t even count them. They’re coming to us -- and that’s exactly where we wanted them. They are horrible and violent people who just want to kill and maim innocents.
Their ideology is to topple governments. All we want is regime change and an opportunity to spread the blessings of democracy to the oil plantations of Araby. Our Saudi allies insist that we need to set up a democratic model in Baghdad. If it works, they might consider allowing women to vote in municipal elections. Mubarak of Egypt has promised to have his security forces refrain from molesting women protesters. The Palestinians are still under Israeli military occupation -- but they can now vote. Because of our occupation of Iraq, freedom is on the march in the Middle East.
Our deepest desire is to plant the seeds of freedom -- so that the desert of tyranny may bloom into fields of liberty flowers -- like the opium poppy fields in Afghanistan. Life is improving in Iraq. Electricity is only slightly less than pre-war levels. We have developed tactics and strategies to secure the road to the airport during daytime hours. The Green Zone is an oasis of peace. As part of our urban planning, we have flattened Fallujah and we are building more prisons to house our Iraqi inmates in less crowded conditions. Even if the Spanish have deserted our ranks, our Mongolian allies are standing shoulder to shoulder with our boys in Iraq. The Iraqis are writing a constitution based on the Iranian and Egyptian models.
The south of Iraq is now a tranquil theocracy where the Badr brigades have instituted the rule of law -- Islamic law. In the north, the Kurds have set up their own autonomous region with a parliament and a president and militias that can take on the Iraqi army. We are building an army along sectarian lines. In fact we have Kurdish brigades patrolling Baghdad and Shiite brigades doing mop up work in Fallujah. In Basra, some of the units in the Iraqi army and police double as Badr brigade. So, they are putting in a lot of over-time and that is good for the Iraqi economy. Saddam is behind bars -- but we can’t set a trial date because he would just use it to embarrass Rummy. So, who needs an exit strategy when things are so swell? If you know anyone who needs a job, have him call one of our army recruiters at ‘1-800- Bush -- War’. Thanks and God Bless America.”
Well, that was the short version. Now, consider what the president actually said. We have rearranged the sentences to prove redundancy but these are his words. And what you are about to read is just the small portion where he paints the insurgency as a bunch of terrorists preparing an assault on New York. He made no mention of WMDs – but he did refer to “lethal weapons” -- meaning IEDs (improvised explosive devices better known as land mines).
Selected Sentences from the President’s Speech
Our mission in Iraq is clear. We are hunting down the terrorists. We will take the fight to the enemy. Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war. The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. To complete the mission, we will continue to hunt down the terrorists and insurgents. The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists and that is why we are on the offense. So we will fight them there, we will fight them across the world and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us. We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand.
The war reached our shores on September 11, 2001. After September 11, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September 11, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like bin Laden. To complete the mission, we will prevent al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban -- a safe haven from which they could launch attacks on America and our friends. For the sake of our nation's security, this will not happen on my watch. They are trying to shake our will in Iraq just as they tried to shake our will on September 11, 2001. They will fail.
Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, in Washington and Pennsylvania. The terrorists who attacked us and the terrorists we face murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent. We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who exploded car bombs along a busy shopping street in Baghdad, including one outside a mosque. We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul. And we see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who behead civilian hostages and broadcast their atrocities for the world to see. The terrorists can kill the innocent but they cannot stop the advance of freedom.
We are fighting against men with blind hatred and armed with lethal weapons who are capable of any atrocity. So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras. They are making common cause with criminal elements, Iraqi insurgents and remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime who want to restore the old order. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom. The terrorists know that the outcome will leave them emboldened or defeated. To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali and elsewhere.
aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and
oppression by toppling governments, driving us out of the region and by
exporting terror. They fight because they know that the survival of their
hateful ideology is at stake.
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