Wednesday, June 29, 2005
  Highlights of Bush's Speech and My Comments
My greatest responsibility as President is to protect the American people. (Period. “This is my mission and my primary objective. Anything else is at best, second place. If I fail in this nothing else matters.” Sets the tone for the rest of the speech. - JH)

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. …
The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken. (Free societies are built on the blood of patriots. We are made of sterner stuff than those socialist regimes and nations that have always thrown up their hands in surrender and waited for better men to save them. – JH)

After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom. We will take the fight to the enemy. … There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. (Shouldn’t this be obvious? They came here and killed us in the thousands. Never again. – JH)

I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. (Nuff said. Who doubts it? Not me. – JH)

Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy, who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed, and not a day longer. (An obvious point, but apparently one that must be verbalized to convince the naysayers and weak hearted. – JH)

Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. … As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders. (Hear! Hear! Shut up, all you "armchair generals." The whining of celebrities, politicians and foreign rulers is not “advice that matters.”- JH)

As Iraqis make progress toward a free society, the effects are being felt beyond Iraq's borders. Before our coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs. Across the broader Middle East, people are claiming their freedom. In the last few months, we've witnessed elections in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. These elections are inspiring democratic reformers in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Our strategy to defend ourselves and spread freedom is working. (Just in case someone hasn’t been keeping up. Of course, you’d never know about these positive events from watching the mainstream media. – JH)

We're fighting against men with blind hatred -- and armed with lethal weapons -- who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. (In other words, if we find it necessary to keep them caged up like the animals they are, we will. They are not soldiers, they are monsters. They do not deserve the protections of any agreements that exist between nations. - JH)

The terrorists do not understand America. The American people do not falter under threat, and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins.
(We are Americans. We will not have our lives and future dictated to us through intimidation and terror. Who do they think they’re dealing with here? – JH)

And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we'll fight them there, we'll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won. (The crowd had been urged not to make any displays of applause. This comment was the only one before the President closed at which they could not restrain themselves. See, soldiers understand what is at stake and what must be done. – JH)

But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom entrusted to us in a special way, and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.
(The alternative to working for the spread of freedom throughout the world is to cower in fear and allow evil and tyranny to infect the world and that option is not acceptable to anyone but the lowest type of people. – JH)

To the soldiers in this hall, and our servicemen and women across the globe: I thank you for your courage under fire and your service to our nation. I thank our military families -- the burden of war falls especially hard on you. … there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces. We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our nation's uniform. When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom. (Patton said "The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country." It is a calling that few have the courage and honor to answer. Thank God a “greatest generation” still exists today. – JH)

Our enemies are brutal, but they are no match for the United States of America, and they are no match for the men and women of the United States military. (Hooah!)
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Keeping the Faith

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Location: alexandria, Virginia, United States

Retired from the US Air Force after more than 20 years of service. Now working as a contractor for various government agencies.

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Blogs I Read
  • - In My Right Mind
  • - From Behind the Badge
  • - Championable
  • - The Dawn Patrol
  • - The BoBo Files
  • - Breakfast At Tiffany's
  • - Not Fainthearted
  • - ABBAGirl 74
  • - RennRatt
  • - From My Position - Capt. Chuck Z.
  • - Michael Yon - Dispatches from the Front
  • - DadManly
  • - BlackFive
  • - Captain's Quarters
  • National Review
  • Weekly Standard
  • TownHall
  • Blue Eagle Columnist Round-Up
  • Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations