Tuesday, January 31, 2006
  SOTU Speech Highlights
In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom -- or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. ... the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting -- yet it ends in danger and decline. The only way to protect our people, the only way to secure the peace, the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership -- so the United States of America will continue to lead.

Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. ... Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer -- so we will act boldly in freedom's cause.

Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder -- and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously. ... Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear. ... But they have miscalculated: We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it. ... If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores. There is no peace in retreat. ... But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.

We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies, and faced down an evil empire. Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed and move this world toward peace. We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders -- and for the others, their day will come.

...[T]here is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy.

We must keep our word, defeat our enemies, and stand behind the American military in this vital mission. Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices -- and showing a sense of duty stronger than all fear. And those who know the costs also know the stakes. Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. ... It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to.... Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting." ... We're grateful to all who volunteer to wear our nation's uniform...

We now know that two of the [Sept. 11th] hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late. So to prevent another attack -- based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute -- I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous Presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. The terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it, because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.

Fellow citizens, we've been called to leadership in a period of consequence. We've entered a great ideological conflict we did nothing to invite. ... Sometimes it can seem that history is turning in a wide arc, toward an unknown shore. Yet the destination of history is determined by human action, and every great movement of history comes to a point of choosing.

Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?

Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance. ... And so we move forward -- optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause, and confident of the victories to come.

Full text available at WhiteHouse.gov
I enjoyed your post today. Actually I wish that the political people would let the military do what they are trained for, fighting and winning. I have objected to the way this war has been fought because I feel we have the ability and power to win and not drag this on and on. Some one once said something like "one plane, one man, one bomb". We have the power to make people pay attention-why not use it. Sure, the innocent will be hurt and killed, but war does not discriminate. Another question I have is what will happen in and to Iraq after we leave? I would hate to think that we spent all this time and money only to have Iraq disolve into anarchy as soom as we leave. I hope that wont happen. I know a lot of the people there appreciate what we are doing to help rebuild and I hope it will not be destroyed when the various groups there finally have no-one to hold things together-us.
Here's a quick quiz on history: What did the Gauls accomplish by trying to appease Roman Empire? What did the Romans accomplish by trying to appease the Barbarians?

The answer to both is a complete destruction of their own countries. "Appeasement" is simply a fancy word for "I'm weak, please don't hurt me".

We have the strongest and best trained military in the world. How about letting us do the job you hired us for?
I believe the President touched on the issues that needed addressing.
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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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