Saturday, May 15, 2004

We will not fail

This morning I put the new Iraqi flag up on the link bar to the left. When your mouse passes over it, you should be able to read a few words spoken by President Bush earlier this year. Here's a longer excerpt:

There have been disagreements in this matter, among old and valued friends. Those differences belong to the past. ...

Today in Iraq, a British-led division is securing the southern city of Basra. Poland continues to lead a multinational division in south-central Iraq. Japan and the Republic of Korea -- of South Korea have made historic commitments of troops to help bring peace to Iraq. Special forces from El Salvador, Macedonia, and other nations are helping to find and defeat Baathist and terrorist killers. Military engineers from Kazakhstan have cleared more than a half a million explosive devices from Iraq. Turkey is helping to resupply coalition forces. All of these nations, and many others, are meeting their responsibilities to the people of Iraq.

Whatever their past views, every nation now has an interest in a free, successful, stable Iraq. And the terrorists understand their own interest in the fate of that country. For them, the connection between Iraq's future and the course of the war on terror is very clear. They understand that a free Iraq will be a devastating setback to their ambitions of tyranny over the Middle East. And they have made the failure of democracy in Iraq one of their primary objectives.

By attacking coalition forces -- by targeting innocent Iraqis and foreign civilians for murder -- the terrorists are trying to weaken our will. Instead of weakness, they're finding resolve. Not long ago, we intercepted a planning document being sent to leaders of al Qaeda by one of their associates, a man named Zarqawi. Along with the usual threats, he had a complaint: "Our enemy," said Zarqawi, "is growing stronger and his intelligence data are increasing day by day -- this is suffocation." Zarqawi is getting the idea. We will never turn over Iraq to terrorists who intend our own destruction. We will not fail the Iraqi people, who have placed their trust in us. Whatever it takes, we will fight and work to assure the success of freedom in Iraq.

Many coalition countries have sacrificed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the fallen soldiers and civilians are sons and daughters of Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We honor their courage, we pray for the comfort of their families. We will uphold the cause they served.

The rise of democratic institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq is a great step toward a goal of lasting importance to the world. We have set out to encourage reform and democracy in the greater Middle East as the alternatives to fanaticism, resentment, and terror. We've set out to break the cycle of bitterness and radicalism that has brought stagnation to a vital region, and destruction to cities in America and Europe and around the world. This task is historic, and difficult; this task is necessary and worthy of our efforts.

In the 1970s, the advance of democracy in Lisbon and Madrid inspired democratic change in Latin America. In the 1980s, the example of Poland ignited a fire of freedom in all of Eastern Europe. With Afghanistan and Iraq showing the way, we are confident that freedom will lift the sights and hopes of millions in the greater Middle East.

One man who believed in our cause was a Japanese diplomat named Katsuhiko Oku. He worked for the Coalition Provision Authority in Iraq. Mr. Oku was killed when his car was ambushed. In his diary he described his pride in the cause he had joined. "The free people of Iraq," he wrote, "are now making steady progress in reconstructing their country -- while also fighting against the threat of terrorism. We must join hands with the Iraqi people in their effort to prevent Iraq from falling into the hands of terrorists." This good, decent man concluded, "This is also our fight to defend freedom."

Ladies and gentlemen, this good man from Japan was right. The establishment of a free Iraq is our fight. The success of a free Afghanistan is our fight. The war on terror is our fight. All of us are called to share the blessings of liberty, and to be strong and steady in freedom's defense. It will surely be said of our times that we lived with great challenges. Let it also be said of our times that we understood our great duties, and met them in full.

May God bless our efforts.

We're not going home. Got that? We're staying, until it's done. That's what we have promised the people of Iraq, and the rest of the world. We will not abandon them. We will not leave our work unfinished. We're not going to quit!

I don't know why Paul Bremer said this: "If the provisional government asks us to leave we will leave." But WE ARE NOT GOING TO LEAVE. Not until it's done. Not until we have fulfilled our promise.

Somebody go tell the anti-Bush American media that we are not going home, and we are not going to lose. "Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out," says one of these dummies. Well, get used to it, chump. BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO WORK OUT. Got it? We're not going home until it does work out.

"The time has come for another bold statement." Darn skippy. After the Abu Ghraib prisoner mistreatment scandal and the gruesome beheading of Nick Berg, the world needs to know that we are not going home. So tell them, Mr. President. Tell them to bring it on. Whatever you got, bring it on. It doesn't matter. We're not going home until the work is done. Got it?

This is why I cannot vote for Kerry. Maybe Bush is too stubborn. But I'll take that any day over a man who can't appear to make up his mind about anything. Except that he seems pretty dead set on pulling the US out of Iraq as soon as possible. Who's going to take our place? The UN? Give me a break.

This is our fight. We have to fight it. No exit strategy. No plans for defeat and withdrawal.

And then Reagan delivered the coup de grace on the Cold War. He said, "Well, we have been discussing a lot of issues for the past few hours, and now I'd like to tell you my theory of the Cold War."

"Of course, Governor," I said.

"Well," he said, "some say that I am 'simplistic,' but I believe that many complex problems have simple answers. There's a difference between 'simplistic' and 'simple.'"

I nodded, waiting for the punch line.

"So," he said, "about the Cold War: My view is that we win and they lose. What do you think of that?"

We have to WIN. And we don't go home until we do.


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