what Bush didn't say yesterday
By Nick Cooper
one of my ongoing series of Bush translations
Keywords: National, Government, War & Peace, Political Theory, Elections,
>The images that come back from the front lines are striking and sometimes unsettling.
But they ain't nothin compared to the ones we don't see, thank goodness for these embedded reporters!
>When you see innocent civilians ripped apart by suicide bombs or families buried inside their homes,
by US bombs
>the world can seem engulfed in purposeless violence. The truth is,
get ready y'all, here comes the truth!
> there is violence
But the good news is there is also Santa Claus.
> but those who cause it have a clear purpose.
Except in cases when those who cause it have no clear purpose.
> When terrorists murder at the World Trade Center, or car bombers strike in Baghdad, or hijackers plot to blow -- blow up planes over the Atlantic, or terrorist militias shoot rockets at Israeli towns, they are all pursuing the same objective: to turn back the advance of freedom and impose a dark vision of tyranny and terror across the world.
The essential difference: when we murder, bomb, hijack, shoot rockets, and blow - blow, we are pursuing a different objective which is to impose a light vision of tyranny and terror across the world
> The enemies of liberty come from different parts of the world, and they take inspiration from different sources.
For example at the School of the Americas in Georgia, and the former CIA training of the Mujahedin.
> Some are radicalized followers of the Sunni tradition who swear allegiance to terrorist organizations like al Qaeda. Others are radicalized followers of the Shi'a tradition who join groups like Hezbollah and take guidance from state sponsors like Syria and Iran. Still others are homegrown terrorists, fanatics who live quietly in free societies they dream to destroy.
But as for me, I got radicalized in the Skull and Bones basement, which seems to work just as well.
> Despite their differences, these groups from -- form the outlines of a single movement, a worldwide network of radicals that use terror to kill those who stand in the way of their totalitarian ideology.
Despite any differences between groups that have no similarities, it helps to have one enem,y so we'll call them the same.
> And the unifying feature of this movement, the link that spans sectarian divisions and local grievances, is the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam. The war we fight today is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. (Applause.)
You see we already have the plan for 94 years, despite rumors that we are making it up as we go along.
> On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation,
But this side can protest all they want, we ain't listening.
> the right of all people to speak and worship and live in liberty.
Did I say "live"? Ok, well obviously I wasn't referring to the ones who are dying every day.
> And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism, the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest.
Who you lookin' at bitch?
> As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to fascists, to Nazis
Can you fact check me on this -- the Nazis were known to be highly decentralized, right?
> to communists
Commies were very much into their religions, right?
> and other totalitarians of the 20th century
Like Pinochet, Duvallier, the Shah, who we supported.
> and history shows what the outcome will be.
There's also some history book about the fall of the Roman Empire, but I haven't read it
> This war will be difficult, this war will be long, and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists of -- totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty.
Excuse my studder- the guy holding my cue cards is cracking up or vomiting and not holding them steady.
> We're now approaching the fifth anniversary of the day this war reached our shores. (Pauses.) As the horror of that morning grows more distant, there is the tendency to believe that the threat is receding and this war is coming to a close. That feeling is natural and comforting and wrong.
As a general rule, if it's natural, I am against it. Like that damn peanut butter that always separates.
> As we recently saw, the enemy still wants to attack us. We're in a war we didn't ask for, but it's a more -- we must wage and a war we will win. (Applause.) In the coming days, I'll deliver a series of speeches describing the nature of our enemy in the war on terror, the insights we've gained about their aims and ambitions, the successes and setbacks we've experienced, and our strategy to prevail in this long war.
It will be some really new stuff unlike this recycled bit of claptrap I am doing tonight.
> Today I'll discuss a critical aspect of this war -- the struggle between freedom and terror in the Middle East, including the battle in Iraq, which is the central front in our fight against terrorism.
Which is becoming easy for me as I just reassemble the same phrases each time I get going on this topic.
> To understand the struggle unfolding in the Middle East, we need to look at the recent history of the region. For a half century, America's primary goal in the Middle East was stability.
Like when we destabilized the government of Mossadeq for example.
> This was understandable at the time.
I mean, I didn't understand anything, I was off partying, but Cheney says he had it down cold.
> We were fighting the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and it was important to support Middle Eastern governments that rejected Communism. Yet, over the decades, an undercurrent of danger was rising in the Middle East.
When I say it rose, I mean we built up extremist nationalist movements with our money and training.
> Much of the region was mired in stagnation and despair. A generation of young people grew up with little hope to improve their lives, and many fell under the sway of radical extremism.
Which was part of our dumb plan.
> The terrorist movement multiplied in strength, and resentment that had simmered for years boiled over into violence across the world. Extremists in Iran seized American hostages. Hezbollah terrorists murdered American troops at the Marine Barracks in Beirut and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists set off a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. Al Qaeda blew up two U.S. embassies in East Africa and bombed the USS Cole. Then came the nightmare of September the 11th, 2001, when 19 hijackers killed nearly 3,000 men, women and children.
And all this time, we were essentially acting like benevolent well-wishers.
> In the space of a single morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage.
The reason I saw calm there was that I was mostly looking at this post card from there my dad sent me once that was real peaceful.
> We realized that years of pursuing stability to promote peace have left us with neither.
Or something like that, Maybe we realized that pursuing neither left us no ability to pretend we were pursuing either.
> Instead, the lack of freedom in the Middle East made the region an incubator for terrorist movements. The status quo in the Middle East before September the 11th was dangerous and unacceptable, so we're pursuing a new strategy.
Which is unfortunately, creating more terrorists than the last one.
> First, we are using every element of national power to confront al Qaeda, those who take inspiration from them and other terrorists who use similar tactics.
Except for the large majority of our national power that we sent off to Iraq instead.
> We have ended the days of treating terrorism simply as a law enforcement matter.
And entered an even dumber set of days where we blow up civilians and assume their families won't hate us.
> We will stay on the offense. We will fight the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here at home. (Cheers, applause.)
That line always works for a clap, I just love it. Can I put that on my business card?
> Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists, you're an enemy of the United States and you will be held to account. (Applause.)
Same for that line. They never seem to realize that the U.S. harbors terrorists. The public is even dumber than me!
> And third, we've launched a bold, new agenda to defeat the ideology of the enemy by supporting the forces of freedom in the Middle East and beyond. The Freedom Agenda is based upon our deepest ideals and our vital interests.
Like torture for example, that stuff is deep!
> Americans believe that every person of every religion on every continent has the right to determine his or her own destiny.
Now of course here I am referring to South Americans, but I need not mention that.
> We believe that freedom is a gift from an almighty God beyond any power on Earth to take away. (Cheers, applause.)
We were explaining this to Aristide when we took him away.
> And we also know by history and by logic that promoting democracy is the surest way to build security. Democracies don't attack each other or threaten the peace.
And the only way to believe this is to understand that when we attack, we call it peacekeeping.
> Governments accountable to the voters focus on building roads and schools, not weapons of mass destruction.
Whoops, did I say schools not bombs? Please don't apply any of these standards to me.
> Young people who have a say in their future are less likely to search for meaning in extremism.
What was that youth incarceration data here again?
> Citizens who can join a peaceful political party are less likely to join a terrorist organization.
Take my party for example, we're pretty peaceful folk. Isn't that what the P in GOP stands for?
> Dissidents with the freedom to protest around the clock
but not too loud past ten o'clock ok?
> are less likely to blow themselves up during rush hour and nations that commit to freedom for their people will not support terrorists; they will join us in defeating them. (Applause.)
So, do I need to stop putting peace activists on no fly lists?
> So America's committed its influence in the world to advancing freedom, and democracy is a great alternative to repression and radicalism.
This just really makes sense to those of you who believe I may not have permanently damaged Americas influence in the world.
> We will take the side of democratic leaders and reformers across the Middle East.
Yeah like Hamas, they won the election, right?
> We will support the voices of tolerance and moderation in the Muslim world.
What do you mean we already killed the moderates? I said only kill the bad ones!
> We stand with the mothers and fathers in every culture who want to see their children grow up in a caring and peaceful world.
That's why we do so much for the parents of kids we kill.
> And by supporting the cause of freedom in a vital region, we will make our children and our grandchildren more secure. (Applause.)
But they'll never be safe, it's a bit of a paradox....
> Over the past five years, we've begun to see the results of our actions, and we have seen how our enemies respond to the advance of liberty. In Afghanistan, we saw a vicious tyranny that harbored the terrorists who planned the September the 11th attacks. Within weeks, American forces were within Afghanistan. Along with Afghan allies, we captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
That's right y'all, we got hundreds taken care of.
> We closed down their training camps,
and sent them to Pakistan
> and we helped the people of Afghanistan replace the Taliban with a democratic government that answers to them. (Applause.)
Uhh, did we? Wow, we're doing great.
> Our enemies saw the transformation in Afghanistan, and they responded by trying to roll back all the progress. Al Qaeda and the Taliban lost a coveted base in Afghanistan, and they know they will never reclaim it when democracy succeeds. And so they're trying to return to power by attacking Afghanistan's free institutions, and they will fail. (Applause.) Forces from 40 nations, including every member of NATO, are now serving alongside American troops to support the new Afghan government. The days of the Taliban are over. The future of Afghanistan belongs to the people of Afghanistan, and the future of Afghanistan belongs to freedom. (Applause.)
No, I am not referring to anything actually referring to anything actually occurring in Afghanistan, it's more of a hypothetical Afghanistan.
> In Lebanon, we saw a sovereign nation occupied by the Syrian dictatorship. We also saw the courageous people of Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. So we worked to enforce a United Nations resolution that required Syria to end its occupation of the country. The Syrians withdrew their armed forces, and the Lebanese people elected a democratic government that began to reclaim their country. Our enemies saw the transformation in Lebanon and set out to destabilize the young democracy. Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel that undermined the democrat government in Beirut. Yet, their brazen action caused the world to unite in support for Lebanon's democracy. Secretary Rice worked with the Security Council to pass Resolution 1701, which will strengthen Lebanese forces as they take control of southern Lebanon and stop Hezbollah from acting as a state within a state.
Yeah -- this has been accomplished, I think. Hezbollah gave up their arms and became farmers right?
> I appreciate the troops pledged by France and Italy and other allies for this important international deployment. Together we're going to make it clear to the world that foreign forces and terrorists have no place in a free and democratic Lebanon. (Applause.) This summer's crisis in Lebanon has made it clearer than ever that the world now faces a grave threat from the radical regime in Iran. The Iranian regime arms, funds, and advises Hezbollah, which has killed more Americans than any terrorist network except al Qaeda.
And yeah America funds, arms and advises Israel, which has killed more Lebanese than anyone except, uhhhhh, no one.
> The Iranian regime interferes in Iraq by sponsoring terrorists and insurgents, empowering unlawful militias, and supplying components for improvised explosive devices. The Iranian regime denies basic human rights to millions of its people, and the Iranian regime is pursuing nuclear weapons in open defiance of its international obligations. We know the death and suffering that Iran's sponsorship of terrorists has brought, and we can imagine how much worse it would be if Iran were allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Many nations are working together to solve this problem. The United Nations passed a resolution demanding that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment activities. Today is the deadline for Iran's leaders to reply to the reasonable proposal the international community has made.
I wanna bomb them sooner rather than later.
> If Iran's leaders accept this offer and abandon their nuclear weapons ambitions, they can set their country on a better course. Yet so far, the Iranian regime has responded with further defiance and delay. It is time for Iran to make a choice. We've made our choice. We will continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution, but there must be consequences for Iran's defiance, and we must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) In Iraq, we saw a dictator who harbored terrorists, fired at military planes, paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, invaded a neighbor, and pursued and used weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions demanding that Saddam Hussein fully and openly abandon his weapons of mass destruction. We gave him a last chance to comply, and when he refused, we enforced the just demands of the world. And now, Saddam Hussein is in prison and on trial. Soon he will have the justice he denied to -- to -- to so many for so long. (Applause.) And with this tyrant gone from power, the United States, Iraq, the Middle East and the world are better off. (Applause.)
But there was this weird effect of making Iran the regional superpower, whoops!
> In three years since Saddam's fall, the Iraqi people have reclaimed the sovereignty of their country. They cast their ballots in free elections. They drafted and approved a democratic constitution and elected a constitutional democracy at the heart of the Middle East.
About 2,000 bodies just in Baghdad in July, but who's counting?
> Over the same period, Iraq has seen a rise of terrorist and insurgent movements that use brutal and indiscriminate violence to frustrate the desire of the Iraqi people for freedom and peace. Al Qaeda terrorists, former elements of Saddam's regime, illegal militias and unlawful armed groups are all working to undermine Iraq's new democracy. These groups have different long-term ambitions but the same immediate goals. They want to drive America and our coalition out of Iraq and the Middle East so they can stop the advance of freedom and impose their dark vision on the people of the Middle East. (Applause.)
The vision of their bombs is darker than ours.
> Our enemies in Iraq have employed ruthless tactics to achieve those goals.
We, in contrast, have employed mercenaries.
> They've targeted American and coalition troops with ambushes and roadside bombs. They've taken hostage and beheaded civilians on camera. They've blown up Iraqi army posts and assassinated government leaders. We've adapted to the tactics,
No, I did NOT say "adopted the tactics," I said "adapted to"!
> and thanks to the skill and professionalism of Iraqi and American forces, many of these enemies have met their end. (Applause.)
In fact, all kinds of folks are meeting their end.
> At every stop along the way, our enemies have failed to break the courage of the Iraqi people.
I can speak on behalf of them on this because I do courage surveys.
>They have failed to stop the rise of Iraqi democracy, and they will fail in breaking the will of the American people. (Cheers, applause.)
I mean the majority are against it, but they don't count.
> And now these enemies have launched a new effort. They have embarked on a bloody campaign of sectarian violence which they hope will plunge Iraq into a civil war. The outbreak of sectarian violence was encouraged by the terrorist Zarqawi, al Qaeda's man in Iraq, who called for an all-out war on Iraqi Shi'a. The Shi'a community resisted the impulse to seek revenge for a while. But after this February bombing of the Shi'a Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra, extremist groups mobilized and sectarian death squads formed on the streets of Baghdad and other areas. Our ambassador reports that thousands of Iraqis were murdered in Baghdad last month, and large numbers of them were victims of sectarian violence. This cruelty and carnage has led some to question whether Iraq has descended into civil war. Our commanders and our diplomats on the ground in Iraq believe that it's not the case. They report that only a small number of Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, while the overwhelming majority want peace and a normal life and a unified country. Iraqi leaders from all backgrounds remember the elections that brought them to power, in which 12 million Iraqis defied the car bombers and killers to reclaim, "We want to be free." (Applause.)
Yeah, basically I am out of good things to balance out all these bad things, so back to the purple fingers again...
> Iraq's -- Iraq's government is working tirelessly to hold the nation together and to heal Iraq's divisions, not to exploit them. The Iraqi people have come a long way. They are not going to let their country fall apart or relapse into tyranny. As Prime Minister Maliki told the United States Congress: Iraqis have tasted freedom, and we will defend it absolutely. (Applause.) America has a clear strategy to help the Iraqi people protect their new freedom and build a democracy that can govern itself and sustain itself and defend itself. On the political side, we're working closely with Prime Minister Maliki to strengthen Iraq's unity government and develop -- and to deliver better services to the Iraqi people. It's a crucial moment for the new Iraqi government. Its leaders understand the challenge. They believe that now is the time to hammer out compromises on Iraq's most contentious issues. I've been clear with each Iraqi leader I meet: America is a patient nation, and Iraq can count on our partnership, as long as the new government continues to make the hard decisions necessary to advance a unified democratic and peaceful Iraq. Prime Minister Maliki has shown courage in laying out an agenda to do just that, and he can count on an ally, the United States of America, to help him promote this agenda. (Applause.) And on the security side, we're refining our tactics to meet the threats on the ground.
We're some really refined folks over there.
> I've given our commanders in Iraq all the flexibility they need to make adjustments necessary to stay on the offense and defeat the enemies of freedom.
Like the commanders who say we should get the heck out of there? Well we get those guys out of there right away.
> We've deployed Special Operations Forces to kill or capture terrorists operating in Iraq. Zarqawi found out what they can do. We continue to train Iraqi and police forces to defend their own nation. We've handed over security responsibility for a southern province to Iraqi forces. Five of Iraq's 10 army divisions are now taking the lead in their areas of operation. The Iraqi security forces are determined. They're becoming more capable, and together, we will defeat the enemies of a free Iraq. (Applause.)
We also realize that they often seem to be the same guys as the ones we're supposedly fighting against. About one in five Iraqi police battalion commanders have been shown to be working with the insurgency and the real number is probably much higher?
> Recently, we also launched a major new campaign to end the security crisis in Baghdad. Side by side Iraqi and American forces are conducting operations in the city's most violent areas to disrupt al Qaeda, to capture enemy fighters, crackdown on IED makers, and break up the death squads. These forces are helping Iraq's national police force undergo retraining to better enforce law in Baghdad, and these forces are supporting the Iraqi government as it provides reconstruction assistance. The Baghdad security plan is still in its early stages. We cannot expect immediate success; yet the initial results are encouraging. According to one military report, a Sunni man in a diverse Baghdad neighborhood said this about the Shi'a soldiers on patrol. "Their image has changed. Now you feel they're there to protect you." Over the coming weeks and months, the operation will expand throughout Baghdad, until Iraq's democratic government is in full control of its capital. The work is difficult and dangerous, but the Iraqi government and their forces are determined to reclaim their country, and the United States is determined to help them succeed. (Applause.) Here at home we have a choice to make about Iraq. Some politicians look at our efforts in Iraq and see a diversion from the war on terror. That would come as news to Osama bin Laden, who proclaimed that the third world war is raging in Iraq; come as news to number-two man of al Qaeda, Zawahiri, who has called the struggle in Iraq, quote, "the place for the greatest battle." It would come as news to the terrorists from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Yemen and other countries who have come to Iraq to fight the rise of democracy. It's hard to believe that these terrorists have made long journeys across dangerous borders to endure heavy fighting or blow themselves up in the streets of Baghdad for a so-called diversion.
It' more like a training. They do seem to being getting better at it.
> Some Americans didn't support my decision to remove Saddam Hussein. Many are frustrated with the level of violence. But we should all agree that the battle for Iraq is now central to the ideological struggle of the 21st century. We will not allow the terrorists to dictate the future of this century, so we will defeat them in Iraq. (Applause.) Still, there are some in our country who insist that the best option in Iraq is to pull out, regardless of the situation on the ground. Many of these folks are sincere and they're patriotic. But they could be -- they could not be more wrong. If America were to pull out before Iraq can defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable and absolutely disastrous.
So we prefer that which is absolutely UNpredictable and absolutely disastrous.
> We would be handing Iraq over to our worst enemies: Saddam's former henchmen, armed groups with ties to Iran and al Qaeda terrorists from all over the world who would suddenly have a base of operations far more valuable than Afghanistan under the Taliban. They would have a new sanctuary to recruit and train terrorists at the heart of the Middle East, with huge oil riches to fund their ambitions. And we know exactly where those ambitions lead. If we give up the fight in the streets in Baghdad, we will face the terrorists in the streets of our own cities. We can decide to stop fighting the terrorists in Iraq, in other parts of the world, but they will not decide to stop fighting us.
Basically the logic is this: we have to fight, we need to have our entire army and reserves fighting at all times. I mean they're soldiers for god's sake, why waste their time. So as long as they are gonna be killing, why not do it in Iraq, it's already trashed.
> General John Abizaid, our top commander in the Middle East region, recently put it this way: If we leave, they will follow us. And he is right. The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq. So the United States of America will not leave until victory is achieved. (Applause.) Victory in Iraq will be difficult and it will require more sacrifice. The fighting there can be as fierce as it was at Omaha Beach or Guadalcanal. And victory is as important as it was in those earlier battles. Victory in Iraq will result in a democracy that is a friend of America and an ally in the war on terror. Victory in Iraq will be a crushing defeat to our enemies who have staked so much on the battle there. Victory in Iraq will honor the sacrifice of the brave Americans who have given their lives. And victory in Iraq would be a powerful triumph in the ideological struggle of the 21st century. From Damascus to Tehran, people will look to a democratic Iraq as inspiration that freedom can succeed in the Middle East, and as evidence that the side of freedom is the winning side. This is a pivotal moment for the Middle East. The world is watching, and in Iraq and beyond, the forces of freedom will prevail. (Applause.) For all the debate, American policy in the Middle East comes down to a straightforward choice. We can allow the Middle East to continue on its course, on the course it was headed before September the 11th, and a generation from now, our children will face a region dominated by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons. Or we can stop that from happening by rallying the world to confront the ideology of hate and give the people of the Middle East a future of hope. And that is the choice America has made. (Applause.)
Or I made it for them I am the decider.
> We see a day when people across the Middle East have governments that honor their dignity, unleash their creativity and count their votes. We see a day when leaders across the Middle East reject terror and protect freedom. We see a day when the nations of the Middle East are allies in the cause of peace. The pass of that day will be uphill and uneven, but we can be confident of the outcome because we know that the direction of history leads toward freedom.
History has essentially progressed from slavery to freedom. What is it, 2 million in our criminal justice system right now?
By Nick Cooper nickcooper--at--indymedia.org http://nickcooper.com