On this day in 2003, the United States began Operation Iraqi Freedom. [formerly known as Operation Iraqi Liberation: O.I.L.]
As the campaign unfolded, tens and thousands of our troops poured across the Iraqi border to liberate [terrorise] the Iraqi people.
The men and women who crossed into Iraq five years ago [breaking any number of international laws] removed a tyrant [who we used to like but fell out with], liberated [terrorised/destroyed] a country, and rescued millions from unspeakable horrors [by ending their lives].
Operation Iraqi Freedom was a remarkable display of military effectiveness [there was loads of blood and gore].
Forces from the UK, Australia, Poland, and other allies [who sensibly didn’t let their troops do anything dangerous] joined our troops in the initial operations. [These were the only countries foolish enough to join us].
Our troops engaged in pitched battles with the Fedayeen Saddam -- death squads acting on the orders of Saddam Hussein that obeyed neither the conventions of war nor the dictates of conscience. These death squads hid in schools and they hid in hospitals, hoping to draw fire against Iraqi civilians. They used women and children as human shields. They stopped at nothing in their efforts to prevent us from prevailing -- but they couldn't stop the coalition advance. [Following our own conventions of war and ignoring our consciences, we flattened everything in sight, blaming the other side whenever we killed civilians].
Aided by the most effective [deadly] and precise [we hit loads of things] air campaign in history [using more bombs than ever before because bombs equal jobs back at home], coalition forces raced across 350 miles of enemy territory -- destroying Republican Guard Divisions, pushing through the Karbala Gap, capturing Saddam International Airport, and liberating [as above] Baghdad in less than one month. [We brought a few people along to pull down Saddam’s statue and spun it as a joyful victory].
Today, in light of the challenges we have faced in Iraq, some look back and call this period the easy part of the war. Yet there was nothing easy about it. [It’s just got worse since].
The liberation [destruction] of Iraq took incredible skill [well, incredible amounts of money anyway] and amazing courage [it takes a brave man to risk prosecution for war crimes].
And the speed [extremely slow and protracted], precision [hit anything that moved] and brilliant execution [media spinning] of the campaign will be studied by military historians for years to come.
What our troops found in Iraq following Saddam's removal was horrifying. They uncovered children's prisons, and torture chambers, and rape rooms where Iraqi women were violated in front of their families. They found videos showing regime thugs mutilating Iraqis deemed disloyal to Saddam. [So we copied some of these atrocities and invented some new ones of their own].
Because we acted, Saddam Hussein no longer fills fields with the remains of innocent men, women and children. [We’ve taken over that role].
Because we acted, Saddam's torture chambers and rape rooms and children's prisons have been closed for good. [We’ve opened our own].
Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer invading its neighbors [We’re working on taking over from Saddam there too] or attacking them with chemical weapons and ballistic missiles. [We’ve got plenty of napalm, white phosphorus and uranium munitions, which we’ve been trying out in Iraq. Iran’s next].
Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer paying the families of suicide bombers in the Holy Land. [We’ve created lots more suicide bombers and they all do it for free].
Because we acted, Saddam's regime is no longer shooting at American and British aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones [so sometimes we shoot down our own coalition aircraft – keeps them on their toes] and defying the will of the United Nations [that’s our job].
Because we acted, the world is better [er… interpreter stuck for a translation here] and United States of America is safer [than Iraq].
The battle in Iraq has been longer and harder and more costly than we anticipated [being a bit lax on planning beyond the initial invasion] -- but it is a fight we must win [to save face]. So our troops have engaged these enemies with courage and determination [and got killed]. And as they've battled the terrorists and extremists in Iraq, they have helped the Iraqi people reclaim their nation [that’s the spin anyway], and helped a young democracy [too young to think for itself so we control it] rise from the rubble of Saddam Hussein's tyranny.
A little over a year ago, the fight in Iraq was faltering. Extremist elements were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. They had established safe havens in many parts of the country. They were creating divisions among the Iraqis along sectarian lines. [The resistance was winning]. And their strategy of using violence in Iraq to cause divisions in America was working [thinks – always blame the other side for your problems].
My administration understood that America could not retreat in the face of terror [we’ve spent trillions on this war – how would it look?]. And we knew that if we did not act, the violence that had been consuming Iraq would worsen, and spread, and could eventually reach [the] genocidal levels [only we have previously achieved in Iraq].
So we reviewed the strategy -- and changed course in Iraq. We sent reinforcements into the country in a dramatic policy shift that is now known as "the surge." [more bombing, arm sectarian groups and drive civilians from their homes]. General David Petraeus took command with a new mission: Work with Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people [mainly by turning them into refugees], pressure [sic] the enemy into strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country. And that is precisely what we have done.
In Anbar, Sunni tribal leaders had grown tired of al Qaeda's brutality and started a popular uprising, called the "Anbar Awakening." To take advantage of this opportunity, we sent 4,000 additional Marines to help these brave Iraqis drive al Qaeda from the province. [First we arm one side, then the other – divide and rule and keep the violence going].
There will be tough fighting [We will kill lots of civilians] in Mosul and areas of northern Iraq in the weeks ahead.
There's still hard work to be done in Iraq [more people to be killed].
The gains we have made are fragile and reversible [things are likely to get even worse].
But on this anniversary, the American people should know that since the surge began, the level of violence is significantly down, civilian deaths are down, sectarian killings are down, attacks on American forces are down. We have captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq, including hundreds of key al Qaeda leaders and operatives. Our men and women in uniform are performing with characteristic honor and valor. The surge is working. And as a return on our success in Iraq, we've begun bringing some of our troops home. [Say all this enough times and some fools are bound to believe us].
If we were to allow our enemies to prevail in Iraq, the violence that is now declining would accelerate -- and Iraq would descend into chaos [we’d lose our chance to profit from their oil].
Al Qaeda would regain its lost sanctuaries and establish new ones - fomenting violence and terror that could spread beyond Iraq's borders [fomenting violence and terror is what we do and we don’t want to be usurped], with serious consequences for the world's economy [which is currently doing so well, ahem].
Our troops on the front lines understand what is at stake [their lives]. They are all volunteers, who have stepped forward to defend America in a time of danger [that’s what we tell ‘em anyway] - and some of them have gone out of their way to return to the fight [best not mention all those who have gone out of their way not to return to the fight].
The best way we can honor them [dead soldiers] is by making sure [we keep repeating the lie] that their sacrifice was not in vain .
Five years ago tonight, I promised the American people that in the struggle ahead "we will accept no outcome but victory." Today, standing before men and women who helped liberate [destroy] a nation, I reaffirm the commitment [after all, it’s not my kids who are dying out there].
The battle in Iraq is noble, it is necessary, and it is just [fingers crossed – ha ha ha!]. And with your courage [suckers], the battle in Iraq will end in victory [we’ll get their oil].