Wednesday, January 24, 2007

2007 State of the Union Address: Part Deux

Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. The freedom hating terrorists did not harm either Sweden or Switzerland, long known for their abundant freedoms and high taxes. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented, but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. Yet the plans couldn’t even agree on the name of the building. We broke up a Southeast Asian terror cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We took their hair gel and personal grooming tools before they could be used against us. Those supplies were put to good use as FEMA chief Michael Brown used them prior to his Katrina television interviews. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them. (Applause.)

Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this growing enemy, ever inspired by my words and actions. Here I’ll really piss ‘em off. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in 9/11 is still at work in the world. And so long as that's the case, from sea to shining sea America is still a nation at war, however a draft isn’t needed and please keep shopping!
In my mind, ooopps, I mean in the mind of the terrorist, this war began well before September the 11th, and will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled. And these past five years have given us a much clearer view of the nature of this enemy. Rather than that big pot of terrorist stew I offered last fall, Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology, mostly taught by Wahabi’s in Saudi Arabia yet I attacked Iraq instead as the war in my mind began well before 9-11. Back to the free bin Laden’s views.. Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats, instruct with bullets and bombs, and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent. Hey that sounded like Rev. Pat Robertson’s international policy advice!

Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions while we cover ours. They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon our world wide money making schemes. They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology while keeping their profits at home. Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse." Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us." Yes, there are nutcases in the world. These people don’t worship money or the fact that God gives his true followers boatloads of it, even from selling arms!

Remember that pot of terrorist stew? Think of Sunni extremists as the meat in the broth.
These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East. The Shia are the potatoes in the stew. Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah -- a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.

The problem is compounded at the meat and potatoes are fighting each other in the big pot of Iraq. I will know act like this is not true. The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. Whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans, kill democracy in the Middle East, and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale. So America is taking a big spoon and colander into Iraq to keep the meat and potatoes separated and peaceful in that simmering cauldron. When the meat takes a bite out of the potato, it will be treated like a terrorist. Should the potato use its heat to burn the meat, it will be incarcerated in the colander. Is that clear? The Sunni are meat, and Shia extremists will be mashed.

In the sixth year since our nation was attacked, I wish I could report to you that the dangers had ended. They have not; as a matter of fact they’ve grown according to our National Intelligence Estimate. I alone created Muqtada al Sadr! They call me Dr. Frankenstein! And so it remains the policy of this government to use every lawful and proper tool of intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, and military action to do our duty, to find these enemies, and to protect the American people. What’s not lawful under Congress passed laws is covered under fiat per my secret signing statements. (Applause.)

This war is more than a clash of arms, legs and torsos -- it involves the brain, and the security of our nation is in the balance. My acts have tilted this balance against us. Oh crap, not again. Breathe, must return to the mantra… To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and to come and kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom-- societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments. Thus Sweden and Switzerland are at extreme risk. All conscientious Americans should enroll in the Swedish and Swiss military as soon as possible.

Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies – yet violent and malignant narcissistic leaders will manipulate their followers down such a path. Most will choose a better way when they're given a chance, but it is difficult for the populace in any country to challenge pathological leaders. So we advance our own security interests by helping other narcissists posing as moderates, reformers and brave voices for democracy while purposefully not looking in our own mirror. Recall Ahmed Chalabi? We plan on creating more of them. The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity to give America your oil. And I say, for the sake of our own security, we must. (Applause.)

In the last two years, we've seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East -- and we have crapped on it. In 2005, the world watched as the citizens of Lebanon raised the banner of the Cedar Revolution, they drove out the Syrian occupiers and chose new leaders in free elections. Then a year later, I sat on my hands for 30 days while Israel attacked its democratic neighbor to the north, setting it back 25 years.

In 2005, the people of Afghanistan defied the terrorists and elected a democratic legislature. Since then I’ve reduced American troops in the country and the Taliban is resurging, re-escalating and re-augmenting.

And in 2005, the Iraqi people held three national elections, choosing a transitional government, adopting the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world under our direction, and then electing a government under that constitution that didn’t meet for months while the country unraveled. Despite endless threats from the killers in their midst, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote in a show of hope and solidarity that we should never forget. As for killers in their midst, according to a British medical journal the U.S. war is responsible for over 600,000 civilian deaths since the invasion. (Applause.)

A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back. In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel long after the Israeli incursion, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Sunni Secular Baathist Syria and Shiite Fundamentalist Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government.

In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, while to newly elected government refused to meet, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam -- the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia -- and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day. This what my surge, I mean escalation, uh augmentation intends to address. A civil war brews in every place democracy has been introduced, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, and Iraq. It’s much easier to conduct international business with the common people occupied with daily survival tasks.

This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we created the conditions for. Every one of us wishes this war were over and won. That four years later the fight continues reveals major flaws in both strategy and execution. Yet I won’t talk about either, instead I’ll give you some drivel about keeping on by keeping on. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our meat and potato friends abandoned, our own security at risk, and all that damn oil in the ground. (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle by giving the enemy more targets. Let us stuff our concerns, find our resolve, and turn events toward victory. (Applause.)

We're carrying out a new strategy in Iraq -- a plan that demands more from Iraq's elected government that consistently fails to deliver, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission which will remain nebulous. Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror. Now craft a military plan to make that happen!

In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital. But the Iraqis are not yet ready to stand up so we can’t stand down. We have to stand up even more for them so we're deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq. The vast majority will go to Baghdad, where they will help Iraqi forces to clear and secure neighborhoods, and serve as advisers embedded in Iraqi Army units. With Iraqis in the lead, our forces run the risk of being fragged as they help secure the city by chasing down the terrorists, insurgents, and the roaming death squads.

And in Anbar Province, where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered from across the world and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them, we're sending an additional 4,000 United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out. (Applause.) We didn't drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq. Oopps, the Taliban is still in Afghanistan and al Qaeda leader bin Laden is rumored to be there too. Did I just lie again in saying we drove al Qaeda out of Afghanistan? No, I used a word re-definition, kind of like changing “earmarks” to “enterprise”, al Qaeda in Afghanistan is now known as Taliban. You can drive a whole slew of bad stuff away with a simple word change. Did you know people in America are no longer hungry, just food insecure? And I did it without fishes or loaves. Now that’s real power! Where was I? Oh yeah, Iraq.

The people of Iraq want to live in peace when not fighting each other, and now it's time for their government to act. Iraq's leaders living in foreign countries know that our commitment is not open-ended. They have promised to deploy more of their own troops to secure Baghdad -- and they must do so as our commitment is not open ended. They pledged that they will confront violent radicals of any faction or political party -- and they need to follow through as our commitment is not open ended. By lifting needless restrictions on Iraqi and coalition forces, these troops can achieve their mission of bringing security to all of the meat and potatoes people of Baghdad.

Iraq's leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks, something I won’t do -- to achieve reconciliation, to share the pittance of oil revenues leftover from western oil company contracts among all of Iraq's citizens, to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq, to allow more ex-Saddamist Iraqis to re-enter their nation's civic life, to hold local elections, and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province. But for all of this to happen, Baghdad must be secure. And our nation building plan will help the Iraqi government take back its capital and make good on its commitments.

My fellow citizens, our recently replaced military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options. We discussed every possible approach for a whole month. After much mountain biking and brush clearing, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance for success, but I can’t tell you the percentage chance for success as that is top secret and I would have to kill you. If the American people heard the number I would have to kill them and then I would be their greatest terrorist. So to be safe Americans, stay ignorant!

Many in this chamber (Republicans & ex. Halliburton Execs) understand that America must not fail in Iraq, because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far-reaching. If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. As if it isn’t already. Have you seen the horrific bombings the last couple of days? We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country -- and in time, the entire region could be drawn into the conflict. Isn’t that verbatim what Saudi Foreign Minister al Faisal warned me about before invading in 2003, a destabilized Middle East? I want a new speechwriter, quit giving me dated material!

For America, this is a nightmare scenario of our own creation. For the enemy, this is the objective we will bandy across the airwaves. Chaos is the greatest ally -- their greatest ally in this struggle. And I’m familiar with chaos. Did you see my response to Hurricane Katrina? Uh oh, dang, I did it again, painted myself into a corner even self deprecating humor can’t release me from. Remember breathe and access the mantra….And out of American intervention in Iraq, chaos would emerge with an emboldened enemy, new safe havens, new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to harm me and Americans by proxy. To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September the 11th which involved attacking the wrong country and invite tragedy by repeating the error with Iran. Ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East, to succeed in Iraq and to spare the American people from this danger. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! (Applause.)

This is where matters stand tonight, in the here and now unless its hidden in a secret signing statement. I have spoken with many of you in person and most of you are boring. I respect you and the silly arguments you've made, especially you cut and runners. We went into this largely united in our purposeful ignorance, in our manipulated assumptions and in our convictions. Dang it who put Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney back in the speech! And whatever you voted for, it had no corporate ties to it. You did not vote for failure, although our Iraq rebuilding effort qualifies as such. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq, and I ask you to give it a chance to hang the current al Maliki government. And I ask you to support our troops in the field, and those on their way cause there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it! (Applause.)

The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others. No I am not a lame duck! And that's why it's important to work together so our nation can see this great effort through. Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. Please don’t make me irrelevant! It is pitiful watching Condi be ignored by the world. Don’t sentence me to that! It's why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties who support my positions. We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. We'll show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory. Never mind that I ditched most of the Iraqi Study Group’s recommendations! This isn’t a study group it’s a special advisory council.

And one of the first steps we can take together is to add to the ranks of our military so that the American Armed Forces are ready for all the challenges ahead. Note a 70 billion budget increase for this item alone means a chain saw will be needed to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Whhrrrr! (Applause.) Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years. (Applause.) A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time. In other words, we can’t hire enough contractors to do the work! People don’t want to voluntarily go to danger zones but those who join a reserve corps, can be ordered.

Americans can have confidence in the outcome of this struggle because we're not in this struggle alone. It is not like New Orleans when you were really struggling alone. We have a diplomatic strategy that is rallying the world to join in the fight against extremism yet causing many countries to become nervous about America’s heavy handed international dealings. In Iraq, ever dwindling numbers of multinational forces are operating under a mandate from the United Nations. We're working with Jordan and Saudi Arabia and Egypt and the Gulf States to increase support for Iraq's government. However it is difficult to get support from people who warned you not to invade in the first place.

The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. (Applause.) With the other members of the Quartet -- the U.N., the European Union, and Russia -- we're pursuing diplomacy to help bring one way peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. Did you see the beating Jimmy Carter got for his book equating treatment of the Palestinians with Apartheid? That’s what happens when you cross the Israeli lobby. Did I mention how much I love Israel and their atomic weapons? All you AIPAC sponsored Congresspersons join with me in thanking Israel. (Applause.)

In Afghanistan we “cut and ran”, NATO has taken the lead in turning back the Taliban and al Qaeda offensive -- the first time the Alliance has deployed forces outside the North Atlantic area. Whoa! Didn’t I say a minute ago we’d drive al Qaeda out of Afghanistan! Son of a bitch! Hey, that reminds me of Kim Jong-Il! Together with our partners in China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, we're pursuing intensive diplomacy to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. (Applause.)

We will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in places like Cuba, Belarus, and Burma -- and continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur. We save invasions for countries that actually have oil. Although I heard Cuba has potential offshore reserves. Hhhmmm. (Applause.)

American foreign policy is more than a matter of war and diplomacy, although evidence of this is difficult to find. Our work in the world is also based on a timeless truth: To whom much is given, much is required except the paying of taxes. We hear the call to take on the challenges of hunger, I mean food insecurity and poverty and disease -- and that is precisely what America is doing. We wiped out hunger in the U.S. by changing the name to food insecurity and we can do likewise throughout the world.

We must continue to fight HIV/AIDS, especially on the continent of Africa. (Applause.) Because you funded our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the number of people receiving life-saving drugs has grown from 50,000 to more than 800,000 in three short years. I ask you to continue funding our efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. I ask you to provide $1.2 billion over five years so we can combat malaria in 15 African countries. This will go the World Bank managed by my good friend Paul Wolfowitz. He would love to make interest on the $1.2 billion or get a better return by picking up a piece of a Carlyle Group syndication. (Applause.)

I ask that you fund the Millennium Challenge Account, so that American aid reaches the people who need it, in nations where democracy is on the rise and corruption is in retreat. Unfortunately with increasing government corruption and the Unitary Executive’s creeping powers, the United States no longer qualifies for the Millennium Challenge. And let us continue to support the expanded trade and debt relief that are the best hope for lifting lives and eliminating poverty. Ignore that worldwide poverty has grown despite the promises of free trade. (Applause.)

When America serves itself by pretending to serve others in this way, we show the strength and generosity of our country. Guess which companies will provide the AIDS drugs and malaria reduction materials? These deeds reflect the character of our government and businesses. Our people would be appalled. The greatest strength we have is not the heroic kindness, courage, and self-sacrifice of the American people. It is their ignorance, their lives filled with day to day details such that they can’t explore what occurs behind the hallowed halls of government. You see this spirit often if you know where to look -- and tonight we need only look above to the gallery. Look they are all smiling and waving!

Dikembe Mutombo grew up in Africa, amid great poverty and disease. He came to Georgetown University on a scholarship to study medicine -- but Coach John Thompson got a look at Dikembe and had a different idea. (Laughter.) Dikembe became a star in the NBA, and a citizen of the United States. But he never forgot the land of his birth, or the duty to share his blessings with others. He built a brand new hospital in his old hometown. A friend has said of this good-hearted man: "Mutombo believes that God has given him this opportunity to do great things." And we are proud to call this son of the Congo a citizen of the United States of America. While Dikembe builds hospitals, my health care plan moves money from hospitals that care for the poor to states trying innovative solutions. (Applause.)

After her daughter was born, Julie Aigner-Clark searched for ways to share her love of music and art with her child. So she borrowed some equipment, and began filming children's videos in her basement. The Baby Einstein Company was born, and in just five years her business grew to more than $20 million in sales. In November 2001, Julie sold Baby Einstein to the Walt Disney Company, and with her help Baby Einstein has grown into a $200 million business. Julie represents the great enterprising spirit of America. And she is using her success to help others -- producing child safety videos with John Walsh of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Julie says of her new project: "I believe it's the most important thing that I have ever done. I believe that children have the right to live in a world that is safe." And so tonight, we are pleased to welcome this talented business entrepreneur and generous social entrepreneur -- Julie Aigner-Clark. If Julie were to sell her company today
for $25 million she could save over $1 million in capital gains taxes, thanks to my tax cuts. (Applause.)

Three weeks ago, Wesley Autrey was waiting at a Harlem subway station with his two little girls, when he saw a man fall into the path of a train. With seconds to act, Wesley jumped onto the tracks, pulled the man into the space between the rails, and held him as the train passed right above their heads. He insists he's not a hero. He says: "We got guys and girls overseas dying for us to have our freedoms. We have got to show each other some love." There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey. Yet with a few swipes of the pen, I can toss tens of thousands off Medicaid and symbolically toss them in front of a speeding train. (Applause.)

Tommy Rieman was a teenager pumping gas in Independence, Kentucky, when he enlisted in the United States Army. In December 2003, he was on a reconnaissance mission in Iraq when his team came under heavy enemy fire. From his Humvee, Sergeant Rieman returned fire; he used his body as a shield to protect his gunner. He was shot in the chest and arm, and received shrapnel wounds to his legs -- yet he refused medical attention, and stayed in the fight. He helped to repel a second attack, firing grenades at the enemy's position. For his exceptional courage, Sergeant Rieman was awarded the Silver Star. And like so many other Americans who have volunteered to defend us, he has earned the respect and the gratitude of our entire country. (Applause.)

In such courage and compassion, ladies and gentlemen, we see the spirit and character of America -- and these qualities are not in short supply except in Washington D.C. This is a decent and honorable country -- and resilient, too. We've been through a lot together. We've met challenges and faced dangers often without my help, and we know that more lie ahead especially when I get that axe to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Yet we can go forward with confidence that you are on your own -- because the State of our Union is strong, our cause in the world is super sized, and tonight that cause goes on. God bless. (Applause.)

See you next year. (I’m not a lame duck just yet). Thank you for your prayers to anyone but Allah. And maybe next year I’ll mention how our nation is healing from Hurricane Katrina!

END 10:02 P.M. EST

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