THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY January 10, 2007
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE NATION
As Prepared for Delivery
Good evening.(licks lips) Tonight in Iraq(where it's actually tomorrow), the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror(Hint:towards Iran) – and our safety here at home(behind the wheels of our immense gas guzzling SUVs). The new strategy I outline tonight will change America’s course in Iraq(if you consider going around in a circle a change of course), and help us succeed in the fight against terror(by creating more terrorists for us to fight against).
When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation(and then we put our puppet in). The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement(a rigged election with out the aid of Diebold and their touch screen voting machines). We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together (unfortunately, it was against us)– and that as we trained Iraqi security forces(who then went to work with the death squads), we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops(even though then, as now, I have yet to clearly define what that mission is).
But in 2006, the opposite happened(Who could have seen that? I surely didn't). The violence in Iraq – particularly in Baghdad – overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents(See, I am a uniter!) recognized the mortal danger that Iraq’s elections posed for their cause(of getting American occupation forces to leave their country). And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis( The ones that survived our shock and awe). They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam – the Golden Mosque of Samarra – in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq’s Shia population to retaliate. Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today(But don't call it a civil war).
The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people( because their family members are getting killed and maimed over there) – and it is unacceptable to me(because it looks bad for my legacy). Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me(which is why I made Donald Rumsfeld step down).
It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq(Unfortunately, I lack the vision thing to devise one). So my national security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a comprehensive review. We consulted Members of Congress from both parties, allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts. We benefited from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group – a bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton.(We listened to all these people and ignored all their recommendations that Israel didn't like) In our discussions, we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq(So there went my original plan of sending David Blaine). And one message came through loud and clear(Well, the way I interpreted it, anyway): Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States(really, just for my legacy of cronyism and incompetence).
The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits(Which, if you look at it objectively means we have already failed). They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments(also known as puppet regimes), create chaos in the region(That's our mission), and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions(That's why we signed contracts giving Iraq's oil to Western oil companies for the next 30 years) . Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons(And have them developed before we could invade them and take all their oil, too). Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people(Mostly the American people illegally occupying their countries). On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities(A/K/A The Mossad). For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.
The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq’s sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it(Unfortunately, we stand in their way).
Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have(Which means more aggressive use of torture). Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes(The ones I didn't get rid of because they disagreed with me). They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work(Because I told them it would).
Let me explain the main elements of this effort: The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad’s nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades committed to this effort – along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations – conducting patrols, setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents(I know, I know, it's the same old plan, but I gave it a snazzy new name!).
This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence – and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I have committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them – five brigades – will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs(I call it my "No Iraqi Left Behind" plan).
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not(And you'd be crazy not to). Here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents – but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared(Of course, this means we'll only be able to hold a smaller part of Iraq, but enough to look like some progress has been made). In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods – and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.
I have made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended(It will only last until the end of my term.). If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people – and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people(In other words, we'll put in a different puppet). Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this(His cushy job is on the line). Here is what he told his people just last week: “The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation.”
This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks(It will merely move them to a different part of Iraq not covered by International media sources). Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering(The new season of 24 starts this Sunday). Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad’s residents(That's what I hope, anyway). When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq’s Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace – and reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible.
A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced(At least until the funding for the war comes through the Democrat controlled congress).
To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s provinces by November(By then, we should have a draft in place). To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis(After it filters through the pockets of American oil companies). To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend 10 billion dollars of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year(So expect a better unified theocracy). And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws – and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq’s constitution.
America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government as it works to meet these benchmarks. In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi Army units – and partner a Coalition brigade with every Iraqi Army division. We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped Army (and we mean it this time)– and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq(Right after securing the oil, of course). We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance. We will double the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams(There's only one right now, so two would be an improvement). These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self reliance. And Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq(Another corporate crony needs a government job on his resume).
As we make these changes, we will continue to pursue al Qaeda and foreign fighters. Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq(even though it wasn't before we invaded). Its home base is Anbar Province. Al Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of Iraq outside the capital. A captured al Qaeda document(We're not going to show it to you. trust us, we have it. have we ever lied to you before?) describes the terrorists’ plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province. This would bring al Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq’s democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks on the United States at home and abroad(Which I keep telling you they're going to do, even though they haven't since September 11).
Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders (THEY ARE SO MUCH EASIER TO CAPTURE ONCE WE'VE KILLED THEM)– and protecting the local population. Recently, local tribal leaders have begun to show their willingness to take on al Qaeda. As a result, our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to the terrorists. So I have given orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops. These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to step up the pressure on the terrorists(The ones we created by our illegal invasion). America’s men and women in uniform took away al Qaeda’s safe haven in Afghanistan(and let most of them escape to Pakistan. Don't ak about Osama though) – and we will not allow them to re-establish it in Iraq(Well, it was never established in Iraq before the war, but I repeat myself).
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge(And by extremists, I mean the neocons). This begins with addressing Iran and Syria(So you can expect we'll be invading these countries sometime in the near future). These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops(We can't prove this, but it will give us an excuse to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities). We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East(You know, the oil). I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies(really just Israel, who wish we would hurry up and nuke Iran already!). We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border(That pesky place known as Kurdistan). And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the regionby bombing the civilian nuclear facilities).
We will use America’s full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists – and a strategic threat to their survival. These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors – and they must step up their support for Iraq’s unity government. We endorse the Iraqi government’s call to finalize an International Compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region – to build support for Iraq, and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.
The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent(under direct orders from me, the decider in chief), and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life(Through legislation like the Military Commission Act). In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy (A/K/A liberals)– by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom (unless it those on hunger strike at Gitmo)– and help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.
From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violencebeing perpetrated by the US and Israel), and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq(And seeing what happens when you cross the Great Satan). They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists – or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom(By freedom, I of course mean becoming another tool of the corpocracy)?
The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the world of enormous importance to American security. Let me be clear: The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience(Kind of like me, only swarthier), and they will make the year ahead bloody and violent(Once again, just like me). Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue(But don't ask what's the point) – and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties(Tough luck to you if it's a family member). The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success(Informed opinion says it won't). I believe that it will(Of course, I thought Brownie did a heck of a job in New Orleans).
Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved(You know, well defined, and assured). There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship(because there is no enemy to surrender). But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world (A new American puppet regime)– a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law(Something the US hasn't been able to do under my watch), respects fundamental human liberties(something we're eradicating here at home), and answers to its people(Something I would never do). A democratic Iraq will not be perfect(But it does sound better than the mess I've made of the US). But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them – and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and grandchildren.
Our new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq. Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States – and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq’s borders and hunting down al Qaeda. Their solution is to scale back America’s efforts in Baghdad – or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces. We carefully considered these proposals(and realized there was no money in it for defense contractors or the funeral industry). And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale(Kind of like what's going on now, except we gewt to blame it on the liberals). Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home(January 21, 2009).
In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If Members have improvements that can be made, we will make them(And if they work, we'll take credit for them). If circumstances change, we will adjust(It's no skin off our teeth if more soldiers die). Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms(And I will do everything in my power to ignore them). It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed(except for me).
Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group(Chock full of congresspersons in AIPAC's pockets) that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. This group will meet regularly with me and my Administration, and it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps(by bringing back the draft for people's children who are not in Congress, or related to anyone in the corpocracy), so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century. We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas – where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.
In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us(You know, right wing chickenhawk bloggers). These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary – and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty. We mourn the loss of every fallen American – and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.
Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve(Not one of these things have I demonstrated at all). It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom(Which is why I will continue to go through your mail). Yet times of testing reveal the character of a Nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed. Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can and we will prevail.
We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty (Stephen Coonts)will guide us through these trying hours. Thank you and good night.
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