My quote of the week was the words he said at the end of the speech. My title for this post also came from there. It was so well said. He was so honest in this speech. He took responsibility for his decisions and actions and yet called his critics to task. I printed the speech out to read it and highlight the good parts. Most of the speech is highlighted. I'm going to put a bunch of excerpts from the speech in this post but I thought one of the most critical lines was this one:
"We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them."
I so wish liberals could understand this. And I hope liberals and moderates were listening last night. I don't know how you criticize W after this heartfelt speech. He made several pleas to realize what is at stake especially in this line:
"Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom."The speech was so good that the liberal who was complaining about W after the speech just made me laugh. No matter what he says or does it will never be good enough. I felt like I was watching a Charlie Brown special and the democrat chic was the teacher and everything that came out of her mouth sounded like, "Wa, Wa, Wa..."
If you want to read the entire speech go here. Below I have posted some of the great excerpts.
"This election will not mean the end of violence. But it is the beginning of something new: constitutional democracy at the heart of the Middle East. And this vote -- 6,000 miles away, in a vital region of the world -- means that America has an ally of growing strength in the fight against terror.
He (Saddam)was given an ultimatum -- and he made his choice for war. And the result of that war was to rid a -- the world of a murderous dictator who menaced his people, invaded his neighbors, and declared America to be his enemy. Saddam Hussein, captured and jailed, is still the same raging tyrant -- only now without a throne. His power to harm a single man, woman, or child is gone forever. And the world is better for it.
I see a global terrorist movement that exploits Islam in the service of radical political aims -- a vision in which books are burned, and women are oppressed, and all dissent is crushed. Terrorist operatives conduct their campaign of murder with a set of declared and specific goals -- to de-moralize free nations, to drive us out of the Middle East, to spread an empire of fear across that region, and to wage a perpetual war against America and our friends. These terrorists view the world as a giant battlefield -- and they seek to attack us wherever they can. This has attracted al Qaeda to Iraq, where they are attempting to frighten and intimidate America into a policy of retreat.
The terrorists do not merely object to American actions in Iraq and elsewhere, they object to our deepest values and our way of life. And if we were not fighting them in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Southeast Asia, and in other places, the terrorists would not be peaceful citizens, they would be on the offense, and headed our way.
September the 11th, 2001 required us to take every emerging threat to our country seriously, and it shattered the illusion that terrorists attack us only after we provoke them. On that day, we were not in Iraq, we were not in Afghanistan, but the terrorists attacked us anyway -- and killed nearly 3,000 men, women, and children in our own country. My conviction comes down to this: We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. And we will defeat the terrorists by capturing and killing them abroad, removing their safe havens, and strengthening new allies like Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight we share.
We continue to see violence and suffering, caused by an enemy that is determined and brutal, unconstrained by conscience or the rules of war.
The terrorists will continue to have the coward's power to plant roadside bombs and recruit suicide bombers. And you will continue to see the grim results on the evening news. This proves that the war is difficult -- it doesn't mean that we are losing. Behind the images of chaos that terrorists create for the cameras, we are making steady gains with a clear objective in view.
Three days ago, more than 10 million Iraqis went to the polls -- including many Sunni Iraqis who had boycotted national elections last January.
One Iraqi, after dipping his finger in the purple ink as he cast his ballot, stuck his finger in the air and said: "This is a thorn in the eyes of the terrorists." Another voter was asked, "Are you Sunni or Shia?" And he responded, "I am Iraqi."
Today in Iraq, seven in 10 Iraqis say their lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve even more in the year ahead. Despite the violence, Iraqis are optimistic -- and that optimism is justified.
Yet there is a difference between honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.
Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts. For every scene of destruction in Iraq, there are more scenes of rebuilding and hope. For every life lost, there are countless more lives reclaimed. And for every terrorist working to stop freedom in Iraq, there are many more Iraqis and Americans working to defeat them. My fellow citizens: Not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq.
It is also important for every American to understand the consequences of pulling out of Iraq before our work is done. We would abandon our Iraqi friends and signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word. We would undermine the morale of our troops by betraying the cause for which they have sacrificed. We would cause the tyrants in the Middle East to laugh at our failed resolve, and tighten their repressive grip. We would hand Iraq over to enemies who have pledged to attack us and the global terrorist movement would be emboldened and more dangerous than ever before. To retreat before victory would be an act of recklessness and dishonor, and I will not allow it.
Our forces in Iraq are on the road to victory -- and that is the road that will take them home.
And tonight, I ask all of you listening to carefully consider the stakes of this war, to realize how far we have come and the good we are doing, and to have patience in this difficult, noble, and necessary cause.
And the need for victory is larger than any president or political party, because the security of our people is in the balance. I don't expect you to support everything I do, but tonight I have a request: Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom.
And I have never been more certain that America's actions in Iraq are essential to the security of our citizens, and will lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren.
Next week, Americans will gather to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. Many families will be praying for loved ones spending this season far from home -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other dangerous places. Our nation joins in those prayers. We pray for the safety and strength of our troops. We trust, with them, in a love that conquers all fear, in a light that reaches the darkest corners of the Earth. And we remember the words of the Christmas carol, written during the Civil War: "God is not dead, nor [does] He sleep; the Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace on Earth, goodwill to men." Thank you, and good night."
P.S. Brit Hume did an awesome special on the separation of church and state last night. If they re-air it, it is a must-see.