Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why President Bush & Tony Snow Rock



"For al Qaeda, Iraq is not a distraction from their war on America -- it is the central battlefield where the outcome of this struggle will be decided."

"History teaches that underestimating the words of evil and ambitious men is a terrible mistake."

"These radicals have declared their uncompromising hostility to freedom. It is foolish to think that you can negotiate with them."

"...the enemy has a propaganda strategy."

"America will not bow down to tyrants."

"Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? America and our coalition partners have made our choice. We're taking the words of the enemy seriously. We're on the offensive, and we will not rest, we will not retreat, and we will not withdraw from the fight, until this threat to civilization has been removed."
--President George W. Bush


The President gave an awesome speech yesterday. Read the whole speech here. Below are some great excerpts:
"Five years after our nation was attacked, the terrorist danger remains. We're a nation at war -- and America and her allies are fighting this war with relentless determination across the world. Together with our coalition partners, we've removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they're carried out. We're on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront -- and we'll accept nothing less than complete victory. (Applause.)

The terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, are men without conscience -- but they're not madmen. They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil, but not insane. These al Qaeda terrorists and those who share their ideology are violent Sunni extremists. They're driven by a radical and perverted vision of Islam that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women and children in the pursuit of political power. They hope to establish a violent political utopia across the Middle East, which they call a "Caliphate" -- where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology. Osama bin Laden has called the 9/11 attacks -- in his words -- "a great step towards the unity of Muslims and establishing the Righteous… [Caliphate]."

This caliphate would be a totalitarian Islamic empire encompassing all current and former Muslim lands, stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. We know this because al Qaeda has told us. About two months ago, the terrorist Zawahiri -- he's al Qaeda's second in command -- declared that al Qaeda intends to impose its rule in "every land that was a home for Islam, from [Spain] to Iraq. He went on to say, "The whole world is an open field for us."

We know what this radical empire would look like in practice, because we saw how the radicals imposed their ideology on the people of Afghanistan. Under the rule of the Taliban and al Qaeda, Afghanistan was a totalitarian nightmare -- a land where women were imprisoned in their homes, men were beaten for missing prayer meetings, girls could not go to school, and children were forbidden the smallest pleasures like flying kites. Religious police roamed the streets, beating and detaining civilians for perceived offenses. Women were publicly whipped. Summary executions were held in Kabul's soccer stadium in front of cheering mobs. And Afghanistan was turned into a launching pad for horrific attacks against America and other parts of the civilized world -- including many Muslim nations.

The goal of these Sunni extremists is to remake the entire Muslim world in their radical image. In pursuit of their imperial aims, these extremists say there can be no compromise or dialogue with those they call "infidels" -- a category that includes America, the world's free nations, Jews, and all Muslims who reject their extreme vision of Islam. They reject the possibility of peaceful coexistence with the free world. Again, hear the words of Osama bin Laden earlier this year: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

These radicals have declared their uncompromising hostility to freedom. It is foolish to think that you can negotiate with them. (Applause.) We see the uncompromising nature of the enemy in many captured terrorist documents. Here are just two examples: After the liberation of Afghanistan, coalition forces searching through a terrorist safe house in that country found a copy of the al Qaeda charter. This charter states that "there will be continuing enmity until everyone believes in Allah. We will not meet [the enemy] halfway. There will be no room for dialogue with them." Another document was found in 2000 by British police during an anti-terrorist raid in London -- a grisly al Qaeda manual that includes chapters with titles such as "Guidelines for Beating and Killing Hostages." This manual declares that their vision of Islam "does not… make a truce with unbelief, but rather confronts it." The confrontation… calls for… the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun."

Secondly, along with this campaign of terror, the enemy has a propaganda strategy. Osama bin Laden laid out this strategy in a letter to the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, that coalition forces uncovered in Afghanistan in 2002. In it, bin Laden says that al Qaeda intends to "[launch]," in his words, "a media campaign… to create a wedge between the American people and their government." This media campaign, bin Laden says, will send the American people a number of messages, including "that their government [will] bring them more losses, in finances and casualties." And he goes on to say that "they are being sacrificed… to serve… the big investors, especially the Jews." Bin Laden says that by delivering these messages, al Qaeda "aims at creating pressure from the American people on the American government to stop their campaign against Afghanistan."

Now, I know some of our country hear the terrorists' words, and hope that they will not, or cannot, do what they say. History teaches that underestimating the words of evil and ambitious men is a terrible mistake. In the early 1900s, an exiled lawyer in Europe published a pamphlet called "What Is To Be Done?" -- in which he laid out his plan to launch a communist revolution in Russia. The world did not heed Lenin's words, and paid a terrible price. The Soviet Empire he established killed tens of millions, and brought the world to the brink of thermonuclear war. In the 1920s, a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews. The world ignored Hitler's words, and paid a terrible price. His Nazi regime killed millions in the gas chambers, and set the world aflame in war, before it was finally defeated at a terrible cost in lives.

Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? America and our coalition partners have made our choice. We're taking the words of the enemy seriously. We're on the offensive, and we will not rest, we will not retreat, and we will not withdraw from the fight, until this threat to civilization has been removed. (Applause.)

Imagine a world in which they were able to control governments, a world awash with oil and they would use oil resources to punish industrialized nations. And they would use those resources to fuel their radical agenda, and pursue and purchase weapons of mass murder. And armed with nuclear weapons, they would blackmail the free world, and spread their ideologies of hate, and raise a mortal threat to the American people. If we allow them to do this, if we retreat from Iraq, if we don't uphold our duty to support those who are desirous to live in liberty, 50 years from now history will look back on our time with unforgiving clarity, and demand to know why we did not act.

I'm not going to allow this to happen -- and no future American President can allow it either. America did not seek this global struggle, but we're answering history's call with confidence and a clear strategy. Today we're releasing a document called the "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism." This is an unclassified version of the strategy we've been pursuing since September the 11th, 2001. This strategy was first released in February 2003; it's been updated to take into account the changing nature of this enemy. This strategy document is posted on the White House website -- whitehouse.gov. And I urge all Americans to read it.

And now, freedom is once again contending with the forces of darkness and tyranny. This time, the battle is unfolding in a new region -- the broader Middle East. This time, we're not waiting for our enemies to gather in strength. This time, we're confronting them before they gain the capacity to inflict unspeakable damage on the world, and we're confronting their hateful ideology before it fully takes root.

We see a day when people across the Middle East have governments that honor their dignity, and unleash their creativity, and count their votes. We see a day when across this region citizens are allowed to express themselves freely, women have full rights, and children are educated and given the tools necessary to succeed in life. And we see a day when all the nations of the Middle East are allies in the cause of peace.

We fight for this day, because the security of our own citizens depends on it. This is the great ideological struggle of the 21st century -- and it is the calling of our generation. All civilized nations are bound together in this struggle between moderation and extremism. By coming together, we will roll back this grave threat to our way of life. We will help the people of the Middle East claim their freedom, and we will leave a safer and more hopeful world for our children and grandchildren."

And what was the Democrats' strategy again for fighting the War on Terror? In their own words, "Engage people more!" I guess that includes foolishly thinking they can negotiate with radicals and aiding the enemy in their propaganda strategy.


Tony Snow also gave some remarks yesterday during the press conference and he got into a little tussle with David Gregory. As I've pointed out before David Gregory likes getting attention during press conferences even if its negative attention. And apparently this time he didn't like being called on spouting Democratic talking points by Tony Snow. Editor & Publisher describe some of the exchange in this excerpt:
A not especially eventful press briefing at the White House today turned rancorous with NBC's David Gregory telling Press Secretary Tony Snow, "Don't point your finger at me," and Snow accusing the newsman of being "rude" and delivering Democratic talking points.

Earlier, speaking to reporters, Snow, continuing the administration's media focus on the war on terror, accused "some in the Democratic Party" of saying "we shouldn't fight the war" and "we shouldn't apprehend al-Qaeda" or even "question al-Qaeda."

Snow got into a tussle with Gregory after the NBC journalist told him, in a lengthy remark, that the public may wonder why the president's statement and report today on the war on terror did not admit more failings on the administration's part. Snow observed that he had nicely summarized "the Democratic point of view," and Gregory took exception to this.

You have just have to love this. Do you not remember my excitement over Tony Snow being the new press secretary? He has yet to disappoint me and has even exceeded my expectations. You go Tony!!

Also, Tony gave some remarks during the press conference. Here is an excerpt of his excellent comments: (He seems to be backing up points made by Ann Coulter and reiterated by me, and its great to see.)

"There have been some in the Democratic Party who have argued against the Patriot Act, against the terror surveillance program, against Guantanamo. In other words, there are some people who say that we shouldn't fight the war, we should not detain -- we shouldn't apprehend al Qaeda, we shouldn't detain al Qaeda, we shouldn't question al Qaeda, and we shouldn't listen to al Qaeda. In other words, they're all for winning the war on terror, but they're all against -- they're against providing the tools for winning that war.

"And we think it's a perfect opportunity for Democratic leaders to say, no, we are serious about winning the war. We have now reiterated some of the basic precepts of administration policy and also the policy put together by generals over the months of the engagement in Iraq. And we look forward to working with members of Congress to figure out how best to prevent terrorists from coming here, but, more importantly, how to defeat terrorism.

"Finally, one other point, which is, there is a reiteration of a call to replace or have Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stand down. The President strongly supports the Defense Secretary. It's not going to happen. Creating Don Rumsfeld as a boogeyman may make for good politics, but would make for a lousy strategy at this time. And, furthermore, if you listen to the speech that Secretary Rumsfeld gave last week, it was not only thoughtful, but comprehensive about trying to frame the ongoing war against terror, and also the war going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"So this, again, is something that the President would love to see members of both Houses of Congress returning to that sense of cooperation we had after September 11th, where the real goal was not to try to hand out pink slips at the Pentagon, but instead to win the war on terror in a way that is going to make not only America safer, but also the rest of the world safer so that democracy can take firm root throughout the globe."

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