Wednesday, June 29, 2005

To "Stay The Course" Shouldn't You Have A Course To Begin With?

Like all committed athletes, we believe preparation is the key to superior performance. Unfortunately we prepared for the president's speech a little too intensely last night so our memory of what was actually said is a little foggy. Today, when our vision cleared, we went through the transcript and read what the president said, followed by what we thought we heard, until we became unable to think that is.

Thank you and good evening. I am pleased to visit Fort Bragg – “Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces.”

I like to come to places where people are sworn to protect me and there's miles of fences and lots of guys with guns between me and those people who try to sneak into my Town Hall meetings.

The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. This war reached our shores on September 11, 2001.

Ha! Second paragraph and I make my first 9/11 reference. Cheney though it would take me at least four.

The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent.

They think we all work for Halliburton.

This Nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy.

Provided that enemy is pretty weak and has a lot of oil. And isn't Saudi Arabia.

Our mission in Iraq is clear.

And because we've already accomplished it, I won't take the time to explain it to you again.

I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it?

Since the election is over, I don't have to answer, but let's just say Barbara and Jenna are not considering careers in the Armed Forces.

“The whole world is watching this war.” Bin Laden says it will end in “victory and glory or misery and humiliation.”

He's almost as good at stating the obvious as I am.

We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who behead civilian hostages and broadcast their atrocities for the world to see.

If only they would waterboard them, or do the fake electrode thing like we do they wouldn't be so hateful. And get the women involved. Makes the whole torture thing more homey.

The terrorists – both foreign and Iraqi – failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our Coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies.

Oh wait, they did do that. Not that we'll miss them eye talians that much anyway.

They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war.

Well, they're still working on that one.

They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq’s diverse population.

Except for the Sunni's of course, but Dick says they're just a bunch of doofuses who wouldn't welcome us as liberators anyway so who cares.

They failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large numbers with the police forces and the army.

Well, when your country's infrastructure has been bombed, your economy destroyed and your government blown away, it's not like the want ad section of the newspaper is that big, you know?

We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard.

Especially when as soon as we rebuild something we have to blow it up again.

We have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi Security Forces. We have made gains in both the number and quality of those forces.

Well, not so much the number, as they tend to run away when the shooting starts. And not so much the quality either because they can barely handle traffic control, but I have high hopes.

Today Iraqi Security Forces are at different levels of readiness.

Those levels range from totally useless to able to find the donut shop on their own.

Iraqi Army and Police are being trained by personnel from Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Romania, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

And if you don't think it's going to take time for the Iraqis to learn all those languages, well, you've got another think coming..

We are embedding Coalition “Transition Teams” inside Iraqi units. These teams are providing battlefield advice and assistance to Iraqi forces during combat operations.

In Viet Nam we called these "Advisors." Eventually we needed so many "Advisors" we had to start drafting them.

Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don’t you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them.

But Rummy assures me he has ordered them not to say that.

I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters – the sober judgment of our military leaders.

And I emphasize I want to keep these guys sober. I'm afraid if they got drunk they'd tell me what they really think.

Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Shia and Kurds were brutally oppressed – and the vast majority of Sunni Arabs were also denied their basic rights while senior regime officials enjoyed the privileges of unchecked power.

Sort of like what James Dobson would like to do here.

Many Sunnis who opposed the January elections are now taking part in the democratic process.

Of course their idea of taking part is to blow up a polling station, but we're working on that.

Before our Coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs.

Of course that didn't work on North Korea and Iran, but hey, no plan is perfect.

The terrorists do not understand America.

And neither do I. How in the heck did I get reelected anyway? I thought I'd really screwed the pooch with that WMD thing. Thank God for American Idol.

We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens – and Iraq is where they are making their stand.

Yeah. I know. Geography wasn't my strongest subject either.

The Department of Defense has set up a web site –

It's certainly less expensive than buying all that body armor, plus it's got neat graphics.

I thank our military families – the burden of war falls especially hard on you.

Well, actually the whole burden falls on you. Bet you wish you stayed in school now, don't you?

To those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces.

Unless you were thinking about living until you reach retirement age. And if you were, remember, there will be no social security for you.

Thank you. And may God bless America.

Because she's sure going to need it after I get done.

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