Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001 -- and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 180 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan.and
We're acting, along with the governments from many countries, to destroy the terrorist networks and incapacitate their leaders. Together, we've killed or captured nearly all of those directly responsible for the September the 11th attacks; as well as some of bin Laden's most senior deputies; al Qaeda managers and operatives in more than 24 countries; the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, who was chief of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf; the mastermind of the Jakarta and the first Bali bombings; a senior Zarqawi terrorist planner, who was planning attacks in Turkey; and many of al Qaeda's senior leaders in Saudi Arabia.and
Some observers also claim that America would be better off by cutting our losses and leaving Iraq now. This is a dangerous illusion, refuted with a simple question: Would the United States and other free nations be more safe, or less safe, with Zarqawi and bin Laden in control of Iraq, its people, and its resources? Having removed a dictator who hated free peoples, we will not stand by as a new set of killers, dedicated to the destruction of our own country, seizes control of Iraq by violence.While anyone who has read this blog for the past few days can clearly see that I am frustrated with President Bush and his domestic agenda, I want to make it perfectly clear that I stand firmly behind him with regard to his foreign policy, his clear appreciation of the dangers that we face, and his steadfastness to stay the course to confront the Islamo-fascists now rather than to pass this problem on to successive generations.
There's always a temptation, in the middle of a long struggle, to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the world, and to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder. This would be a pleasant world, but it's not the world we live in. The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday's brutality. This enemy considers every retreat of the civilized world as an invitation to greater violence. In Iraq, there is no peace without victory. We will keep our nerve and we will win that victory. (Applause.)
There was no waiver in his voice during this speech. One could tell by his focus and his tone that he truly believed in what he was saying. This was the President Bush that we worked so diligently to get elected to Office. This is the President Bush that does not waver in his committment to stand up against the forces that would do us harm.
If he displayed half of the backbone in confronting the Left with regard to domestic agenda issues as he has in standing up to Al Qaeda, History will have truly shown him to be a president deserving of Rushmore status.
It is my opinion that it is still not too late in Bush's presidency to have that happen.