He froze then, and it's been down
hill since then
Today I'll discuss a critical aspect of this war -- the struggle between freedom and terror in the Middle East, including the battle in Iraq, which is the central front in our fight against terrorism.
Except Al Qaeda didn't exist in Iraq until the war started
To understand the struggle unfolding in the Middle East, we need to look at the recent history of the region. For a half century, America's primary goal in the Middle East was stability. This was understandable at the time. We were fighting the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and it was important to support Middle Eastern governments that rejected Communism. Yet, over the decades, an undercurrent of danger was rising in the Middle East. Much of the region was mired in stagnation and despair. A generation of young people grew up with little hope to improve their lives, and many fell under the sway of radical extremism.
And the corrupt governments which we funded and supported, like the Saudis and Egyptians, which coincidentally was where the 9/11 hijackers came from.
The terrorist movement multiplied in strength, and resentment that had simmered for years boiled over into violence across the world. Extremists in Iran seized American hostages. Hezbollah terrorists murdered American troops at the Marine Barracks in Beirut and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists set off a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. Al Qaeda blew up two U.S. embassies in East Africa and bombed the USS Cole. Then came the nightmare of September the 11th, 2001, when 19 hijackers killed nearly 3,000 men, women and children. In the space of a single morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage. We realized that years of pursuing stability to promote peace have left us with neither. Instead, the lack of freedom in the Middle East made the region an incubator for terrorist movements. The status quo in the Middle East before September the 11th was dangerous and unacceptable, so we're pursuing a new strategy.
Mostly because of our support of corrupt and brutal governments which spawned Al Qaeda
First, we are using every element of national power to confront al Qaeda, those who take inspiration from them and other terrorists who use similar tactics. We have ended the days of treating terrorism simply as a law enforcement matter. We will stay on the offense. We will fight the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here at home. (Cheers, applause.)
Yeah, I'm worried about the Mahdi militia and their Revolutionary Guard trainers popping up in midtown. Because that's who we're fighting.
Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists, you're an enemy of the United States and you will be held to account. (Applause.)
Unless you're Osama Bin Laden, then you can make recordings taunting the US
And third, we've launched a bold, new agenda to defeat the ideology of the enemy by supporting the forces of freedom in the Middle East and beyond. The Freedom Agenda is based upon our deepest ideals and our vital interests.
Like the Shia militia which kills people in hospitals and engages in death squad activity. They walked IN THE FUCKING HOSPITAL, FOUND THIS GUY, DRAGGED HIM OUT AND KILLED HIM IN THE HALLWAY,
Americans believe that every person of every religion on every continent has the right to determine his or her own destiny. We believe that freedom is a gift from an almighty God beyond any power on Earth to take away. (Cheers, applause.) And we also know by history and by logic that promoting democracy is the surest way to build security. Democracies don't attack each other or threaten the peace. Governments accountable to the voters focus on building roads and schools, not weapons of mass destruction. Young people who have a say in their future are less likely to search for meaning in extremism. Citizens who can join a peaceful political party are less likely to join a terrorist organization. Dissidents with the freedom to protest around the clock are less likely to blow themselves up during rush hour, and nations that commit to freedom for their people will not support terrorists; they will join us in defeating them. (Applause.)
Unless they do. And Iraq doesn't qualify since it is a collection of militias as government.
So America's committed its influence in the world to advancing freedom, and democracy is a great alternative to repression and radicalism. We will take the side of democratic leaders and reformers across the Middle East. We will support the voices of tolerance and moderation in the Muslim world. We stand with the mothers and fathers in every culture who want to see their children grow up in a caring and peaceful world. And by supporting the cause of freedom in a vital region, we will make our children and our grandchildren more secure. (Applause.)
You mean like the Saudi princes, Mubarak and the puppet government in Iraq? Like we did the Shah? No, we will ignore challenges to our allies whenever possible.
Over the past five years, we've begun to see the results of our actions, and we have seen how our enemies respond to the advance of liberty. In Afghanistan, we saw a vicious tyranny that harbored the terrorists who planned the September the 11th attacks. Within weeks, American forces were within Afghanistan. Along with Afghan allies, we captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. We closed down their training camps, and we helped the people of Afghanistan replace the Taliban with a democratic government that answers to them. (Applause.)
And now Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of heroin and the Taliban is killing people with suicide bombers. I wonder where they picked that up from.
Our enemies saw the transformation in Afghanistan, and they responded by trying to roll back all the progress. Al Qaeda and the Taliban lost a coveted base in Afghanistan, and they know they will never reclaim it when democracy succeeds. And so they're trying to return to power by attacking Afghanistan's free institutions, and they will fail. (Applause.) Forces from 40 nations, including every member of NATO, are now serving alongside American troops to support the new Afghan government. The days of the Taliban are over. The future of Afghanistan belongs to the people of Afghanistan, and the future of Afghanistan belongs to freedom. (Applause.)
Except that there is a desperate, if forgotten struggle in Afghanistan, while Osama still makes videos to taunt us.
In Lebanon, we saw a sovereign nation occupied by the Syrian dictatorship. We also saw the courageous people of Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. So we worked to enforce a United Nations resolution that required Syria to end its occupation of the country. The Syrians withdrew their armed forces, and the Lebanese people elected a democratic government that began to reclaim their country. Our enemies saw the transformation in Lebanon and set out to destabilize the young democracy. Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel that undermined the democrat government in Beirut. Yet, their brazen action caused the world to unite in support for Lebanon's democracy. Secretary Rice worked with the Security Council to pass Resolution 1701, which will strengthen Lebanese forces as they take control of southern Lebanon and stop Hezbollah from acting as a state within a state. I appreciate the troops pledged by France and Italy and other allies for this important international deployment. Together we're going to make it clear to the world that foreign forces and terrorists have no place in a free and democratic Lebanon. (Applause.)
Except that we allowed Israel to destroy much of Lebanon's infrastructure while they lost to Hezbollah in brutal fashion. Hezbollah was handing out $10K to ANYONE who lost a home. You think they didn't buy loyalty doing that?
At every stop along the way, our enemies have failed to break the courage of the Iraqi people. They have failed to stop the rise of Iraqi democracy, and they will fail in breaking the will of the American people. (Cheers, applause.) And now these enemies have launched a new effort. They have embarked on a bloody campaign of sectarian violence which they hope will plunge Iraq into a civil war. The outbreak of sectarian violence was encouraged by the terrorist Zarqawi, al Qaeda's man in Iraq, who called for an all-out war on Iraqi Shi'a. The Shi'a community resisted the impulse to seek revenge for a while. But after this February bombing of the Shi'a Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra, extremist groups mobilized and sectarian death squads formed on the streets of Baghdad and other areas. Our ambassador reports that thousands of Iraqis were murdered in Baghdad last month, and large numbers of them were victims of sectarian violence. This cruelty and carnage has led some to question whether Iraq has descended into civil war. Our commanders and our diplomats on the ground in Iraq believe that it's not the case. They report that only a small number of Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, while the overwhelming majority want peace and a normal life and a unified country. Iraqi leaders from all backgrounds remember the elections that brought them to power, in which 12 million Iraqis defied the car bombers and killers to reclaim, "We want to be free." (Applause.)
They drag people from the hospital and kill them. Mothers torture and kill the killers of their sons. Neighborhoods are armed camps, people have to hide that they work for the US. It's a charnel house. The elections put the militia leaders and their lackies in charge.