Words I Wish to Hear from Bush
The South of Iraq has suffered from a triple car-bomb attack, killing many. In all likelihood we will soon have evidence that the perpetrator is Iran. Bill Roggio at the LongWar Journal thinks so. Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club agrees.
If we find the smoking gun, there will still be nothing we can do, but there are many things we can say. I have given up hoping for George Bush to become a Great Communicator, but if I could put words in his mouth, here is what I would have him say when the time comes.
Bush Address I Hope to Hear -- to the Nation Concerning Iraq and Iran
Fellow citizens, I'm addressing the nation today in order to share with you some of my concerns, concerns that will naturally be inherited by the next administration. I have spoken before about the need to defend ourselves, not when the danger is before us, but well before a threat becomes imminent. That remains the policy of this administration. It is, unfortunately, not an easy task to understand such threats, and it is not always clear what we should do about such threats when they become known. Uncertainty bedevils us. The various intelligence groups that struggle every day with the need to interpret clues and information gathered throughout the world often disagree with one another and advocate contrary course of action. I, as President, must sometimes make hard decisions, as I, and Harry Truman before me, have told you before. The buck stops here.
But that is not the subject that I want to bring before you today. We have a case before us where the facts are clear, the data is certain, the perpetrator identified. No substantial questions arise in the minds of my advisors. A foreign entity has deliberately attacked, killing and wounding scores of men women and children. We were confused at first, but now we know who did it. But the reason I am discussing this issue today is that the people attacked were not US citizens. They were not Americans. They were not members of our armed services. The people that were killed and wounded were citizens of an ally of ours, the democratic state of Iraq. Forty lives were snuffed out in the the southern city of Amarah on December 13, at the marketplace – because of nothing they did – purposely, and without justification. We imagine, though we don't know for sure, that the intended purpose was to manipulate Iraqis into blaming someone other than those who are truly responsible. It's a common tactic in war and on the playground. The bully strikes someone from behind and then blames it on an innocent individual who has somehow fallen short in the eyes of the bully. It's a tactic that often works, but not in this case, because we know who did it.
The foreign aggressor responsible for this heinous act is, you might have guessed by now, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or rather its leaders, the Mullahs and President Ahmoud Amahdinejad. If this attack were made against the people of the United States of America, I would not be standing before you, asking that you understand my concerns. Knowing what we now know, I would be in the Situation Room, and we would be at war.
It was not against us. No Americans or American service members were killed or wounded. And I am not suggesting, certainly not hoping, that this will lead to war with Iran. The Iraqis do not have the luxury, at this point, of retaliation. And we will not do it for them -- at least not yet and not now. What I am doing is presenting the facts to you and asking you to think about them in the context of our ongoing struggle, our struggle against the evil practices of Terror. Consider what it is that we should be doing. Let us reflect. Let us reflect together about the weight and import of our actions since 9/11. Let us consider the evil that we face, the evil practice of unmitigated terror that we have seen emanating from certain fanatic groups in the Middle East.
In this particular case it is not some shadowy group hiding among the people, lurking in the dark. It is not a loose network of deranged extremists, citizens of nowhere, welcome nowhere. It is an identifiable nation, a coherent and powerful entity with all the resources that a state can muster. We have seen the hand revealed – that of a nation that is using terroristic violence as an extension of its foreign policy.
There are those who claim that we are no different. They point to incidents of misbehavior or mistaken behavior and claim that the US is the evil one. … At the beginning of my presidency I identified three nations as belonging to an Axis of Evil. … Do you believe I was wrong? Do the American people believe that America is truly the evil one? … There are many doubts in this world, because the world is a confusing place, but Americans know, deep down, that the central animating spirit of America is suffused with goodness.
I can't begin to tell you how many actions of goodness and valor have come to my attention since I have taken on the burden of this office. I know, and I believe you know too, that we are indeed an exceptional people, trying to do the right thing as best we can. We have many allies that support us in this effort in their various capacities, for which we are very grateful. Someday soon, sooner than you might imagine, Iraq will be among those who support the cause of justice and peace in this world, and it will be strong in the Spirit of Truth and Decency.
That transformation would not have been possible if we had not taken the necessary actions. And sadly, there are always necessary actions to contemplate. The consequences of our actions are these: The sorry state of Saddam has passed from this world, never to return. It has been replaced by a nation directed by honest freedom-loving people who are willing to fight for their freedom. I pledge, today, that we will continue to help the Iraqi people in whatever way we can, and in whatever way that we believe can serve the cause of Justice.
We have already done too much, some of you might say. The evil is too entrenched, the confusion too widespread. To you I say, we have done a good deed here – a hard one, to be sure – but a good deed nonetheless. And we will stand with the Iraqis as long as necessary, against all the cruel and devious forces of evil that confront them. Until one day, all of America can truly come home and stand under a banner that says, "Mission Accomplished!"
May God bless the United States of America and may God bless you all, and may God bless and defend the democratic nation of Iraq.