The Pres’ words
: He’s no Tony Blair, but Bush had strong words tonight on Iraq:
America’s commitment to freedom in Iraq is consistent with our ideals and required by our interests. Iraq will either be a peaceful, democratic country or it will again be a source of violence, a haven for terror and a threat to America and to the world….
As I have said to those who have lost loved ones, we will finish the work of the fallen.
America’s armed forces are performing brilliantly, with all the skill and honor we expect of them. We’re constantly reviewing their needs. Troop strength now and in the future is determined by the situation on the ground. If additional forces are needed, I will send them. If additional resources are needed, we will provide them….
Now is the time, and Iraq is the place, in which the enemies of the civilized world are testing the will of the civilized world. We must not waver….
Yet, in this conflict, there is no safe alternative to resolute action. The consequences of failure in Iraq would be unthinkable.
Every friend of America in Iraq would be betrayed to prison and murder, as a new tyranny arose. Every enemy of America in the world would celebrate, proclaiming our weakness and decadence, and using that victory to recruit a new generation of killers.
We will succeed in Iraq.
Good speechwriter. Things didn’t stay quite so stentorian when the Q&A began, of course.
: WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Fred Wilson fisks the Pres.