In other words

The president speaks on the "emergency" war spending bill.


Tim Grieve
April 10, 2007 7:17PM (UTC)

From the Congressional Quarterly transcript of George W. Bush's talk today at an American Legion post in Fairfax, Va.:

"This is a -- this is an unusual era in which we live, defined on September the 11th, 2001. See, that's a date that reminding us the world has changed significantly from what we thought the world was ... My attitude about the world changed, and I know the attitude about the world from a lot of folks here in America's attitude changed ...

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"I vowed that day that we would go on the offense against an enemy, that the best way to defeat this enemy is to find them overseas and bring them to justice so they will not hurt the folks here at home. In other words, we don't have the luxury of hoping for the best, of sitting back and being passive in the face of this threat. In the past, we would say oceans would protect us and, therefore, what happened overseas may not matter here at home.

"That's what changed on September the 11th. What happens overseas affects the security of the United States ...

"I vowed that, 'If you harbor a terrorist, you're equally as guilty as the terrorist.' That's a doctrine.

"In order for this country to be credible, when the president says something, he must mean it. I meant it. And the Taliban found out that we meant what we said. And therefore, we ended al-Qaida's safe haven in a failed state.

"The two points I want to make is, doctrine matters; and secondly, a failed state can lead to severe consequences for the American people ...

"In other words, there was reprisal ...

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"In other words, the lack of security would have created an opportunity for extremists to move in ...

"In other words, in sending troops in, it is -- I recognize that this is more than a military mission ...

"In other words, this operation is just getting started ...

"In other words, part of the effort is not only to provide security to neighborhoods, but we're constantly training Iraqis so that they can do this job ...

"So, in other words, it's a combination of providing security in neighborhoods through these joint security stations, and training ...

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"I'm always amazed at the men and women who wear our uniform. Last week, before I went down to Crawford -- for a snowy Easter, I might add -- I was in California at Fort Irwin. And I had a chance to visit with some who had just come back from Iraq and some who were going over to Iraq. And it just amazes me that these young men and women know the stakes. They understand what we're doing. And they have volunteered to serve.

"We're really a remarkable country and a remarkable military. And therefore we owe it to the families and to those who wear the uniform to make sure that this remarkable group of men and women are strongly supported -- strongly supported, by the way, during their time in uniform and then after their time in uniform through the Veterans Administration.

"I tried to put this war into a historical context for them. In other words, I told them that they're laying the foundation of peace. In other words, the work we're doing today really will yield peace for a generation to come."

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Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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