The current Atlantic magazine has an article predicting Bush won't get reelected, based on his supposed lies and omissions about the war. My response:
Jack Beatty (The One-Term Tradition, Sept 03) described a speech he wished George W. Bush had given before the Iraq war. Bush did say everything in that speech. I’ve pulled together quotes from three of Bush’s speeches and matched them to Beatty’s script. The Beatty quotes are marked [JB]. The Bush quotes are marked [UN] for the 9/12/03 speech at the United Nations (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-1.html), [SotU] for the 2003 State of the Union (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html), and [AEI] for the 2/26/03 speech at the American Enterprise Institute (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030226-11.html).
[JB] We don’t know whether Saddam has WMD, but we think he does.
[UN] We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime's good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.
[JB] We are pretty sure he has no current ties to Al Qaeda
[UN] al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq
[JB] We know he had nothing to do with 9/11
[UN] Iraq's government openly praised the attacks of September the 11th
[JB] But we must put American lives at risk and kill Iraqi soldiers and civilians, possibly in great numbers, and
[SotU] Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a President can make. The technologies of war have changed; the risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This nation fights reluctantly, because we know the cost and we dread the days of mourning that always come.
[JB] we must spend billions occupying and rebuilding Iraq after Saddam is gone,
[AEI] Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more. America has made and kept this kind of commitment before -- in the peace that followed a world war. After defeating enemies, we did not leave behind occupying armies, we left constitutions and parliaments. We established an atmosphere of safety, in which responsible, reform-minded local leaders could build lasting institutions of freedom. In societies that once bred fascism and militarism, liberty found a permanent home.
[JB] in order to make Iraq a democracy and unleash a tsunami of democracy across the Arab world
[UN] If we meet our responsibilities, if we overcome this danger, we can arrive at a very different future. The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity. They can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world. These nations can show by their example that honest government, and respect for women, and the great Islamic tradition of learning can triumph in the Middle East and beyond.
[JB] which in the long run is our best defense against Islamic terrorism
[UN] Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest, and open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq.
Bush said everything that Beatty wanted said before the invasion of Iraq. He convinced Congress to support it. He convinced the nations of the coalition to participate in it. He convinced me and many other Americans that this is the right thing to do. Spreading freedom will end terrorism and make both sides better off. This is something worth sacrificing for.