George Bush discusses Iraq 5 years after invasion
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
George W. Bush, the President of the United States delivered today a speech regarding Iraq and the "global war on terror." Bush claimed that the war in Iraq had been successful. He said that "removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision — and this is a fight America can and must win." The speech marked five years since the start of the Iraq War.
Bush said that "five years into this battle [the war in Iraq], there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it. The answers are clear to me: Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision — and this is a fight America can and must win." He continued saying that "The men and women who crossed into Iraq five years ago removed a tyrant, liberated a country, and rescued millions from unspeakable horrors. Some of those troops are with us today, and you need to know that the American people are proud of your accomplishment -- and so is the Commander in Chief." This was followed by applause from the audience.
Bush also praised the troops who worked in Iraq. He said that "operation Iraqi Freedom was a remarkable display of military effectiveness. Forces from the UK, Australia, Poland and other allies joined our troops in the initial operations. As they advanced, our troops fought their way through sand storms so intense that they blackened the daytime sky. Our troops engaged in pitched battles with the Fedayeen Saddam — death squads acting on the orders of Saddam Hussein that obeyed neither the conventions of war nor the dictates of conscience. These death squads hid in schools and they hid in hospitals, hoping to draw fire against Iraqi civilians. They used women and children as human shields. They stopped at nothing in their efforts to prevent us from prevailing — but they couldn't stop the coalition advance."
In the speech, the Iraqi elections were also mentioned. Bush said that "over the past five years, we have seen moments of triumph and moments of tragedy. We have watched in admiration as 12 million Iraqis defied the terrorists and went to the polls, and chose their leaders in free elections. We have watched in horror as al-Qaeda beheaded innocent captives, and sent suicide bombers to blow up mosques and markets. These actions show the brutal nature of the enemy in Iraq. And they serve as a grim reminder: The terrorists who murder the innocent in the streets of Baghdad want to murder the innocent in the streets of America. Defeating this enemy in Iraq will make it less likely that we'll face the enemy here at home."
Bush claimed success in Iraq when he said that "the successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable — yet some in Washington still call for retreat. War critics can no longer credibly argue that we're losing in Iraq — so now they argue the war costs too much. In recent months we've heard exaggerated estimates of the costs of this war. No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure — but those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq."
Bush concluded the speech by saying that "The best way we can honor them [the US troops] is by making sure that their sacrifice was not in vain. Five years ago tonight, I promised the American people that in the struggle ahead, we will accept no outcome but victory. Today, standing before men and women who helped liberate a nation, I reaffirm the commitment. The battle in Iraq is noble, it is necessary, and it is just. And with your courage, the battle in Iraq will end in victory. God bless."
- Press Release: George Bush. "President Bush Discusses Global War on Terror" — White House, March 19, 2008
- Matt Spetalnick. "Five years on, Bush says no regrets on Iraq war" — Canada.com, March 19, 2008