Nov 30, 2005

Here, Mr. President, Can You Speak These Words?

A Speech President Bush Should Have Delivered, but, he Lacks the Sense & Sensibility to Do it

On November 30th, 2005, President Bush delivered a speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, about his war policy under a banner, "Plan For Victory". Remember the other banner, "Mission Accomplished"... Back then, while riding high, he told us that "major combat operations have ended" in Iraq! Ah, well, to use a bushism, "fooled me once...I can't get fooled again!" Whatever.

Here's a speech I drafted for a president who would speak from the heart, if he had one, and would face reality, if he had the guts....

>>>
As I stand here today, in the Naval Academy, I see before me young men and women who represent the armed forces of this nation, and who have, in essence, pledged their lives to defend our country. I stand here as your Commander-in-Chief, yet I do understand that this title bestows me with a huge responsibility, not only toward you but also toward the United States of America. I have to make difficult decisions, but I will never commit our most precious resources, our blood, sweat and tears, without our country being in grave danger and before I carefully weigh the consequences of such an action. I will never lie to you and I will never ask you to make any sacrifice that I, myself, wouldn't be willing to make.


In the past, our leaders have made many serious mistakes at great cost and serious injury to our country. Wisdom often comes at a high price, but it is available only to those willing and able to handle the truth and use their minds. We, as responsible citizens, must know our history and learn from our past mistakes. As individuals, we have to be strong, admit it when we are wrong, and we can take corrective action when necessary. Being stubborn in the face of overwhelming evidence that clearly shows we've taken the wrong path, is not a very smart thing to do. You are being trained to be leaders which means you can adapt to the rapidly changing circumstances on the battlefield, maintain a cool head, and be open-minded to the facts--even if the facts contradict your original views. A good leader is a responsible leader and one who sees beyond his own interests and can overcome his shortcomings.

When our country must sacrifice, I will do my best to see that this burden is widely shared and not placed on the shoulders of the least privileged of our society. I will not allow such a situation to become a way to transfer more wealth to the few, especially when this would result in mortgaging the future of the many. If sacrifice we must, then the pain must be more equitably distributed. It's only fair. Patriotism isn't defined by big talk & long speeches, waving of the flag, and saluting the veterans. A true patriot doesn't remain indifferent on the sidelines when his country is at risk or when blood is being shed, nor does he cares only how to make a profit from the war while his corporation sets up its headquarters overseas to avoid paying taxes.

I know that many of you chose a military career because of the benefits offered by the military: the professional training & the skills, the healthcare benefits, the signing bonuses, etc. I realize that for many of you the military offers opportunities not available to you otherwise. I'm not trying to devalue your commitment to and your love for the country. On the contrary! You all have families, friends, neighbors, our democracy, and our way of life to defend. We are very much indebted to you. I have instructed our recruiters never to lie to you, no false pretenses and promises. And, when you sign up, you should know that your country will never let you down.

Without you, the rest of us wouldn't be able to survive in a hostile world. So, again, we thank you for your commitment, and I promise you to do whatever I can to give you all the necessary means to perform your job. I won't send you into combat without the proper equipment and training. I won't lie to you about our objectives and the reasons for placing you in harm's way. There will be casualties--that's a dire consequence of war. But, I will make sure that all of our injured personnel will get the best medical treatment and their health benefits will never be reduced. The same goes for the families of those killed in action. It's the least we can do for the ultimate sacrifice that so many fighting men & women have done for us.

Yet, a war should be the last resort. We are a powerful country but our strength hasn't relied only on the might of our armed forces. Our strength derives from the strength of the American character, our freedom & tolerance, our diversity, our technology, our culture, our scientific progress, and our democratic way of life. The American experience and the reality of the frontier, even the violent struggles for civil rights, the many peoples who came to our shores to pursue their dreams of a better life... All these, I believe, made us good people, not perfect but always improving. That's progress. We can't turn back! We've endured many trials and tribulations, but like the Revolutionary soldiers at Valley Forge, we marched ahead and blazed our own trails... and we became the envy of the world. We made mistakes aplenty, like every other nation. We accept the responsibility with the promise to look forward with the urgency to keep building a better world for us, and for our children. We should remain the leaders not by military power alone but because we command respect for our worthwhile achievements and the values for which we stand.

The United States does not stand for torture. We are part of the civilized international community that abhors torture and inhumane treatment. We believe that there are certain inalienable rights every person is entitled to, a common sense of human decency that should be universally applied. We strive to be better than our enemies because we recognize the value in every human life, and that we lead by example. We cannot fight intolerance by being intolerant ourselves. We cannot fight terrorism, ignorance and extreme prejudice by exhibiting the worst traits possible. No high value or noble goal can be defended by employing de-humanizing ways and means.

I hope that by the time the freshman class graduates this academy, the United States will not have to use its armies in war but rather as a powerful deterrence. You will be America's ambassadors to the world as we'll help make and maintain the peace. You can help show that although we're very strong we choose not to use violence unless we have no other credible option. Our enemies won't go away any time soon but nor will our resolve to defend ourselves and all those who fight for democracy, human rights and peace. And, our foreign policy will reflect our commitment to those values. United with our friends & allies we can demonstrate to the world that there is much to be gained in prosperity and personal fulfillment by working together.

Finally, I want to call upon all the good citizens of the world to join the United States in committing to the effort of bettering the lives of the less privileged among us. If we are to fight, let's fight extreme poverty, let's fight the diseases that kill & maim millions of humans every day, let's introduce peace to those who see war as a perpetual state, let's give real hope to those who need it most.
Thank you, and let's get to work. Let's excel in everything we do. I expect no less from my fellow Americans. I know our United States can do a lot more. And we will.

<<<

Bush's audience at the Naval Academy

Sadly, a speech like this is not something that can be delivered by G. W. Bush or his clique. They lack the sense and sensibilities. Their views of the world are rather small and their horizon is unbelievably microscopic. In line with Newspeak, this is an example what our Caesar is capable of, a blend of Newspeak and bushisms:

"I just want to you know that when we talk about war, we're talking about peace.."
President G W Bush, Washington D.C., June 18, 2002.

Why, did you expect anything better? I didn't think so.

30 comments:

Alanis said...

Man, I don't know if you are a speech writer or whatever, I know that Bush would never, ever deliver a speech like this. Especially if he meant what he said. No way. He and his friends live in a different universe. I honestly think that he doesn't see the big picture... It's not uncommon for the bullshitters to believe their own BS.
Great post!

Anonymous said...

How can they world believe the US, when the Vice President, Dick Cheney, goes to the Congress and asks for exemptions for torturing certain "high value" prisoners?

anderson said...

I saw Richard Clark tonight on Charlie Rose (PBS) and he said that the CIA leaked that there are holding (and possibly torture) facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. The CIA knows, Clark said, that torture is of no value, because it is not a reliable source of good information.

Nautilus said...

I don't know who are the people Bush is talking to? I'm not kidding. Who's left that believes him? Does he hope for a reversal in public opinion?

Andros said...

I don't think he tries to talk but to his hard-core supporters. He's lost the independents (and the Dems long time ago).

As long as his Iraq policy remains the same and casualties keep mounting, public opinion will never reverse regarding our involvement in this ill-conceived war. Finally, a majority of Americans believe that Bushco misled the country into war.

On the other hand, we have too many Americans who are rather clueless, incompetent, apathetic, ignorant, and bigoted.
Can you believe that 18% don't know the US is at war in Iraq?!!!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bush is trying to declare victory and then leave Iraq

Tequila Joe said...

Nope, his strategy has not changed. It's a mess.

Besides, don't forget: The US will not just leave. What will happen to the special interests? The Haliburtons, etc? All this oil, all those contracts for reconstruction.....

No way!

Geeshus said...

I agree. I don't think this Bushco cares about the Iraqis.. .and about exporting democracy over there... especially now when they realize that Iranian influence is so strong that a theocratic (horrors, not a Christian one) regime is possible in Iraq!

anon said...

well, guys, so enough with criticism.. we all know they screwed up... what now? what are the solutions... because just complaining won't change things

Anne said...

of course we can criticize... We won't stop until these bastards leave office! And, next year, the Dems should gain either the House or the Senate or both, so we can investigate. And to pressure for change. It's is a disaster. We must leave soon (like 6 months to a year--max). And we should tell the world we're leaving.

I saw Clark on PBS today too and he said that 90% of those fighting Americans there are Iraqis. They will stop once we leave. It won't be prettty but we aren't making things better by staying over there.

Andros said...

I think we should set a time table for complete withdrawal. Then we have to involve the regional powers and the international community.

Since Iraq has always been an artificial country thanks to imperialism/colonialism, I think that the best solution would be 3 autonomous regions, the Kurds (20%), the Shiites (60%) and the Sunnis (20%).

Julia loves Winston said...

I liked your draft speech. Very inspiring. I don't know if it's because I want to vomit when Bush speaks, but I found his speech at the Naval Academy trite and rather pointless.

Did you guys notice how fast he mentioned 9-11?!! It took like 30 seconds into his drivel...

Ah, well, this plan for victory is made by INSOG... Oceania is marching against the evil forces of Eurasia.

Rumbux said...

Ha, it seems that several of us here are familiar with Orwell's "1984"! Yes, wasn't Big Brother's Newspeak that "War is Peace" and "Freedom is slavery" and probably this one, a Bush favorite, "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH"!!!!!

Thanks for a great post.

Andros said...

It shows that Orwell has been relevant since he wrote "1984" and "Animal Farm" (and his other works of course).

Recently, I showed the movie "1984" in class (I teach Poli.Sci.--one of the hats I wear) and we had a lively discussion afterward. Many find it unbelievable that "1984" has happened, and is happening today--North Korea as a perfect example of a totalitarian state. But, we don't have to be a country like that to feel the creeping effects of 1984...

Brickel said...

I think 1984 should be required reading in class, in high school and college.

As for history, we have a short memory span and we tend to repeat mistakes of the past. In so many ways, Iraq is so similar to Vietnam.

Both started on false pretences and falsified evidence. Remember the Tonkin Gulf incidents? And, then Congress giving the authority to the prez to do "whatever it takes" to ..defend the country?!!!

"Mushroom clouds," "imminent danger," WMDs, Osama, AlQueda, etc., etc....


Tsk, tsk

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Andros said...

Please, don't post if you don't have anything to contribute to the discussion. No need to be hostile either. Good manners are also expected here.

Sometimes in the past, I've turned off the comments section because I don't have the time to screen and delete the stupid comments. You don't have to agree with the posted essays, the comments, or the blog's political & ideological tilt, but let's keep it civilized here. This is a private blog, not a public forum where any ignoramus can post absurdities.

Thank you.

Andros


PS>As my work load dictates, sometimes the comments section won't be available since I don't have the time to check this section often enough.

Tracy said...

Right on. I admit I don't often read the comments section, but when I do I expect something interesting not a total waste of time.... I guess there are too many people out there with nothing better to do than to show off their stupidity by posting stupid comments.


As for Bush's speech, I think he tries to declare victory in Iraq and possibly a way out. Though, I still don't think he's serious about a withdrawal any time soon. He has to save face too. Sometimes stubbornly repeating a mantra you may convince people you have a valid point.

Samantha said...

I heard that the administration has to think about the troop levels in Iraq because coming this spring they won't have enough troops, unless they extend the tour of duty for many "back-drafted" soldiers for the third time... This is going to be very unpopular to say the least.

Kris said...

I still try to figure out why we went to Iraq... I mean, I try to decipher the actual reasons.

I think the oil factor is big. For America's needs and for the oil industry's profit. I'm not sure that Bush didn't believe his own deception about Saddam and AlQueda, and WMDs.

Andros said...

I also think that being a "war president" was an important factor in Bush's strategy to rally the country after 9-11, and eventually to be re-elected. The politics of fear work well for those in power. When people are afraid, regardless of valid reasons, they tend to follow the leader and not ask too many questions.

We can't decipher all the factors right now, but in a sense this is not all that important. The motives matter, but we have to examine the leaders' integrity and their abilities. Who can honestly argue that the Iraq war hasn't been a huge disaster. That's incompetence and gross negligence in my book. And, an extremely costly one too.

Kelly said...

Mmmm,I think I agree. Wasn't the former Bush Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neil, who said that he heard talk of getting rid of Saddam during the first cabinet meeting back in Jan. 2001, well before 9-11?!!!

KGS said...

Of course, there is no doubt about the incompetence of the Bush White House, as well as their failure to properly pay attention to the AlQueda threat. R. Clark has said that. The 911 Commission has concluded that.

The neo-cons, the chicken hawks of the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc, all wanted to show America's power in by force in the Middle East.

The other automaton, Condie Rice, is totally incompetent. And, the great General, Collin Powell, didn't have the guts to stand up to the absurdities of the evidence Bush was trying to sell to the country and the world.

Andros said...

yeap, and Powell didn't even follow the principles of his own "doctrine"....

Having seen US's failure in Vietnam, he thought that the US should follow certain guidlines before going to war, some of which are:
1. Clear objective
2. Bring overwhelming force to achieve your goals
3. Have the support of the country behind you before you go to war
4. Have a clear exit strategy

Powell couldn't convince the chicken hawks and like a good soldier blindly obeyed his commander in chief. But, I think, there are instances that, especially when you're the Sec. of State, you have to stand up and defend your principle, not allow your country to commit a horrible mistake. He didn't do that. I wonder how he felt when he had to go infront of the UN with drawings and charts (instead of actual photos) to sell the war on falsified evidence....

At any rate, Bush & Co. failed in all 4 of the above.......

RC in NYC said...

it's a tragedy......
like you said, they ask for sacrifices that they themselves aren't willing to make...

and the burden of this war is placed on the middle class and the poor... the already wealthy and the big fat corporations are not making any sacrifice but huge profits instead!

Midi said...

Excuse me, but can you remove this picture? I'm one of those snoozing while the prez was talking. I'm afraid I'll get in trouble!

But, it was good, not only we missed class, but we got to nap too!

Hope his speech isn't going to be in the final exam....

Anonymous said...

Bush sounds like a broken record...

Anonymous said...

I miss you, dear one. And, I hope you are happy.

Anonymous said...

I miss you, dear heart. And, I hope you are happy.