Fresh from the White House Press Secretary’s office:

On keeping us safe here at home:

In Iraq, an ally of the United States is fighting for its survival. Terrorists and extremists who are at war with us around the world are seeking to topple Iraq’s government, dominate the region, and attack us here at home.

This ally has placed its trust in the United States. And tonight, our moral and strategic imperatives are one: We must help Iraq defeat those who threaten its future – and also threaten ours.

On the success of the surge:

The premise of our strategy is that securing the Iraqi population is the foundation for all other progress… The goal of the surge is to provide that security – and to help prepare Iraqi forces to maintain it. As I will explain tonight, our success in meeting these objectives now allows us to begin bringing some of our troops home.

On political progress:

Now the Iraqi government must bring the same determination to achieving reconciliation. This is an enormous undertaking after more than three decades of tyranny and division. The government has not met its own legislative benchmarks – and in my meetings with Iraqi leaders, I have made it clear that they must.

Yet Iraq’s national leaders are getting some things done. For example, they have passed a budget. They are sharing oil revenues with the provinces… And local reconciliation is taking place. The key now is to link this progress in the provinces to progress in Baghdad. As local politics change, so will national politics.

On the principle of “Return on Success”:

The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is “return on success.” The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home. And in all we do, I will ensure that our commanders on the ground have the troops and flexibility they need to defeat the enemy.

On coming together as a Nation to support this mission:

Americans want our country to be safe, and our troops to begin coming home from Iraq. Yet those of us who believe success in Iraq is essential to our security, and those who believe we should bring our troops home, have been at odds. Now, because of the measure of success we are seeing in Iraq, we can begin seeing troops come home.

The way forward I have described tonight makes it possible, for the first time in years, for people who have been on opposite sides of this difficult debate to come together.

On an enduring relationship with Iraq that requires many fewer American troops:

This vision for a reduced American presence also has the support of Iraqi leaders from all communities. At the same time, they understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic, and security engagement that extends beyond my Presidency. These Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America. And we are ready to begin building that relationship – in a way that protects our interests in the region and requires many fewer American troops.

On why we must succeed:

The success of a free Iraq is critical to the security of the United States.
Realizing this vision will be difficult – but it is achievable. Our military commanders believe we can succeed. Our diplomats believe we can succeed. And for the safety of future generations of Americans, we must succeed.

Whatever political party you belong to, whatever your position on Iraq, we should be able to agree that America has a vital interest in preventing chaos and providing hope in the Middle East. We should be able to agree that we must defeat al Qaeda, counter Iran, help the Afghan government, work for peace in the Holy Land, and strengthen our military so we can prevail in the struggle against terrorists and extremists.

So tonight I want to speak to Members of the United States Congress: Let us come together on a policy of strength in the Middle East. I thank you for providing crucial funds and resources for our military. And I ask you to join me in supporting the recommendations General Petraeus has made, and the troop levels he has asked for.

On the gains we are making in Iraq:

Some say the gains we are making in Iraq come too late. They are mistaken. It is never too late to deal a blow to al Qaeda. It is never too late to advance freedom. And it is never too late to support our troops in a fight they can win.



7 Comments

  1. Dr BLT

    After hearing the President’s speech, I acknowledge that he may have been putting the best boots forward concerning the magnitude and significance of recent ostensible successes in Iraq.

    Still, I believe that there is now one boot better than the other, and one best foot that can be put forward, and this is a step in the right direction. Can we still win in Iraq. Well, as a blog n roller, of course my answer is contained in this original blog n roll Dr BLTune:

    Let’s End the War (By Winning it)
    Dr BLT copyright 2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/LetsWIN2C.mp3

  2. James H. Allen

    IRAQ WAR-POSITION PAPAER
    As kids, we learn very early on in school and at home that we are to be obedient and never to question “God, Our Country, or Family.” We have been taught to believe that these three entities are too be trusted above all else. Indeed, it should be so, but alas, in today’s tumultuous times, we cannot rely on past paradigms, but we must now, if not challenge, at least look at each situation on a case-by-case basis and to become independent thinkers.

    I believe that if we think of the War in Iraq in the following medical terms-we can provide more Americans a better understanding of our dilemma in Iraq.

    Our invasion of Iraq is identical to a severe cut or bruise that we get when we fall down and injure ourselves. The surface area around that bruise will immediately go into a defensive mode, ensuring that no germs enter the area and our body will begin repairing the damage done. If the condition is more severe than that area can handle, other parts of our body, fluids, etc will begin assisting that area of need. If the situation worsens, and there is an invasion of germs and other microorganisms, parts of our body may even shut down, so that greater attention can be given to the battle between keeping our body healthy and the sickness that may occur.

    WE-as INVADERS, are the infestation to the BODY-IRAQ. Sure, we may use our military might to convince ourselves that we can win this WAR. But they (Iraqis) will and are prepared to die, before allowing invaders to come to their land and change their way of life. It is as it should be, it is a foundational principle. When our body goes into defense mode, ALL functions of our body, to the extent necessary, will work as ONE to contend with the invasion of microorganisms. Until ALL germs are eliminated or until death, will the body continue to fight. Such is life; such is the way of MAN.

    This present situation and our (American’s) arrogance can only be defined as a Pyrrhic affair (A victory achieved at great or excessive cost; a ruinous victory). It is as if we have a “WIN AT ALL COST” philosophy. However, those who are making these decisions are not the ones willing to put their own, or their love one’s life on the line. They are anxious and more than willing to send our young men and women who have not yet gain the experience of life, those who are looking to seek their own independence and moreover, those who do not understand the subliminal messages that are conveyed through the media that would make them want to prove themselves on the field of battle, to fight in a war that was doomed to fail before it began.

    We should revisit our selected President’s speech and declare victory as he expressed, “Mission Accomplished”. In his own famous words, “All major military operations will now cease.” Declare victory and leave! IN ADDITION, we must also appropriate funding to THEIR (IRAQIS) contractors to rebuild THEIR own cities in THEIR own way. AGAIN, if we use OUR contractors to do the job, the people will rebel. Is it possible for germs to assist in the repair of the body? I think NOT! Germs do not take ANY part in the rebuilding of the body. The body does all the work-gladly. However they decide to use the money, it is up to THEM – NOT US.

    I express this opinion not to degrade any efforts of goodwill that America has attempted to express. I certainly value the contributions that our armed forces have given. Nevertheless, it is unfair to continue further down a path of destruction without being true to the principles of ethics and the fundamental laws of nature. Bring the troops home!

  3. Bethany

    My fiance is deployed in Iraq right now and all I want is him to be home. I hate having him in constant danger and if this C average daddy’s boy hadn’t have needed to prove himself then he wouldn’t need to be gone.

  4. Porcelain

    “IRAQ”
    America is most often thought of as the world’s police officer. We are constantly in everyone else’s affairs and, in turn, we are ignoring our own.
    This war has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, both American and Iraqi, a failed peace initiative, and ‘distraction from war on terrorism,’ amoung other priorities. What little we have accomplished over in Iraq cannot constitute for what we have lost.
    I believe we should pull our troops from Iraq and let them settle their own disputes. Only then should we return unpon the call for help.

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