(President Bush, speaking at a press conference August 21st, 2006)
My fellow Americans, and citizens of the blue states: Many Democrats want to leave Iraq before the job is done. They just want to say "Mission Accomplished" and walk away like they dont have a responsibility to finish what I started. Im the President. Im the Decider. I say when we go to war, and you say, "How high?!" I say when were done going to war, and you say, "Whens that, sir?!"
Well, I dont know when that is. I cant tell you exactly when its going to be done. But I can tell you this: Its not going to be on my watch.
Its gonna be on the next Presidents watch. Or the one after that. Or whenever you decide its time to go and elect one of these Democrats or, God forbid, one of these Republicans who dont look at foreign policy the way I do. So think about that. This War will be over in a heartbeat, the minute you make the mistake of electing someone who doesnt care as much as I do about staying the course in Iraq.
But that doesnt mean you should vote against staying the course in Iraq. Not at all. Especially, in the upcoming midterm elections. That would be a huge mistake. Far worse than the one where we invaded Iraq in the first place. Because the invasion of Iraq was unavoidable. But your vote is not. You dont have to make the mistake of going into a voting booth and choosing the candidate you think is right, instead of who your commander-in-chief tells you is right.
If you truly believe that you want our soldiers to come home safe from Iraq, and the sooner the better, you should vote against anyone who wants to do that. And I will tell you why. Because if we ever give up the desire to help people who dont want our help, we will have lost our soul as a nation, as far as Im concerned. And when that happens, and we lose our soul, then every single American in America will burn in hell. And I dont think anybody wants that. Except the Democrats.
I know some of you are not happy with the job Im doing. Well, Im happy to tell you that War is not a time of joy. So youre in a good place right now. These are challenging times, and theyre difficult times. And theyre straining the psyche of our country, I understand that. And Im doing everything in my power to make it more challenging, and more difficult.
You know, nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists. Thats why Im trying to make sure that when you turn on your TV, youll see Americans doing the havoc for a change. And thats a whole lot better.
I agree with General Abizaid who said that if we leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here. But if we stay the course and finish the mission, then the terrorists will follow us here, and well have a mission under our belts. We may even get a medal for this. Wouldnt that be nice? Think how much safer youll feel fighting terrorists in your own back yard with a medal on your chest that you can point to and say, "Mission Accomplished! Now bring it on!"
There are Democrats and world leaders, who think they have better ideas for spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East than you and I do, and these differences of opinion make for an interesting debate. Theres a lot of good decent people saying "Withdraw now." Well, theyre absolutely wrong. End of debate. Wasnt that interesting? And by the way, they are not good people, and I dont consider them decent, either. But I will not question the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with me and wants to cut and run. I believe that many of these traitors love their country very dearly. Some of them love their country every bit as much as those of us who are not cowards who have betrayed our troops during wartime by trying to bring them home before they have done their job. Or died trying. How dare they show their patriotism by trying to prevent our troops from dying for their country? How dare they?!
When I think of our troops overseas, under fire from insurgents and freedom-loving Iraqis, and under fire at home from freedom-of-speech loving patriots, it makes me proud. And I can think of only one thing to say: God Bless America.
"Straining the Psyche: An Interesting Debate"
George Bush: 2006 Midterms
Speechwriter: Jeff Goode, copyright © 2006