President Bush says Dem approach in Iraq is 'terrorists win and America loses'
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Monday October 30, 2006
Speaking on Monday afternoon at a rally held at Georgia Southern University to support Max Burn's bid for Congress, President Bush insisted that "the Democrat (sic) approach in Iraq comes down to this: the terrorists win and America loses."
While "the Democrat (sic) goal is to get out of Iraq," Bush told the crowd of supporters that "the Republican goal is to win in Iraq."
Bush maintained that he wasn't suggesting that "these Democrats are unpatriotic," just that "they're wrong."
The crowd roared "just say no," each time the president prodded it with the Democratic Party's "positions."
"For fighting the war on terror, the Democrats just follow a simple philosophy: just say no," Bush said. "When it comes to listening to the terrorists, what's the Democrats' answer? It's just say no. When it comes to detaining terrorists, what is the Democrats' answer? Just say no."
In response to the speech, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) issued the following terse statement: "Contrary to the president's intentions, Americans are just saying 'no' to his administration's no plan, no end approach to Iraq."
Excerpts from transcript of Bush's speech:
PRESIDENT BUSH: (Extended cheers, applause.) Thank you all. (Continued cheers, applause.) Thank you all. Thank you all very much. Thank you for the warm welcome. It is great to be back in the state of Georgia! (Cheers, applause.)
It is even better to be here with the next congressman from this district, Max Burns. (Cheers, applause.) Max knows what it takes to be a United States Congressman because he's done it before. And when you turn out November 7th, he's going to do it again. (Cheers, applause.) He understands Georgia values because he was born and raised in this district, and he still lives on a family farm outside Sylvania. (Cheers.) I've been in Washington long enough to know that it makes sense to have people who live on a family farm in the halls of the United States Congress! (Cheers, applause.)
When it came time to renew the Patriot Act, more than 75 percent -- 75 percent of the House Democrats voted against it. When it came time to -- to vote on whether or not the CIA (could) continue its program to detain and question captured terrorists, almost 80 percent of the House Democrats voted against it. They just have a different point of view. They don't see it the way I see it or the way you see it. Otherwise, why wouldn't they give the professionals the tools necessary to protect you? When it came time to vote on whether the National Security Agency should continue to monitor terrorist communications, almost 90 percent of the House Democrats voted against it and all these vital measures.
For fighting the war on terror, the Democrats just follow a simple philosophy: just say no. When it comes to listening to the terrorists, what's the Democrats' answer? It's just say no. When it comes to detaining terrorists, what is the Democrats' answer? Just say no.
AUDIENCE: Just say no.
PRESIDENT BUSH: When it comes to questioning terrorists, what's the Democrats' answer?
AUDIENCE: Just say no.
PRESIDENT BUSH: When it comes to trying the terrorists, what's the Democrats' answer?
AUDIENCE: Just say no.
PRESIDENT BUSH: So when the Democrats ask for your vote, what's your answer?
AUDIENCE: Just say no! (Cheers, applause.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: We're going to continue to make sure our professionals have the tools necessary to protect you, and you can count on Max Burns's vote. (Cheers, applause.)
One of the lessons of September the 11th, 2001, is that when this country sees a threat, we must take those threats seriously before they come home to hurt us. I saw a threat in Saddam Hussein. Members of both political parties in the United States Congress saw a threat in Saddam Hussein. The United Nations saw a threat in Saddam Hussein. Getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the right decision, and the world is better off. (Cheers, applause.) And now Iraq is the central front in this global war against these ideologues who murder innocent people to achieve their objectives.
You know, I think it's very important for the commander in chief, as well as our citizens, to listen to the words of the enemy. You know, in Washington you hear people say, "Well, Iraq is just an -- a distraction from the war on terror." I believe it is a central part of the war on terror.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. (Cheers, applause.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: And so does Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden calls this fight the third world war. He says victory for the terrorists in Iraq will mean America's defeat and disgrace forever. They have made it clear they want to create as much carnage and death as possible to cause us to leave before the job is done. They have ambitions. They want to topple moderate governments. They want to control oil to blackmail the West. They want us to leave and dash the hopes and aspirations of millions of people who want to live in peace.
And we have a different point of view. I want you to hear the words of a senior Democrat in the House of Representatives. She said the president says fighting them there makes it less likely we will fight them here. The opposite is true, she said; because we're fighting them there, it may become more likely that we have to fight them there (sic).
Here's what this person and the leaders of the Democrat Party in Washington seem to not understand. Iraq is not the reason the terrorists are at war against us. I would remind the House Democrats our troops were not in Iraq when the terrorists first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. (Cheers, applause.)
We were not in Iraq when they bombed the USS Cole or the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and we were not in Iraq when they killed nearly 3,000 people on September the 11th, 2001. (Cheers, applause.)
You do not create terrorists by fighting the terrorists. The best way to protect you, the best way to protect the American people is to stay on the offense and defeat them overseas, so we do not have to face them here at home. (Extended cheers, applause.)
Our goal in Iraq is victory.
Victory in Iraq will come when that young democracy can sustain itself, and govern itself, and defend itself, and be a strong ally in the war against the terrorists. The fighting in Iraq is tough, and I understand it's tough, and you know it's tough, and so does the enemy. They have no conscience. They kill innocent men, women and children. They film the atrocities; they broadcast them for the world to see. They offer no hopeful vision. The only thing they know is death and destruction. But they hope these violent images will cause us to lose our nerve. They make a big mistake. They do not understand the true strength of the United States of America. We don't run in the face of thugs and assassins, we'll defend ourselves! (Cheers, applause.) We will defeat them. We'll defeat them because our commanders on the ground have all the flexibility necessary to make sure that we constantly stay ahead of the enemy. We'll defeat them because we got a fantastic United States military. And I know I can count on Max Burns -- (interrupted by cheers, applause.) And I know -- I know you can count on Max Burns and I can count on Max Burns by making sure our troops have all that is necessary to do their job to defend the United States. (Cheers, applause.)
We will succeed in Iraq because the Iraqis want to live in a peaceful society. Twelve million -- nearly 12 million defied car- bombers and assassins and terrorists and went to vote. They held up their purple ink-stained fingers saying to the world: We want to be free. And they got a unity government that is working hard to repel the extremists who are preventing them. I believe strongly that with our help, they will be able to defend themselves. And I believe strongly that they'll become a government of the people, and by the people, and for the people. As a matter of fact, I believe the only way we cannot succeed is if we leave before the job is done. (Cheers, applause.)
You know, when you listen to this debate -- and it's a -- it is a -- it's raging across the country, this debate on Iraq -- if you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for success, they don't have one. Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, yet they don't have a plan for victory. Last week, a senator, a Democrat senator, explained her party's position this way, we (sic) said, "We haven't coalesced around a single plan, but we're in general agreement on basic principles." She's right, the agreement -- they are in agreement on one thing, they will leave before the job is done.
That's what they're in agreement on. (Applause.) They've come up with a lot of creative ways to describe leaving Iraq before the job is done. Sometimes they say, "immediate redeployment." Sometimes they say they wouldn't spend another dime on our troops. Sometimes they say the idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong. However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: the terrorists win and America loses. That's what's at stake in this election. The Democrat goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq. (Cheers, applause.) I'm not saying these Democrats are unpatriotic. I'm just saying they're wrong. (Laughter.) You cannot win a war unless you're willing to fight the war. (Cheers, applause.)
Retreat from Iraq before the job is done would embolden the enemy and make us more vulnerable to attack. Retreat would allow the terrorists to gain a new safe haven from which to plot and plan, just like they had in Afghanistan. Retreat would enable the enemy to be more able to recruit. Retreat would say to people in the Middle East, "You can't count on America." It would say to those folks desperate to live in freedom and peace, "We no longer care or hear your cries." Defeat would dishonor the sacrifice of the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America. The consequences of retreat from Iraq will be felt for generations.
I want the folks all throughout America to envision a Middle East where extremists are battling for power, moderate governments are toppled, oil is controlled to use for blackmail and a country has a nuclear weapon. If that were to happen, people would look back at the year 2006 and ask, "What happened to them? How come those folks couldn't see the threat? How come they couldn't see the danger for a generation of Americans who were growing up?" I want you to know, I see the threat, I see the danger. That is why we will support our troops. We will fight and we will win in Iraq. (Cheers, applause.)