Cheering God, Bush says war with Iraq 'will forever be' the right decision
Published: Wednesday March 12, 2008

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Speaking Tuesday to the National Religious Broadcasters' convention, President Bush declared the decision to "remove" Saddam Hussein in 2003 the "right decision at this point in my presidency, and it will forever be the right decision.”

The 42-minute speech, covered in the New York Times, drew rousing applause, "mixing faith and foreign policy as he told a group of Christian broadcasters that his policies in the region were predicated on the beliefs that freedom was a God-given right and 'every human being bears the image of our maker.'"

A White House aide told the Times -- anonymously -- that the speech, along with speeches by General David Petraeus, is intended to allow Bush to "frame" the Iraq war.

“It’s a way of resetting a little bit,” the White House official said. “There was a lot of talk about the surge, and then when the surge worked, it was like, ‘O.K., it worked,’ and then ’08 heated up and people sort of moved on. People need to be reminded of who we’re up against and what the stakes are.”

“The effects of a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan will reach beyond the borders of those two countries,” Bush said. “It will show others what’s possible. And we undertake this work because we believe that every human being bears the image of our maker. That’s why we’re doing this. No one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave.”

He lauded the broadcasters for "standing up" for "our values," and pledged to veto the "fairness doctrine," which would enjoin radio stations to give even time to opposing views.