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White House / President Bush Speech on War in Iraq
President George W Bush Remarks on Iraq - Philadelphia, PA / Stix STIX 11:16:03 thank you for the chance to come speak to the Philadelphia world affairs council 11:16:17 come to discuss an issue that's really important. 11:16:25 that war started on September 11th, 2001 11:16:43 taking the fight to those who attacked us and to those who share their murderous vision 11:16:59 war on terror will take many turns 11:17:06 streets of western cities 11:17:19 Iraq is the central front in the war against humanity 11:17:26 we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war against terror 11:17:38 recent weeks I have been discussing our strategy with the American people 11:18:15 today I am going to speak in depth 11:18:21 our efforts to help Iraqi people build lasting democracy 11:18:29 no better place to discuss rise of free Iraq than in Philadelphia 11:18:45 for letting me come, thank you all for welcoming me I got something to say and I'm looking forward to saying it 11:19:24 also pleased that jim gerlick and mike Fitzpatrick and 11:19:43 where our declaration of independence was signed 11:19:52 the success of America's democratic experiment seems almost inevitable 11:20:07 eight years 11:20:26 defused only by the personal intervention of George Washington 11:20:38 stayed on the run for 6 months. There were tensions between the mercantile north 11:20:53 and there were British loyalists who were 11:21:32 before the promise of our declaration was extended to all the Americas 11:21:46 no nation in history has made the transition to a free society 11:21:56 past two and a half years have been a period of difficult struggle in Iraq 11:22:07 over two and a half years ago Iraq was in the grip of a cruel dictator 11:22:40 three days from now they go to the polls for the first time 11:22:48 remarkable transformation for a country that has virtually no experience with democracy 11:24:05 encouraged that many Sunnis plan to actively participate 11:24:15 trying to foment anti democratic sentiment against the large Sunni community 11:24:35 terrorists affiliated with, or inspire by, al Qaeda are the smallest but most lethal group 11:24:54 al Qaeda's chief of operations in Iraq 11:25:02 terrorists' stated objective is to drive US and coalition forces out of Iraq 11:25:20 establish a totalitarian Islamic empire 11:25:28 terrorists in Iraq share the ideology of terrorists who struck on September 11th 11:25:46 this is an enemy without conscience, and they cannot be appeased 11:25:56 they would not be leading quiet lives as good citizens. They would be plotting and killing our citizens across the world and at home 11:26:19 we will accept nothing less than complete victor 11:26:36 pursuing a comprehensive strategy in Iraq 11:26:47 when Iraqi security forces can provide for safety of their own citizens 11:27:02 on the economic side we are helping the Iraqis rebuild their infrastructure 11:27:29 as we help the Iraqis fight these enemies, we are working to build capable Iraqi forces 11:27:46 making steady progress, Iraqi forces are becoming more and more capable 11:27:58 so they can take the fight to the enemy 11:28:05 American and coalition forces can concentrate on training the Iraqis 11:28:17 our efforts to help the Iraqis build inclusive 11:28:29 we will win over those who doubted they had a place in a new Iraq 11:28:41 by helping Iraqis build a democracy we will inspire reformers across the middle east 11:29:01 democracy takes different forms in different cultures 11:29:13 freedom of speech 11:29:21 respect for the belief of others is the only way to build a society where compassion and tolerance prevail 11:29:55 under Saddam Iraq was a country where dissent was crushed 11:30:05 secret courts 11:30:10 shia Muslims and Kurds and other groups were brutally repressed 11:30:25 fill the vacuum after liberation we established the coalition provisional authority 11:30:42 things did not always go as planned 11:30:49 helping to restore basic services 11:30:57 one of the CPA's most important tasks was bringing the Iraqi people into the decision making process of their own government 11:31:17 governing council gave Iraqis a voice in their own affairs 11:31:30 like free people everywhere, 11:31:45 under this plan the CPA would continue to govern Iraq 11:31:56 held elections to choose a new government. Only when that elected government took office 11:32:10 made it clear they wanted a constitution that was written by elected leaders of Iraq 11:32:25 negotiated a new plan with the governing council 11:32:33 transitional administrative law 11:32:42 guaranteed personal freedoms unprecedented in the Arab world 11:33:01 for Iraqis to hold free elections to choose a transitional government 11:33:14 put before the Iraqi people a nationwide 11:33:31 first milestone was met when our coalition handed over control 11:33:42 went to the polls and chose their leaders in a free election 11:34:06 they were not without flaws. One 11:34:22 many realized their failure to participate in the free elections had hurt their chances 11:34:41 encouraged Iraq's leaders to reach out to Sunni leaders 11:34:53 including a vice president, a minister of defense, and a speaker of the assembly 11:35:09 Iraq's leaders reached out to Sunni Arabs who had boycotted elections 11:35:25 after much tough debate representatives of Iraq's diverse communities 11:35:47 document that originally emerged from the community 11:36:02 thanks to the last minute changes 11:36:08 deal was struck four days before Iraqis went to the polls 11:36:19 approved in referendums 11:36:27 Sunnis voted in large numbers for the first time. They joined the political process 11:36:41 Iraqis adopted the most progressive democratic constitution in the Arab world 11:36:57 it'll be a remarkable event in the Arab world 11:37:10 full of signs and posters, radio and television airwaves are thick with political ads and commentaries 11:37:31 troops see this young democracy up close 11:37:42 reminds me of being home during election time 11:37:52 many Sunnis are campaigning for office this time around 11:38:06 two major Sunni coalitions have formed 11:38:16 election is a vote for Iraq. We want a national Iraq 11:39:32 Sunnis are now ready to participate 11:41:14 at every stage Iraqis prove the skeptics and pessimists wrong 11:41:27 by meeting their milestones, Iraqis are 11:41:44 Iraqis still have more difficult work ahead. 11:41:55 insuring Iraqi security, forming an inclusive Iraqi government 11:42:08 first key challenge is security 11:42:17 they will try to break our will and intimidate the Iraqi people and their leaders 11:42:32 they know as democracy takes root in that country, their hateful ideology will suffer a devastating blow 11:42:55 as the Iraqi security forces stand up, coalition forces can stand down 11:43:10 forming an inclusive government 11:43:30 two thirds of the new parliament must agree on the top leadership posts 11:43:44 new government will face many tough questions 11:43:52 Iraqi leaders will also have to review and possibly amend the constitution 11:44:08 important step in helping to defeat the terrorists and the saddamists 11:44:22 Iraqis still have to overcome longstanding ethnic tensions 11:44:35 for some there is now a temptation to take justice into their own hands 11:44:46 some of them appeared to have been beaten or tortured 11:44:58 investigation has been launched, and we support those efforts 11:45:09 an impartial system of justice that protects all of Iraq's citizens 11:45:41 slowly but surely with the help of our coalition, the Iraqis are replacing the rule of tyrant with the rule of law 11:46:00 not justified so long as we do not abandon the Iraqi people in their hour of need 11:46:14 not going to be easy and it's not going to happen overnight 11:46:24 the united states, along with the united nations and the Arab league 11:46:36 as long as Iraqis continue to develop habits of liberty 11:46:47 for the Iraqis 11:46:52 Iraq's neighbor to the east, Iran, is actively working to undermine a free Iraq 11:47:08 Iraq's neighbor to the west, Syria, many terrorists have used that territory to pass into Iraq 11:47:27 USA will stand with the Iraqi people who stand against threats from these neighbors 11:47:45 many Arab states have kept the new Iraq at arm's distance 11:47:58 recently, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan 11:48:11 another such meeting is planned for next year in Baghdad 11:48:19 Arab leaders are beginning to recognize the choice in Iraq 11:48:31 if the terrorists prevail in Iraq they will then challenge other nations 11:48:46 call on them, those who have pledged assistance, to make good on their commitments 11:49:03 united nations is playing a vital role in Iraq 11:49:14 at the request of the Iraqi government, 11:49:26 earlier this year the European union co hosted a conference 11:49:38 whatever differences there were over the decision to liberate Iraq 11:49:52 be a source of stability and freedom in the world 11:50:01 Iraqis are determined to overcome them and build a free nation 11:50:21 the American and Iraqi people share the same interests and the same enemies. By helping democracy succeed in Iraq, we bring greater security to the people here at home 11:50:50 when the new Iraqi government takes office next year, Iraqis will have the only constitutional democracy in the Arab world 11:51:13 in a 1998 fatwa, osama bin laden argued 11:51:23 now bin laden and al Qaeda are the direct cause of the Iraqi people's suffering 11:51:41 lose the sanctuaries they need to plan new attacks. New Iraq will not be a quiet Iraq. 11:51:51 will be a nation full of passionate debate. 11:52:12 we must have confidence in our cause. World war II nations defeated fascism 11:52:27 in the cold war free nations defeated communism and helped our former Warsaw pact countries become democracies 11:52:52 like fascism and communism before, the hateful ideologies that use terror will be 11:53:11 advance of freedom in the middle east requires freedom in Iraq 11:53:23 by helping Iraqis build a strong democracy we are building our own security 11:53:43 when the declaration of independence was first read in public the liberty bell was rang in celebration 11:54:04 from Damascus to Tehran people hear it, and they know it means something 11:54:15 a new day of hope and freedom is dawning. Thank you for letting me come. Q&A 11:55:27 I would say 30 thousand have died 11:55:36 we have lost about 2140 of our own troops in Iraq 11:56:53 democracy which will help us provide safe haven from terrorists who want to kill us 11:57:08 problem with that strategy was that the internal threats were a heck of a lot more dangerous than the external threats 11:57:29 when we clear enemy out of places like mosul, there has to be an Iraqi army presence 11:57:46 Iraqi people had no confidence in the future 11:58:28 not all of them are ready to take the fight to the enemy. Have to be able to communicate, have to be able to move 11:58:49 we are not completed-we have not completed the job of training the Iraqis 11:59:09 closed or turned over about 40 of those bases to the Iraqis 11:59:20 these guys are very tough. And they are cold blooded killers 11:59:30 they can and will kill innocent people in the hopes of getting the united states of American to leave the battlefield early 11:59:51 we just got more to do. We need to do it. A free Iraq will be an important ally in this war 12:00:09 these are people who have a totalitarian vision 12:00:17 they lay out their vision and they explain their tactics 12:01:59 success 12:02:31 great strength of 12:02:51 our position in the world 12:02:57 I think we have a duty and obligation to 12:03:07 one is the tsunami. The tsunamis hit, it was the united states military 12:03:22 we moved. A lot of people kinda sat around and discussed, not us 12:03:39 got a lot of kids flying choppers all around that country 12:03:56 to defeat the propaganda. Having said that a lot of people want to come to America. 12:04:13 one thing America must never do is take people 12:04:26 you can come from wherever you are and I can come from Texas 12:05:23 9/11 changed my look on foreign policy 12:05:33 it said oceans no longer protected us 12:05:40 if we see a threat we have to deal with it 12:05:48 first decision I made was to deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan because they were harboring terrorists 12:06:10 Saddam Hussein was a threat. He was a declared enemy of the united states 12:06:23 united nations had declared 12:06:36 and the 9/11 attacks accentuated that threat as far as I'm concerned 12:06:51 I'd make the decision again. Removing Saddam Hussein makes this world a better place and the united states a safer country 12:07:10 last question I actually have something to do. 12:07:36 I think it has been reduced 12:07:45 when I can tell the American people we've got the capacity to know where exactly the enemy is moving 12:08:02 that's why our intelligence gathering is really important 12:08:12 this guy zarqawi has sworn his allegiance to bin laden 12:08:24 continue to hone our intelligence gathering to make sure we can as best as possible 12:08:35 I can tell you the international cooperation when it comes to intelligence sharing his good 12:08:47 work with others to find out where their money is moving 12:08:57 the long run in this war is going to require a change of governments in parts of the world 12:09:11 important for me to continue to remind the American people about what's taken place in history 12:09:39 he's also a friend when it comes to peace. He's a reliable steady ally when it comes to dealing with north Korea 12:09:58 good to have an ally that understands human rights and the condition of 12:10:10 yet 60 years ago my dad fought against the Japanese 12:10:21 that I sit down with this guy, strategizing about how to make the world a safer place 12:10:37 not all that long in history, when you think about it. And what happened was a Japanese style democracy emerged 12:11:04 just trying to look good in front of the folks here at home 12:11:16 democracies yield peace 12:11:28 if you're a supporter of Israel, I would strongly encourage you 12:11:40 I recognize 12:11:48 fully recognize that some people say it's impossible 12:11:57 I reject that. I don't agree with that. 12:12:06 if you believe that then you got to act on it. 12:12:15 that means using the influence of the united states