Monday, April 05, 2004

Lagniappe: WoT Bush Watch - From President Bush's April 2, 2004, speech on Strengthening Economy and Job Training. Opening statement:

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. Please be seated. I wish Dan had said, a friend of longstanding -- (laughter) -- as opposed to "an old friend." I knew him when he lived in Texas. You've got a good one running Marshall University here. He's a fine fellow. He's doing a fine job. (Applause.)

I'm proud to be back in Huntington. We're going to have an interesting discussion about how to make sure people have an opportunity to get the skills necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st century. That's really what we're here to talk about. We're going to talk about how to make sure everybody's life is optimistic and hopeful, as this economy of ours grows and changes. [Emphasis added.]

A perfect place to do so here is at this community college, and I'm so honored to have been invited. Thank you for opening up your fantastic facility, and thank you for giving me a chance to come and talk.
How nice, we're going to be talking about good old bread and butter issues. But, wait, first we need to discuss 9/11, the War on Terror, and Saddam Hussein, just in case anybody missed it. Even before Bush gets into the stated subject of his speech, lo and behold, we hear:
And then, as we were recovering from the recession, the enemy hit us. They attacked us. And it affected us. It affected our way of thinking, for starters. See, when most of us were growing up, we thought oceans could protect us, and we found out that wasn't the case. We found out that America could be harmed by people who hate what we stand for. We suffered for those who lost life. I vowed then and there that the best way to protect America was to get on the offense and stay on the offense and bring people to justice. (Applause.) We resolved, as a nation, not to allow terrorists to cause us to lose our optimism and our spirit. That's what we resolved. And we still have that spirit and resolve, by the way.

And then we found out we had some corporate citizens who didn't tell the truth. That affected our economy. It kind of shattered our idealism about people in positions of responsibility. We passed tough laws, by the way. We're not going to tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America. There will be consequences if you lie to your shareholders and your employees. (Applause.) But it affected us. It was a hurdle we had to cross. It was a challenge to our economy.

And then, as you know, I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Let me tell you -- (applause.) One of the important -- one of the important lessons of September the 11th, and it's important for people to understand, is that when we see a threat, we cannot let it materialize. That's an important lesson. I saw a threat -- I looked at intelligence and saw a threat. The United States Congress looked at the same intelligence and it saw a threat. The United Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence and it saw a threat. People were worried about Saddam Hussein because of his past behavior. Remember, he had used weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors and his own people. I remembered the lesson of September the 11th as I looked at the data. I had a choice, either to trust a madman or defend the country. Given that choice, I'll defend America every time. (Applause.)

We've still got hard work in Iraq. The reason we do is there's killers there who want to shake our will. They want the American people to forget what it means to promote freedom. They want us to retreat. See, a free Iraq is an historic opportunity. A free Iraq will change a neighborhood that needs to be free. A free Iraq will make the world more peaceful. But a free Iraq is something that the terrorists fear. They hate freedom. They can't stand the thought of a free society. So they're willing to kill. And they're trying to shake our will. But they don't understand this country. We will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins. (Applause.)
When will the irrelevant reference to the WoT ever end? Probably never. It's all Bush has.

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