(by Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com) – President George W. Bush said Monday night that he shares the desire
of every American to see the war on terror come to an end. But the
president warned that the battle will not end until an “evil” enemy
motivated by a “perverted version of Islam” is destroyed.
“America did not
ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over. So do I,”
Bush said. “But the war is not over — and it will not be over until
either we or the extremists emerge victorious.”
Speaking from the
Oval Office, the president said much has been learned since the 9/11
attacks about the character of the members and supporters or al Qaeda
who, he said, “are evil and kill without mercy — but not without
“We have learned
that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a
perverted vision of Islam — a totalitarian ideology that hates
freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent,” the president
explained. “And we have learned that their goal is to build a radical
Islamic empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten
for missing prayer meetings, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan
and launch attacks on America and other civilized nations.”
Bush acknowledged that he is “often asked why we’re in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks.”
“The answer is
that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat,” he explained.
“My administration, the Congress, and the United Nations saw the threat
— and after 9/11, Saddam’s regime posed a risk that the world could
not afford to take.”
against U.S., coalition and Iraqi military and police forces in Iraq,
the president argued, are not just die-hard supporters of former Iraqi
dictator Saddam Hussein.
“Al Qaeda and
other extremists from across the world have come to Iraq to stop the
rise of a free society in the heart of the Middle East,” Bush said.
“They have joined the remnants of Saddam’s regime and other armed
groups to foment sectarian violence and drive us out.”
The president called the war against these Islamo-fascist terrorists “more than a military conflict.”
“It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century,” he said, “and the calling of our generation.”
Bush issued a warning to those who believe the U.S. can simply pull its troops out of Iraq with little or no consequences.
“If we do not
defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle
East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with
nuclear weapons,” Bush said. “We are in a war that will set the course
for this new century — and determine the destiny of millions across
Bush gave another
nod to critics, acknowledging that mistakes had been made in Iraq. But
he vowed that American troops would not leave the country until Iraqi
troops can defend their government and that government can keep its
people free from radical Islamists.
mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think
that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. They will
not leave us alone,” he cautioned. “They will follow us. The safety of
America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad.”
declared that those who are currently plotting to “destroy our way of
life” will face the same fate as enemies America has defeated in the
past. He concluded his remarks with religious references common in his
less political, more motivational speeches.
“The attacks were
meant to bring us to our knees, and they did, but not in the way the
terrorists intended,” Bush explained. “Americans united in prayer, came
to the aid of neighbors in need, and resolved that our enemies would
not have the last word.
“The spirit of
our people is the source of America’s strength,” he concluded. “And we
go forward with trust in that spirit, confidence in our purpose, and
faith in a loving God who made us to be free.”
Reprinted here with permission from Cybercast News Service. Visit the website at CNSNews.com.
1. In his speech last night, when did President Bush say the war with Islamic extremists would be over?
2. a) Define totalitarianism.
b) How did President Bush describe the totalitarian ideology that the Islamic extremists follow?
c) How did he describe their goal?
3. a) How did
President Bush answer the question some people ask: why are we in Iraq
if Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks?
b) What do you think of his explanation?
4. a) In addition
to Saddam Hussein’s supporters, what groups are fighting against U.S.,
coalition and Iraqi military and police forces in Iraq?
b) Why are they doing so?
5. The president said the war was “more than a military conflict.” How did he describe it?
6. a) President
Bush acknowledged that mistakes have been made in Iraq. What did he
say would be the worst mistake we could make in Iraq?
b) Do you agree? Explain your answer.
7. Re-read the last paragraph of the article. With what tone did President Bush conclude his speech?
8. OPTIONAL: Read or watch President Bush’s entire speech at WhiteHouse.gov
What is your overall feeling about his remarks?
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