First, he tries another stab at dividing (not uniting, I might add) the country and the globe into two diametrically opposed ideologies:
On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, worship, and live in liberty. On the other side are those driven by tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest.This statement suggest to me that he is leaving out large swaths of human beings who could give two shits about his "decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century." For example, how about folks starving on the streets of America.
But I digress. Really, when the president speaks, he only presents what he wants us to hear and disregards the rest:
A vital part of our strategy to defeat the terrorists is to help establish a democratic Iraq, which will be a beacon of liberty in the region and an ally in the global war on terror. The terrorists understand the threat a democratic Iraq poses to their cause, so they've been fighting a bloody campaign of sectarian violence, which they hope will plunge that country into a civil war. Our commanders and diplomats on the ground believe that Iraq has not descended into a civil war.This speechifying is laced with very contradictory points resting on a hope (certainly not a predictable outcome) that Iraq becomes a "beacon of liberty," for which we find no proof.
Certainly, one could argue that Iraq has become a magnet for terrorists, and as such become a beacon of another stripe. Moreover, what makes W think that a beacon of liberty will do much, if anything, in his push to "spread freedom" particularly given how gruesome and grim Iraq has become?
Might he not be listening to his commanders on the ground? Have a look:
WASHINGTON — Attacks and civilian deaths in Iraq have risen sharply in recent months, with casualties increasing by 1,000 a month, and sectarian violence has engulfed larger areas of the country, the Pentagon said Friday in a strikingly dismal report to Congress.
The quarterly report, based on new government figures, showed the number of attacks in Iraq over the last four months had increased 15% and Iraqi casualties had risen by 51%. Civilian and military deaths and injuries have surpassed 3,000 each month since May.
Over a longer period, the increase in violence is more dramatic. Weekly attacks have nearly doubled, from 423 in spring 2004 to 792. More than 110 people a day died violently in Iraq in the last three months, the report said, up from fewer than 30 a day in 2004.
The Iraqi government reported that violent deaths in Baghdad declined sharply in the first several weeks of August, but civilian deaths rose again in the last week. The current report covers a three-month period that ended in early August.
The report held to previous Bush administration statements that Iraq is not in an all-out civil war, but conceded that "conditions that could lead to civil war exist."