Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Hey Dems, what's your plan?

Tonight, my family (sans Little Bit, since it was late and really crowded) went to see President Bush at a Republican rally with a crowd of our closest 17,000 friends. It was a rally for Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, but we were all there to see the Commander and Chief.

For my boys (including Army of Dad), this was their first time to see a President in living color, up close and personal.

If you see the banner under the President's right art, we were sitting about 10 rows down from that banner. The catwalk ran right down in front of us. It was very cool.

I felt like the President did a great job of inspiring his audience. He had a lot to say and you can read the transcript - complete with where we booed and where we cheered.

Here is a key part of the transcript from the President's comments about a topic that is a big one for people on all sides of the issue:

And now Iraq is a central front in this war on terror. You know it's -- I hear all the talk out of Washington where the skeptics say, well, Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror, or Iraq isn't that vital to the war on terror. I don't think it's true, our troops do not think it's true, and Osama bin Laden doesn't think it's true. He has said the fight in Iraq is the third world war. He has said that victory for the terrorists in Iraq will mean America's defeat and disgrace forever.

There's a different mind-set -- there's a different mind-set that you just got to know about. See, people have claimed that fighting the terrorists in Iraq creates terrorists. I disagree. Fighting the terrorists in Iraq is not the reason the terrorists are fighting us. We weren't in Iraq in 1993 when they bombed the World Trade Center. We weren't in Iraq when they bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We were not in Iraq when they bombed the USS Cole. And we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001.

You do not create terrorists by fighting the terrorists. The best way to protect this country is to find the enemy overseas and defeat them there so we don't have to face them here at home.

Our goal in Iraq is victory. And victory means a country which can govern itself, sustain itself, defend itself, and be an ally in the war against these extremists and killers. And we're on our way to victory, but it's a tough fight, and I know it's a tough fight, and so do you. We face a brutal enemy that is willing to kill innocent men, women, and children in order to achieve their objective. And one of their objectives is to cause us to leave Iraq. They don't believe we have the stomach for the fight. They believe that these images of carnage on our TV screens will weaken our resolve. They don't understand this administration, nor do they understand millions of our fellow citizens. We're not going to run from thugs and assassins.

We have a plan to defeat them. I talk to our commanders on the ground all the time. We give them whatever they need to achieve our objective, and we make sure our tactics are constantly adjusting to those of the enemy. So, not only do we have a good plan, we've also got unbelievable people carrying out that plan. We've got the greatest military ever. And Rick Perry, who has worn the uniform, knows what I know, that any time we have an American troop in harm's way, he or she deserves all the support, all the help necessary to do the jobs I've asked them to do.

And we've got something else going for us in this vital part of the war on terror, and that is the Iraqi citizens themselves. They've suffered unspeakable violence, yet they're still committed to a government of, by and for the people. When the nearly 12 million Iraqis voted, I was pleased, but I was not surprised. And the reason I wasn't surprised is because I believe a gift from the Almighty to each man, woman and child is the desire to be free. I believe in the universality of freedom. I don't believe freedom is America's gift to the world, I believe it is universal. And it doesn't surprise me when people demand to be free.

It's hard work for Iraq to have a government that can defend and govern itself, but we're on our way. We've got a political plan to help them. Their economy will get help to improve, and we'll continue to train the Iraqis so they can take the fight to the few who want to stop the dreams of the many. And we will succeed. I want you to know this: If I didn't believe the cause was noble and just, and if I didn't believe we could achieve our objective, I wouldn't have our troops there.

We've going to succeed unless we leave before the job is done. And this is an important issue for our citizens around the country to think about. We've got a plan for victory. But if you listen to the debate about Iraq from the Democrats, I don't hear their plan for victory. On this vital issue, they don't have a plan. Oh, they've got some ideas. Some of them say, get out now. Some of them say, have a fixed date and get out even though the job hasn't been done. One fellow up there said we ought to move our troops to an island 5,000 miles away. No, they don't have a plan, but they got a principle, and the principle is get out before the job is done.

I'm not saying these folks are unpatriotic; I'm saying they're wrong.

You happen to bump into a Democrat, you might want to ask this simple question: What's your plan?

They say they want to protect the homeland, but oppose the Patriot Act, ask them this question: What's your plan?

They say they want to uncover terrorist plots, but oppose listening in on terrorists' conversations, ask them this question: What's your plan?

If they say they want to stop new attacks on our country, but oppose letting the CIA detain and question the terrorists who might know about the plot, ask them this question --

The audience responded: What's your plan?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. If they say they want to win the war on terror, but call for America to pull out from what al Qaeda says is the central front in the war on terror, ask them a simple question.

The audience responded:: What's your plan?

THE PRESIDENT: I want to remind you they don't have a plan. Harsh criticism is not a plan for victory. Second-guessing is not a strategy. We have a plan. Stick with us, and the country will be better off.

Retreat from Iraq before the job is done would embolden the enemy and make this country less secure. In this new kind of war, if we leave before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here. Retreating from Iraq before the job is done will enable these extremists and radicals to better recruit. Imagine their propaganda when they -- when they tell young recruits, we have conquered the great America, we have forced them to leave before the job is done. If we leave before the job is done, millions of people's, who simply want to live a peaceful life in the Middle East, hopes will be dashed. And if we leave before the job is done, it would dishonor the sacrifice of the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States.

The consequences of retreat from Iraq will be felt for generations. And that's important for our citizens to understand. Because the enemy has made it clear what their ambitions are: One, they believe we will leave so they can establish safe haven from which to launch further attacks, safe haven like they had in Afghanistan, from which they trained -- of which they launched the attacks after having trained thousands of killers.

Secondly, they believe -- they want us to leave so they topple moderate governments. They want to spread their totalitarian ideology as far and wide as possible, starting in the Middle East.

Thirdly, imagine a world in which they controlled energy resources. You can just imagine the demands of the radicals and extremists to the West and to the United States. They would say things like, abandon Israel, otherwise we're going to run your price of oil up and crater your economy. Or they'll say, withdraw, so we can establish our caliphate. And you couple all that with -- and a country that doesn't like us with a nuclear weapon, and they will look back 30 years -- they'll look back and say, what happened to them in 2006? See, if that's the world that we allow evolve, they'll look back and say, what happened to those folks? Could they not see the impending danger? What clouded their vision? What made it impossible for them to see -- to do their duty and see the threats?

Well, I want you to know I clearly see the threat. I understand the stakes. That's why we will stay in Iraq, fight in Iraq, and win in Iraq.

*I practically had tears in my eyes. I think he is on target. I don't want our fighting men and women there any more than the next person, but we started something and we need to finish it.

I'll post my pics and my observations sometime this week. (photos here are by the Associated Press)

I'm proud of Texas and I'm proud of our President.


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