President Bush just spoke at the Department of Defense this morning, marking five years since the beginning of the Iraq war. He thanked the troops and summed up the mission thusfar saying, "because we acted the world is better and the United States is safer."
President Bush spoke around recent official reports that show no link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein saying that the reduction in violence in Iraq and the alliance of some local groups with American forces is “the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology, and his terror network.” He remained firm and optimistic in the mission saying, “by spreading the hope of liberty in the Middle East, we will help free societies to take root — and when they do, freedom will yield the peace we all desire.”
The speech happens amid protests, like the one above held yesterday in Washington DC. Reports out today also show that 71 percent of Americans think that the Iraq war is hurting the economy. President Bush responded to this saying today acknowledging the high cost of the war in "lives and treasure." To see his response, read more.
He rebutted saying that without those expenditures Iraq would devolve into chaos, al-Qaeda would move back into its hideouts and have access to oil revenues, which would foment violence and harm the world's economy.
For a historical context of President Bush's speech today, here is audio of President Bush's speech from the beginning of the war, five years ago.
President Bush's theme today was unequivocal: "We will fight the enemy whereever it makes its stand. We will stay on the offense."
Hearing the phrase "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in his speech made the last five years flash through my head. This morning, what do you think? Will you be protesting the war? Did you get teary when President Bush thanked the troops and a chill thinking of the great task our troops are facing? What should happen now?