Here’s the text of the President’s speech, delivered tonight.
It’s worth reading. Remember, when you do, that we have a lot of work left to do, but that we’re getting it all done. Here’s a part that spoke very strongly to me.
We have more work to do, and there will be tough moments that test America’s resolve. We are fighting against men with blind hatred — and armed with lethal weapons — who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will in Iraq — just as they tried to shake our will on September 11, 2001. They will fail. The terrorists do not understand America. The American people do not falter under threat — and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins.
America and our friends are in a conflict that demands much of us. It demands the courage of our fighting men and women … it demands the steadfastness of our allies … and it demands the perseverance of our citizens. We accept these burdens — because we know what is at stake. We fight today, because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world — and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror. And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens — and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we will fight them there … we will fight them across the world — and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.
America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence, to the darkest days of a Civil War, to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th Century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve, or our way. But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom is entrusted to us in a special way — and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.