The Corner

Tonight’s Speech

Advance excerpts:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release December 18, 2005

Speech Excerpts from President Bush’s Address to the Nation

As Prepared for Delivery

Tonight President Bush will address the Nation from the Oval Office to speak about the historic election in Iraq last Thursday. The address is the culmination of a series of four speeches that have addressed the three aspects of our strategy in Iraq: security, democracy, and reconstruction. The President will clearly outline the strategy for victory; the progress made, and the challenges ahead.

On the speech:

“I know many Americans have questions about the cost and direction of this war. So tonight I want to talk to you about how far we have come in Iraq, and the path that lies ahead.”

On the significance of the election:

“This election will not mean the end of violence. But it is the beginning of something new: constitutional democracy at the heart of the Middle East. And this vote – 6,000 miles away, in a vital region of the world – means that America has an ally of growing strength in the fight against terror.”

On the challenges in Iraq:

“Some look at the challenges in Iraq, and conclude that the war is lost, and not worth another dime or another day. I don’t believe that. Our military commanders do not believe that. Our troops in the field, who bear the burden and make the sacrifice, do not believe that America has lost. And not even the terrorists believe it. We know from their own communications that they feel a tightening noose – and fear the rise of a democratic Iraq.”

On the consequences of withdrawal:

“It is also important for every American to understand the consequences of pulling out of Iraq before our work is done. We would abandon our Iraqi friends – and signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word . . . . We would hand Iraq over to enemies who have pledged to attack us – and the global terrorist movement would be emboldened and more dangerous than ever before.”

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