Mr. President, Please Give This Speech

Dear President Bush,

I am writing to help you out. You have painted yourself into a bit of a corner in Iraq. But not to worry. I looked back to a speech you gave on April 10, 2003. In that speech, you promised the Iraqi people that the United States had come to their country as liberators, not as occupiers, and that the U.S. military would soon leave Iraq. I have edited and updated it. I hope you find it helpful.

Sincerely,

Aaron Glantz
Journalist, author: How America Lost Iraq

 

This is George W. Bush, the President of the United States. It’s been more than two years since a U.S. military crane toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad. Brave American soldiers risked their lives to bring you freedom, and in just a few short weeks they succeeded, ending a long era of fear and cruelty. Since then, American and coalition forces have been operating inside Baghdad and the rest of your country – helping to ensure that Saddam and his corrupt gang are gone. The government of Iraq and the future of your country belong to you.

The goals of our coalition were clear and limited. Our goals were to end a brutal regime whose aggression and apparent weapons of mass destruction made it a unique threat to the world. Since the regime is gone and no weapons of mass destruction have appeared, we can say that our central goals have been accomplished. In addition, we have helped you build an elected, representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. On Jan. 30, 2005, the United States government helped organize historic elections in Iraq – the first free elections in your country in more than 35 years. Some said elections couldn’t be held in Iraq. That Iraqis don’t understand what it means to live in a democracy. Together, we proved them wrong.

The United States military did not come to occupy your country but to liberate it, to help you attain the freedom that all peoples of the world hold dear. And so, as I promised in my first address to you after the fall of Saddam Hussein, our military forces will leave your country. Iraq will go forward as a unified, independent, and sovereign nation that has regained a respected place in the world.

The United States and its coalition partners respect the people of Iraq. That’s why we will immediately stop our Humvee and tank patrols through your neighborhoods. We will stop arresting your countrymen and taking them to Abu Ghraib and other prisons – symbols of the tyranny of the former regime. We know many patriotic Iraqis are currently afraid to join the Iraqi police and military because they fear being caught in the middle of a war between the United States and the armed insurgency. We wish to eliminate that fear. From now on, the goals of the Iraqi military and police will be similar to any other military and police in the world – to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Over the next few months, all 150,000 United States troops and other coalition forces will leave Iraq, and you will have control over your own affairs.

You are a good and gifted people – the heirs of a great civilization that contributes to all humanity. And I assure every citizen of Iraq: your nation will soon be free.

Thank you.

Read more by Aaron Glantz