Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Latvia Speech A Milestone

President Bush's speech in Latvia should be regarded as a very important historical one, as well as a significant milestone in the war on terrorism. When I find a copy of the speech, I will post it here.

[UPDATE AT 11:40 a.m. PT: NATO Summit 2006 Address by the President of the United States George W. Bush to the participants of the Young Leaders Forum and of the Rīga Conference.]

Despite what Pelosi and her radical, liberal left minnions would want, President Bush is not about to pull our troops out before the job is done in Iraq!!

Excerpt from NATO Summit 2006 address:

NATO allies are also making vital contributions to the struggle for freedom in Iraq. At this moment, a dozen NATO allies, including every one of the Baltic nations, are contributing forces to the coalition in Iraq. And 18 NATO countries, plus Ukraine, are contributing forces to the NATO training mission that is helping develop the next generation of leaders for the Iraqi security forces.

Today NATO has trained nearly 3,000 Iraqi personnel, including nearly 2,000 officers and civilian defense officials trained inside Iraq plus an additional 800 Iraqi trained outside the country.

NATO has also helped Iraqis stand up a new military academy near Baghdad so Iraqis can develop their own military leaders in the years to come.

And NATO has contributed $128 million in military equipment to the Iraqi military including 77 Hungarian T-72 battle tanks.

By helping to equip the Iraqi security forces and training the next group of Iraqi military leaders, NATO is helping the Iraqi people in the difficult work of securing their country in their freedom.

Tomorrow I am going to travel to Jordan where I will meet with the Prime Minster of Iraq. We will discuss this situation on the ground in this country, our ongoing efforts to transport more responsibility to the Iraqi security forces and the responsibility of other nations in the region to support the security and stability of Iraq. We will continue to be flexible. And we will make the changes necessary to succeed.

But there is one thing I am not going to do. I am not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete. The battles in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a struggle between moderation and extremism that is unfolding across the broader middle east. Our enemy follows a hateful ideology that rejects fundamental freedoms like the freedom to speak, to assemble, or to worship god in a way you see fit. It opposes the rights for women. Their goal is to overthrow governments and to impose their totalitarian rule on millions.

They have a strategy to achieve these aims. They seek to convince America and our allies that we cannot defeat them and that our only hope is withdrawal and abandoned an entire region to their domination.

The war on terror that we fight today is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. And in this struggle, we can accept nothing less than victory for our children and our grandchildren.


Meanwhile, I found President Bush's 2005 speech in Latvia, and have posted some excerpts and comments below.




The Baltic countries have seen one of the most dramatic transformations in modern history, from captive nations to NATO allies and EU members in little more than a decade. The Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian people showed that the love of liberty is stronger than the will of an empire. And today you're standing for liberty beyond your borders, so that others do not suffer the injustices you have known. The American people admire your moral courage in the cause of freedom.

This week, nations on both sides of the Atlantic observe the 60th anniversary of Hitler's defeat. The evil that seized power in Germany brought war to all of Europe, and waged war against morality, itself. What began as a movement of thugs became a government without conscience, and then an empire of bottomless cruelty. The Third Reich exalted the strong over the weak, overran and humiliated peaceful countries, undertook a mad quest for racial purity, coldly planned and carried out the murder of millions, and defined evil for the ages. Brave men and women of many countries faced that evil, and fought through dark and desperate years for their families and their homelands. In the end, a dictator who worshiped power was confined to four walls of a bunker, and the fall of his squalid tyranny is a day to remember and to celebrate.


The War on Terrorism is destined to be a long and arduous one. But one day, the ugliness, the evil, the madness, and the despicable, detestable practice of Islamo-fascism will be defeated and end up on the trash heap of history just the way that Communism did.

President Bush mentioned Yalta in his speech today (to be posted later). Here, he shows the correctness of his steadfast determination not to let the terrorists and enablers be appeased so that another "Yalta" occurs:



As we mark a victory of six days ago -- six decades ago, we are mindful of a paradox. For much of Germany, defeat led to freedom. For much of Eastern and Central Europe, victory brought the iron rule of another empire. V-E Day marked the end of fascism, but it did not end oppression. The agreement at Yalta followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable. Yet this attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability left a continent divided and unstable. The captivity of millions in Central and Eastern Europe will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs of history. (bold mine)


Fascism and communism were the ideological enemies during WWII. Islamo-facism is the ideological enemy that we, as well as the entire world, faces today. Although it may not have been labeled as such, we are in World War III.



The end of World War II raised unavoidable questions for my country: Had we fought and sacrificed only to achieve the permanent division of Europe into armed camps? Or did the cause of freedom and the rights of nations require more of us? Eventually, America and our strong allies made a decision: We would not be content with the liberation of half of Europe -- and we would not forget our friends behind an Iron Curtain. We defended the freedom of Greece and Turkey, and airlifted supplies to Berlin, and broadcast the message of liberty by radio. We spoke up for dissenters, and challenged an empire to tear down a hated wall. Eventually, communism began to collapse under external pressure, and under the weight of its own contradictions. And we set the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace -- so dictators could no longer rise up and feed ancient grievances, and conflict would not be repeated again and again. (bold mine)


The next paragraph informs us that such struggles often last for decades. Why would we believe that the current struggles in Afghanistan and Iraq would be over in 3 or 4 short years? The naysayers who want us to immediately pull out of Iraq must be blind to historical precedent. Are they steeped in the mindset of the errors of Yalta, still today or what?? Why can't they see how such an act would embolden the terrorists and their allies and would be a monumental military mistake?



In these decades of struggle and purpose, the Baltic peoples kept a long vigil of suffering and hope. Though you lived in isolation, you were not alone. The United States refused to recognize your occupation by an empire. The flags of free Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania -- illegal at home -- flew proudly over diplomatic missions in the United States. And when you joined hands in protest and the empire fell away, the legacy of Yalta was finally buried, once and for all. The security and freedom of the Baltic nations is now more than a noble aspiration; it is the binding pledge of the alliance we share. The defense of your freedom -- in defense of your freedom you will never stand alone.


Free nations grow stronger with time!



From the vantage point of this new century, we recognize the end of the Cold War as part of an even broader movement in our world. From Germany and Japan after World War II, to Latin America, to Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe, and now to the broader Middle East, the advance of freedom is the great story of our age. And in this history, there are important lessons. We have learned that free nations grow stronger with time, because they rise on the creativity and enterprise of their people. We have learned that governments accountable to citizens are peaceful, while dictatorships stir resentments and hatred to cover their own failings. We have learned that the skeptics and pessimists are often wrong, because men and women in every culture, when given the chance, will choose liberty. We have learned that even after a long wait in the darkness of tyranny, freedom can arrive suddenly, like the break of day. And we have learned that the demand for self-government is often driven and sustained by patriotism, by the traditions and heroes and language of a native land. (bold mine)


If we look at our own history of our great nation, we find that the struggles we faced were often monumental ones. But we got through them and persevered. If we didn't we would not have the nation we have today! As Michael Medved states at the end of his radio show, "the greatest nation on God's green earth!"



Yet we've also learned that sovereignty and majority rule are only the beginnings of freedom. The promise of democracy starts with national pride, and independence, and elections. But it does not end there. The promise of democracy is fulfilled by minority rights, and equal justice under the rule of law, and an inclusive society in which every person belongs. A country that divides into factions and dwells on old grievances cannot move forward, and risks sliding back into tyranny. A country that unites all its people behind common ideals will multiply in strength and confidence. The successful democracies of the 21st century will not be defined by blood and soil. Successful democracies will be defined by a broader ideal of citizenship -- based on shared principles, shared responsibilities, and respect for all. For my own country, the process of becoming a mature, multi-ethnic democracy was lengthy and violent. Our journey from national independence to equal injustice [sic] included the enslavement of millions, and a four-year civil war. Even after slavery ended, a century passed before an oppressed minority was guaranteed equal rights. Americans found that racial division almost destroyed us, and the false doctrine of "separate but equal" was no basis for a strong and unified country. The only way we found to rise above the injustices of our history was to reject segregation, to move beyond mere tolerance, and to affirm the brotherhood of everyone in our land. (bold mine)


Doesn't Iraq and Afghanistan deserve the same consideration of time to establish their young democracies?



For all the problems that remain, it is a miracle of history that this young century finds us speaking about the consolidation of freedom throughout Europe. And the stunning democratic gains of the last several decades are only the beginning. Freedom is not tired. The ideal of human dignity is not weary. And the next stage of the world democratic movement is already unfolding in the broader Middle East.

We seek democracy in that region for the same reasons we spent decades working for democracy in Europe -- because freedom is the only reliable path to peace. If the Middle East continues to simmer in anger and resentment and hopelessness, caught in a cycle of repression and radicalism, it will produce terrorism of even greater audacity and destructive power. But if the peoples of that region gain the right of self-government, and find hopes to replace their hatreds, then the security of all free nations will be strengthened. We will not repeat the mistakes of other generations, appeasing or excusing tyranny, and sacrificing freedom in the vain pursuit of stability. We have learned our lesson; no one's liberty is expendable. In the long run, our security and true stability depend on the freedom of others. And so, with confidence and resolve, we will stand for freedom across the broader Middle East. (bold and italics mine)


Latvia, being a country that has only recently earned freedom from tyranny knows the huge struggle it takes to become free!

I have some questions.

After being attacked on 9/11, have some of America's people been lulled back into the pre-terror war mindset of appeasement?

Do they want to abandon these young, fledging democracies and let the terrorist organizations have their way with them?

Do they think that the terrorists are like children...getting their own way in Iraq will please them enough to leave America and Israel alone?

If they do...they must be living in the land of Oz!

Such a "happy go lucky" fictional place can distort one's thinking that the peace and security they are experiencing is just "there" when the reality is that the wicked witch of terrorism has been continually defeated here at home, time and time again behind the scenes. Through the work of our government which includes intelligence, homeland security measures, the Patriot Act, and our hard working military men and women fighting overseas our nation still enjoys its freedoms that our Founding Fathers worked so hard to bring about.

The next paragraph tells us of the dangers of pessimism. Unfortunately, most of our mainstream media have chosen to be pessimists in their reporting. They have decided that they hate President Bush, hate the war in Iraq, and thus will do anything to undermine our current Administration instead of choosing to take the high road of support, encouragement and unity which made our nation great during WWII.

Even the Hollywood celebrities that were around during the era of WWII became active supporters of our efforts. Everything from enlisting in the military, to performing in USO shows to earn millions of dollars for the war effort, the "stars" of that time certainly were standup stars for America and not just interested in their own selfishness.

What do we have? People like Rosie O'Donnell who mocks anyone and everything having to do with the war effort. She denigrates Christians believers constantly, but never has to answer for it or apologize. Why is she given a pass when others are unmercifully unforgiven even when they apologize?

We have people like Alec Baldwin (who was supposed to leave the US if President Bush was re-elected) who learned the hard way that he should keep his ignorant rants to himself. We have people like Michael Moore who makes movies that are filled with lies. I could go on and on.

Yes. These people have their own "free speech rights" to say whatever they want. However, contrast such people with the celebrities that gave up their selfish motives and got involved in a cause greater than themselves during WWII. That truly was "The Greatest Generation." They earned that title.

I wonder what they will call our current generation of secular progressive liberal left loonies like George Soros, Al Gore, John Kerry, Cindy Sheehan (and many more!). They ought to be ashamed of themselves!!!!!!!




In this great objective, we need a realism that understands the difficulties. But we must turn away from a pessimism that abandons the goal and consigns millions to endless tyranny. And we have reason for optimism. When the people of Afghanistan were finally given the vote, they chose humane rulers and a future of freedom. When the people of the Palestinian Territories went to the polls, they chose a leader committed to negotiation instead of violence. When Iraqi voters turned out by the millions, they repudiated the killers who hate and attack their liberty. There's much work ahead, but the direction of events is clear in the broader Middle East: Freedom is on the march. (bold mine)


The election in the Palestinian Territories unfortunately, ended up to be an election of Hamas leaders which only brought it back to being the Palestinian Terror-tory. Their hatred for Israel traces back to biblical times and probably won't be resolved until the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ returns.

I have always felt that the "Roadmap to Peace" was a huge error promulgated by the U.S. The reason is that it goes against what the Lord has declared for Israel's land in the Bible. In order to get back on track, that "roadmap" needs to be changed into a different direction or disgarded altogether. One of the greatest hopes for Israel (IMO) is for Benjamin Netanyahu to be re-elected as Prime Minister of Israel.

These parting words still hold true today:



Now, ladies and gentlemen, the freedom of Europe, won by courage, must be secured by effort and goodwill. In our time, as well, we must raise our sights. In the distance we can see another great goal -- not merely the absence of tyranny on this continent, but the end of tyranny in our world. Once again, we're asked to hold firm to our principles, and to value the liberty of others. And once again, if we do our part, freedom will prevail.

Thank you, and God bless. (Applause.)

18 comments:

ebsfwan said...

Before we start: I support the war in Iraq. I don't support the way it is being handled. You need more troops and you need to treat your troops with respect.

Oh the irony:

"In our time, as well, we must raise our sights. In the distance we can see another great goal -- not merely the absence of tyranny on this continent, but the end of tyranny in our world. Once again, we're asked to hold firm to our principles, and to value the liberty of others. And once again, if we do our part, freedom will prevail."

I hope that America will soon return to it's principles. Torture has no place in a modern civilization. By authorising it GW has demeaned your great country.

limpy99 said...

I found your comments about the Palestinian election interesting. On the one hand you applaud our stated efforts to encourage the growth of democractic governments around the world. But then when the population of one of those countries, (to use the term lossely as it applies to Palestine), votes for a group you disagree with, you condemn the voters. Do you feel the same about the Central and South American countries that are turning to more leftist leaders? If so, I don't think you are consistent with your support for democracy. In a true democracy, you're going to have to deal with leaders you disagree with, and if you are a supporter of true democracy, you just grit your teeth and try harder next time.

Christinewjc said...

Ebsfwan said, "I hope that America will soon return to it's principles. Torture has no place in a modern civilization. By authorising it GW has demeaned your great country."

Now let me see...

The terrorists have proven that they torture people because we have seen the beheadings on the internet. Those people did not survive (obviously) such torture tactics.

Our intelligence agents have allegedly used a method of interrogation called "water-boarding." Some label it torture, others do not. As far as I have seen, no one has died from water-boarding, but many lives have been saved because terrorists have given up important information.

Let's weigh the "torture" techniques:

Terrorists: beheadings which kill the captive.

American interrogators: water-boarding which has not killed any captives.

Who has demeaned whom?
Who has no principles in wartime?
Who isn't able to co-exist in a civilized society?

I think you know the answers...

Christinewjc said...

Limpy99,

The election of a terrorist group is not what most democracies are, or would want to, be made of. Though perhaps a poor analogy, I'd say that it would be like giving the mafia of the 30's and 40's a place on the ballot and a chance at governing America.

Nonetheless, Hamas was given the chance to change their terrorist ways, but so far they have failed to show any inkling of being willing to do that.

My comments about the "Roadmap for Peace" are a separate issue. It is the one policy that I do disagree with the Bush Admin. about. It's mostly for biblical reasons that I think it was a huge mistake for Israel's leaders to agree to give up any land for a "peace" that has been consistently denied, sabotaged, and broken by the former PLO, and the current Hamas leadership. They have made their goal of destroying Israel quite clear. I doubt that they will ever give up their jihad against Israel, either.

ebsfwan said...

Let's weigh the "torture" techniques:

Terrorists: beheadings which kill the captive.

American interrogators: water-boarding which has not killed any captives.

Who has demeaned whom?
Who has no principles in wartime?
Who isn't able to co-exist in a civilized society?

I think you know the answers...


I do know the answer. Both sides are wrong. If you can honestly condone torture then you are not a Christian. Plain and simple.

Christinewjc said...

Ebsfwan said, "If you can honestly condone torture then you are not a Christian. Plain and simple."

1. It's debatable whether or not waterboarding constitutes being labeled as torture.

2. Beheading a person is indeed, a horrendous act of torture. The kind of torture that also kills!

3. Are you sure you want to make such a pronouncement regarding my personal spiritual condition and Christian faith?

What if I said to you, "Ebsfwan, if you can honestly condone homosexual behavior as not sin, then you are not a Christian. Plain and simple."

See the danger in making such assumptions about an individual person's spiritual condition?

ebsfwan said...

Agreed. I regretted that statement soon after making it and I apologise.

Waterboarding is torture. Beheading is murder. Both wrong. Both evil.

Christinewjc said...

Apology accepted Ebsfwan. Thank you for acknowledging my concerns.

I can understand your feelings regarding the water-boarding method. For me, the "jury is still out" on whether or not it does constitute the label of "torture".

Steve Harrigan of Fox News underwent (voluntarily) what is done during water-boarding and he did admit that it was very scary and the feeling he got was that he could drown. Knowing and trusting the people doing the experiment probably prevented him from worrying about dying, of course.

Granted, I think that it is a severe interrogation technique, but one that obviously works. It made that captured terrorist (who would have likely been the 20th suicide-homicide maniac in the 9/11 attacks) reveal extremely important info that helped our leaders prevent several additional attacks planned.

In this day and age of Islamo-facist terrorism, where the perpetrators don't care who they kill, I'd rather have the interrogator scare a few of these crazy, fanatical terrorists than have another 9/11 here.

limpy99 said...

"The election of a terrorist group is not what most democracies are, or would want to, be made of."

True, but you and I undoubtedly have a different perspective of Hamas than people who live in Gaza do. As far as I know, the election in which Hamas came to power was free and fair. If you support democracy, you at least have to acknowledge another person's right to vote for, and even elect, a party you can't stand. Claiming to support democracy in other countries and then undermining the election of any party you can't agree with is dishonest.

In terms of your Biblical reasons for disputing the roadmap to peace, (which will never go anywhere anyway since neither side is giving up on Jerusalem), how far do you go with that? Is Israel to incorporate its greatest historical extent from David and Saul, (which I think extends well into modern day Lebanon, the entire Suez peninsula, and maybe a sliver of Egypt ont he other side as well), or is there room to maneuver for less?

ebsfwan said...

The efficiacy of torture is disputed very much but for the sake of argument let's assume it is 100% effective.

Should we then incorporate it as a standard interrogation tool? If you are a murder suspect should you undergo waterboarding? I recoil in horror from that idea.

The fact that you - and I'll assume your views are representative of a large section of the American population - support the idea that the ends justify the means in this case tells me that the terrorists have won. America has surrendered the moral high ground.

Terrorist are murderous scum. But does that mean that we must surrender our principles to deal with them? I would say no. Treat them as the criminals they are. We are better than the terrorists. To use waterboarding drags us down to their level.

ebsfwan said...

On the Palestine question: I found this letter written in 1947 very interesting.

Read it here

limpy99 said...

Ebsfwan, an interesting letter from a Palestinian perspective. The one thing I would say in response is that I don't think the majority of the Jewish people are interested in a homeland in the West. Their history is rooted in Jerusalem and that's where they want to be. Still, that certainly doesn't take into account what the Palestinians wanted, which I doubt very much had much to do with surrendering land their ancestors had held for several centuries just because the West was feeling bad about missing the boat on the Holocaust. I'm afraid that this is a problem that will never go away in our lifetimes.

In terms of torture, I am of two minds on this. I would love to think that my country would be able to fight the war on terror without resorting to torture, (or invading other counries on trumped up pretexts, but that's another story), but I do think that if anyone is going to deal effectively with the sorts of people who use kids and women as walking bombs, well, at some point or another some rules, and bones, are going to have to be broken. I don't think that can be legally justified, but at the end of the day, I can't say I care if a terrorist is being beaten up in a jail. I recognize that this is a contradiction, and one I'm not particularly proud of, but the realist in me says that in these situations, sometimes someone has to be willing to get down in the mud with the terrorists.

I will say that waterboarding seems to me to pretty clearly be torture and it seems silly to me to say "well, it isn't that bad."

Stephen said...

Christine, you appear to be condoning a kind of moral relativism in the form of "well, the terrorists kill people, we don't kill them, we only hurt them a little and it's all for a good cause."

I have as much difficulty coming to terms with the idea of a violent Christian as you have coming to terms with a homosexual Christian.

Waterboarding and other techniques practised by your government (call them what you like) are violent offronts to the dignity of another human being and I can't understand it, not at all.

Christinewjc said...

Ebsfwan,

I read the letter by the Jordanian king. King Abdullah can rant and rave and do all the "claiming" of "Palestine" that he wants. However, it was clearly a propagandist effort, on his part.

The hatred for the Jews since they re-gained Israel as their nation state has been clearly evident since it's inception in 1945. The Bible predicted that when the Jews returned to the land that had been given to them through the covenant promises of the LORD, that this tiny nation state would be surrounded by Arab enemies. I previously posted about this here and here.

This battle is not only a physical battle against God's chosen people and the Arab nations that wish to destroy them, but is also a spiritual battle between the forces of good and evil. Such a battle will only be reconciled, at the culmination of history, when Jesus returns to earth at the Mount of Olives site.

I remember reading something about the fact that Muslims worshipping at the mosque in Jerusalem forces them to turn their backs on Mecca. If their leader, Muhammed claimed that their allegiance should be towards Mecca, then isn't there something wrong with this picture?

The land was given to the Israelites by God as an "inheritance forever." Despite the fact that the land has changed hands, so to speak, and then back again is because of the fact that such "scattering of the Jews" was predicted in prophecy, just as prophecy dictates that it is still the promise of God that Israel would be restored to their Holy Land of God. Ezekiel's prediction came true to the exact day in May, 1945. That was both prophecy and destiny being fulfilled at the same time, and is one of the most important signs pointing towards the end times. The land of Israel belongs to the Jews as an inheritance from the LORD God forever. No human king can trump that; even if he tries.

I will need to locate the many historical references that I have read on this issue and post them here.

Lastly, because King Abdullah's letter was written so soon after the horror of the Holocaust and the fact that Arabs hold so much more land than the Jews ever did, his complaining for losing that land just sounds like sour grapes to me. Jordan is huge. Let them give the Palestinians some land (a much bigger amount is possible there, too)to create their own state!

But alas, I already know that the Palestinians would never accept such an offer, even if it was given!

Why?

Because their true intentions and ultimate goal is not possession of the land; it's destruction of the Jews and the state of Israel.

Christinewjc said...

Here's another former post that deals with the recent Israeli/Lebanon war.

Also, take a look at my Jerusalem Countdown post.

Christinewjc said...

And, just in case you missed this link via the other links, be sure to see:

A Prayer For Israel (Psalm 83).

It's a powerful presentation!

Christinewjc said...

Correction!

Israel was established in 1948. Sorry about that error!

Christinewjc said...

Stephen,

What kind of interrogation would you approve of? What does "hurting them a little" mean to you?

Stephen said, "I have as much difficulty coming to terms with the idea of a violent Christian as you have coming to terms with a homosexual Christian."

Oh yeah? In what way are they equal? In what way are they different?

I have come to terms with those who label themselves "homosexual Christians," and have stated as such many times at this blog. But you have most likely rejected my analyses thus far.


Stephen said, "Waterboarding and other techniques practised by your government (call them what you like) are violent offronts to the dignity of another human being and I can't understand it, not at all."

Again. What interrogation techniques would meet your approval? None?

Do you even know how many times waterboarding was used? What if it prevented a second 9/11? Would it have been worth it, even just once, for the sake of saving 3,000 more lives? How about if it saved 3 lives? How about if it saved your life? Isn't a little water up the nose of a terrorist worth doing in order to save even just one life?

There is a point where a person can just be too much of a pacifist; don't ya think!