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Monday, November 21, 2005

RNC Propaganda Checklist: How to apply it to Cheney's speech before the AEI

Vice President Cheney gave an excellent speech.

We have provided for you a checklist if you are interested in crafting a similar speech.

* * *

Overall assessment of Draft-dodging Cheney's speech before American Enterprise Institute [AEI]

Draft-dodging Cheney's call for a debate in 2005 is three years too late, and a failed diversion for the Fitzgerald Grand Jury looking at impeachment issues.

An open minded jury would most likely find the facts were fixed to mislead Congress.

Draft dodging Cheney's speech has the following problems, of interest to the Grand Jury:

  • Failure to deny something that a reasonable person should deny if the accusation was not true: Manipulation of data. Rather, he changed the subject from his/President's alleged war crime/misleading statements to Congress, and changed the subject, unsuccessfully, to the accuser. This is does not impress a jury: Changing subject from manipulation t the accusation of manipulation.

  • Failure to identify the specific Senators. This suggests he's making statements in a defensive posture, completely at odds with his desired objective. It's clear Cheney's been given legal advice on how to stay out of trouble, but he's still sinking.

  • Failure to account for the visits: IF we "all agree" what the intelligence said, why didn't the first visit self-evidently conclude what we are asked to believe? Answer: The data wasn't supporting your non-sense, as evidenced by the Downing Street Memo.

  • Draft-dodger-Cheney also fails to account for the following other indicators which show there appears to be a pattern of deception:

    - Yellow Cake: Apparent FBI/DoJ cursory investigation into a major fraud; lack of evidence/failure to produce evidence: Jury can presume the co-conspirators have committed fraud
    - Smear against Plame/Wilson; evidence of alleged witness retaliation
    - German intelligence stated the WMD witness was not reliable: Assessments at odds with repeated denials to contrary, admissible as evidence to impeach
    - UK Parliament has retracted support of the dossier; failure of US to make a similar retraction despite reasonable decision of an alleged co-conspirators; failure to withdraw or show remorse or renounce warrants an upward adjustment in sanctions: Scale leaning toward impeachment.
    - No WMD: Major negative. Defense fails to justify belief that threat was imminent, hello war crimes.
    - Senate did a cursory investigation into "a well known problem"; possible conspiracy involving Senior Congressional leadership when they had a duty to act otherwise; oath of office implications.
    - Downing Street Memo: Major negative, has not been credibly refuted.
    - US interfered with the inspectors: Major negative, suggesting wide conspiracy to arrive at a pre-determined outcome.
    - Material information withheld from Congress: President knew, informed no connection between Iraq and AlQueda [ 21 Sep 2001 PDB]


    Going into the speech, there's little to suggest the White House, much less Cheney, has a defense to war crimes.

    So, let's start with the checklist, and then review whether the speech tends to improve Cheney's prospects before Fitzgerald's grand Jury.

    Answer: He's in a worse situation after this speech because "this is the best that he can do," and it shows he has no defense against alleged war crimes.

  • * * *


    Do you want to learn how to write RNC propaganda? You’re in for a treat.

    The following is a checklist you can use to write RNC propaganda. After you use this checklist, you’ll be able to write speeches and make the world stare glassey-eye, giving up their rights to you.

    Feel free to update this checklist. After you have written your speech, you can compare it to the actual speech below.

    Discussion questions

  • 1. Did your mindless crowd drool at your every word?
  • 2. Were you able to convince the Grand Jury not to look at the evidence?
  • 3. Was Patrick Fizgerald so overwhelmed and dazzled that he forgot to look at the US Attorney’s Manual?
  • 4. Did you successfully convince the members of your political party that your current approval ratings of 19% are the bottom and things can only get better?
  • 5. Or, are you in no better shape, but actually getting worse, because it’s self-evident all you can do is change the subject from you lies, and focus on other irrelevant topics and princinples that you detest?


    This is a checklist you can use to make RNC propaganda. Be careful – It might actually turn you to into a dictator, but the Grand Jury will not be happy when they have to read through your non-sense. There are 18 of them and the do like to ask questions.

    [Fair Use: Comment, Parody, Satire, Criticism]

    [ ] Make reference to time of day
    [ ] Thank everyone
    [ ] Thank them very much
    [ ] Point, refer to specific individual [ Insert name here ]
    [ ] Imply long-standing relationship
    [ ] Make personal connections, possibly mention family pet
    [ ] Imply importance of the relationship to the organization without a specific reason
    [ ] Simply assert that the relationship is important, and the mindless fools will blindly believe you are one of them
    [ ] Assert a personal connection, but make no specific mention of anyone that you are personally connected to, other than family pet and first named-individual [ insert name here]
    [ ] Thank the crowd for being unfortunate enough not to find a travel or conference or other meeting to attend; they didn’t really want to be here, but they are part of the Rent-A-Crowd, so be gentle. Soon you will be one of them after your impeachment.
    [ ] Give overview. Do not vaguely talk about an outline. But bluntly say that you are going to mention the outline.
    [ ] Discuss evil themes, even though this isn’t what you really want to say
    [ ] Make comment about personal event, or public news item
    [ ] Continue to throw mud
    [ ] Remind audience why you are not willing to rise above the mud throwing
    [ ] Do not mention specific names, be vague
    [ ] Imply a conspiracy of communication – make no reference to the benefits of technology to impose tyranny; technology and speed of communication is evil when it is used by the opposition to let others know about tyranny. Our technology: Good. Their technology: Evil.
    [ ] Change subject from your credibility problems; attack enemy, even if they are not real, or they are the media you use to manipulate the nation into unlawful wars.
    [ ] Misquote opposition, argue the wrong point
    [ ] Point to your personal experience, however irrelevant it is
    [ ] Imply the bad news is good, feign humor. Pretend to hide smile. Pause

    [ ] Begin tirade against imaginary bunny rabbits
    [ ] Change subject to whether you have credibility, to whether the headline accurately reflects what you do or do not say. Imply relationship between opposition and the media.
    [ ] Assert the point is important without any reason why
    [ ] Use legal word: Herein, thereof, hereto – nobody will understand what you are saying, but it will sound legalistic and important.
    [ ] Shore up weak foundation: Discuss personal résumé, however irrelevant, and attempt to create relevancy
    [ ] False optimism, the sign of emotion, however false: Feign enjoyment of something that you detest
    [ ] Cast favorable light narrowly: Imply the values, which you detest when exercised in a manner you disagree, are noble only if they agree or align with your agenda
    [ ] Feign pleasure, like you did on your first date: Assert you are committed to and enjoy a principle you do not enjoy
    [ ] Bandwagon: Imply, or overtly state, that everyone else enjoys it the same, even though they detest it
    [ ] Begin with generalized discussion of point
    [ ] Misstate oppositions point
    [ ] Assert your side’s position is superior to the incorrectly stated position
    [ ] Disagree with the wrong point
    [ ] Imply defect of the plan, however misstated the plan is
    [ ] Case evil shroud of doom over the misstated approach
    [ ] Use favorable words to imply respect, however much you may disagree with his superior intellect
    [ ] Imply there is no problem – this suggests you are willing to accept something
    [ ] Prepare to draw line in sand, and build emotion – This is your money spot for your outburst. The change in emotion from calm and reason will suggest you are making this point based on sound reasons, even though you are afraid of being impeached for war crimes.
    [ ] Imply the debate is about something else
    [ ] Paint favorable image of action taken without legal foundation
    [ ] Imply there is no problem with discussing something that is a mischaracterization of the concern
    [ ] Assert falsehood: Deny being upset; deny desire to retaliate as you have done with Plame; deny effort to stifle discussion as you did with the RNC protestors
    [ ] Ignore fact that decisions from long ago are still debated because there is impeachment and an ongoing criminal investigation into your staff
    [ ] State positive of what was done, however manipulated and unlawful the action may been
    [ ] Assert action taken, however disconnected from lawful action, is consistent with law
    [ ] Assert without proof the unlawful action was related to something lawful
    [ ] Assert objective of battle, however unlawful, is to persist, however flawed and misguided
    [ ] Ignore reality that perseverance is different than prevailing or remaining within the law
    [ ] Prepare for change
    [ ] Be vague, make no mention of name
    [ ] Fail to deny that illegal action has occurred
    [ ] Cast the light on those who dare point to the allegedly unlawful action
    [ ] Change the subject from your 17 visits to the CIA to those who point out the manipulation
    [ ] Ignore fact that President took oath of office, and committed to do his best, and take specific action
    [ ] Imply that the actions of the leadership were not purposeful, but reckless and without linkage to a plan, despite the oath of office to the contrary
    [ ] Continue to assert statements, not the original misconduct, are the issue as you have done with the East3rn Europ7an detent6on centers
    [ ] Misstate what the opposition has done
    [ ] Incorrectly assert their vote was to do something
    [ ] Ignore fact that President mislead country about whether the conditions needed to use that force had either (a) been met; (b) were lawful; or (c) were based on facts
    [ ] Assert these people have special standing, but make no reference to one’s one higher duty to meet that same standard you impose on others
    [ ] Imply access to information, but make no reference to the material that was adjusted
    [ ] Imply the opposition has a view of themselves; prepare to provide irrelevant comment that contrasts with this irrelevant point
    [ ] Wait for laughter: The audience is your to manipulate
    [ ] Continue distraction from your alleged war crimes and false statements to congress by shining light on those who raise reasonable questions
    [ ] Imply freedom to arrive at own judgments, even though the evidence was manipulated
    [ ] Assert a risk, but fail to justify why that threat was imminent
    [ ] Fail to mention other views undermining the information
    [ ] Make no mention of your 17 visits to the CIA
    [ ] Ignore the information that was contrary to the conclusion; assert that it was not available; do not mention that Congress was not given access to this information
    [ ] Bandwagon: Imply everyone knew something, even though the RNC demonstrators and Scott Ritter and Valerie Plame and Ambassador Wilson and many others knew you were lying
    [ ] Make no mention of the made up stories about the YellowCake
    [ ] Assert a conclusion, but do not mention the Germans who did not believe the single source of that information used
    [ ] Make no mention of the bogus information Libby gave to Judith Miller; Libby has been subsequently indicted, and Miller no longer works for the NYT – enough said, but don’t say that either.
    [ ] Point to bipartisan commission, but do not look to the bipartisanship to review the information. That is in phase infinity, hopefully never to see the light of day.
    [ ] Bandwagon: Imply we all understood something, even though that understanding was the fruit of the manipulation which you have not denied.
    [ ] Assert standard of performance which enemy met
    [ ] Make no mention of efforts by US to thwart investigations
    [ ] Unreasonably shift burden of proof: From the US to show there was a problem, to someone else to justify why there was no reason to be suspicions.
    [ ] Make no mention that enemy was cooperating; and that White House was not cooperating with UN inspectors to let them do their job
    [ ] Incorrectly assert the burden of proof rests with the accused, not with those who are manipulating the information
    [ ] Assert a false statement
    [ ] Deny reality
    [ ] Falsely assert enemy failed to meet conduct or standard

    [ ] Point to ancient history as if it were today; ignore all efforts and progress made since
    [ ] Point to long history of action, but fail to show progress
    [ ] Imply misconduct is someone else
    [ ] Point finger to enemy
    [ ] If opposition implies you have a repetitive problem with lying, point to your enemy as having a repetition problem
    [ ] Make no mention of your efforts not to comply with the 9-11 investigation or Able Danger
    [ ] Do not discuss efforts by your Chief of Staff to not cooperate with Mr. Fitzgerald into unlawful activity
    [ ] Feign cordiality
    [ ] Dig back to history to deflect attention from Fitzgerald’s continuing investigation into your office
    [ ] Mention things that are not related to President’s decision in 2003
    [ ] Imply bandwagon of action justified more bandwagons
    [ ] Make new argument about why he did what he did
    [ ] Imply unlawful action to remove a head of state is lawful because Congress said so
    [ ] Ignore progress made in the meantime
    [ ] Ignore sanctions
    [ ] Ignore linkage between actions taken and actual goal: To preserve aircraft in the no-fly zone, arguably unlawful
    [ ] Imply false connection between action taken previously and WMD
    [ ] Mass appeal: Feign popular support.
    [ ] Assert requirements were legitimate, without mentioning what was or wasn’t done in response or in the meantime
    [ ] Mass appeal: Imply irrelevant connection between 9-11 and Iraq
    [ ] Paint picture of doom
    [ ] Assert unrelated enemies are related
    [ ] Imply mass change of thinking, however convoluted
    [ ] Overstate case
    [ ] Use logic disconnect: Imply objective/goal is the same as evidence that that goal was thwarted
    [ ] Assert a standard of conduct not willing to apply to own
    [ ] Do not mention your contribution to violations of that standard
    [ ] Imply there is no warning for military buildups
    [ ] Point to mushroom clouds, even when there are no mushrooms and the weather is clear
    [ ] Quote discredited leader
    [ ] Imply high risks exist; and that high lawlessness is justified
    [ ] Refer to time
    [ ] Assert standard of conduct that is not relevant
    [ ] Assert mistrust was prudent, without proof; ignore evidence to contrary; make no mention of progress in meeting demands
    [ ] List events without mentioning the reality: There was no WMD, things were accounted for, Scott Ritter was right, Ambassador Wilson was right, and the US thwarted the weapons inspectors,
    [ ] Make no mention of the progress made, ignore making statements about the changing standards
    [ ] Ignore there was no imminent threat
    [ ] Ignore the lack of support from the international community
    [ ] Ignore the misleading information given to Congress and the UN
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that one-sided story are facts, but fail to mention to other sides arguments
    [ ] Falsely assert incorrect burden of proof
    [ ] Ignore fact US has burden to justify the war was lawful
    [ ] Ignore fact US has to prove the threat was imminent
    [ ] Ignore progress enemy was making
    [ ] Ignore changing standards
    [ ] Assert action was taken, but make no mention whether that action was lawful
    [ ] Imply information gathered over many years, from one source, is reliable; but do not discuss the reservations the German Intelligence and others in the CIA had with that lone source who they called crazy.
    [ ] Absurdly imply the difficultly with getting information makes the information reliable
    [ ] Ignore the worst available intelligence: That you are a war criminal, and Scott Ritter was right
    [ ] Point to irrelevant history to justify paranoia
    [ ] Point to irrelevant history to justify forcing enemy to be perceived in one way, regardless reality
    [ ] Make irrelevant point about progress; ignore what was done in the meantime
    [ ] Assert there was a problem, but make no account for the problematic leadership
    [ ] Do not discuss the deal with the Senate Intelligence Committee to delay the fact finding until after the 2004 election
    [ ] Refer to a report that has been discredited
    [ ] Absurdly assert that a desire for something was the same thing as proof of having done it
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the efforts were not making progress
    [ ] Assert, without proof that the actions were ineffective
    [ ] Make no comment of US involvement in corruption
    [ ] Assert climate of corruption, but fail to link in public’s mind why mentioning this is relevant to whether the US satisfied the “imminence” test before the UN
    [ ] Ignore inaction by White House after 52 FAA warnings
    [ ] Blame those who told you the truth
    [ ] Assert, without proof, the problem was with someone else; make no mention that the results of the Senate Intelligence review of the intelligence community was never completed
    [ ] Assert, without credible foundation, that the information was not distorted, hyped or fabricated; but do so in a way that is not a denial.
    [ ] Do not deny that you distorted, hyped or fabricated
    [ ] Simply assert that those who say the information was distorted, hyped, or fabricated have a problem.
    [ ] Change the subject from whether you have or have not denied, distorted, hyped, or fabricated intelligence; to whether it is true or false what others are saying
    [ ] Assume nobody will notice
    [ ] Assume nobody will catch the logic flaw
    [ ] Assume nobody will use this recorded statement as a means to impeach you during an impeachment hearing
    [ ] Assume that Attorney Fitzgerald would never think to look at he transcript and ask you about the statements you made that appear to be inconsistent with your actual conduct
    [ ] Make no affirmative statement
    [ ] Quote someone else who is saying what you want the word to believe
    [ ] Change the subject from whether you are or are not affirmatively denying something to whether someone else did or didn’t say something that you may or may not have lawfully taken action to achieve.
    [ ] Leave the impression that, because someone said something was a lie, that the opposite is true, but do so without proof. Remember, your audience doesn’t believe you.
    [ ] Quickly change subject from your flawed and fatal admissions which appear to be admissible as a matter of law by the Grand Jury to something that is more patriotic: Flags, the military, and other things that you know nothing about form personal experience in Vietnam.
    [ ] Imply work of military is linked to you; because they work, you work; because they are working, you are doing the right thing. Fail to justify why work is lawful; or that the work of others, under arguably unlawful orders creates any relevant barrier, shield or defense for you before the Grand Jury.
    [ ] Prepare to contrast: Image of military, with politicians.
    [ ] Stay stuck on flawed, defective legal foundation which the Grand Jury appears to be focusing on
    [ ] Make vague references to nameless people
    [ ] Falsely assert negative image
    [ ] Say gobbly goop
    [ ] Do not admit the obvious: You lied, but the soldiers are dying in an unlawful war
    [ ] Contrast theme of bravery with lie – the audience cannot comprehend the contrast. They will see the military and assume that you, Oh Great One, are telling the truth.
    [ ] Pray the Grand Jury is stupid and can be easily fooled.
    [ ] Pray a lot, however bleak this hope appears to be.
    [ ] Refuse to admit that Grand Jury is 18 people whose collective wisdom has indicted your number 1 assistant: Scooter Libby.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that a falsely stated assertion is relevant
    [ ] Imply change is relevant or the issue;
    [ ] Ignore real issues for the Grand Jury: Believability, veracity, credibility, and oath of office
    [ ] Use negative words
    [ ] Imply another view is scandalous, of the devil, and should be burned at the stake in Salem
    [ ] Assert the incorrectly-stated point does not belong in civilized nations
    [ ] Make no mention of torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Eastern Europe that has already been ruled to be against Civilized Nations, but you refuse to admit are war crimes against the UN Convention against abuse
    [ ] Assert a standard of civility for the Senate that you are not willing to practice.
    [ ] Make no mention that your personal standards of conduct fall below the standards you impose on others.
    [ ] Continue with another irrelevant argument
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the charges are untruthful
    [ ] Ignore the Grand Jury is still meeting to evaluate the truthfulness of these out of court statements
    [ ] Ignore that the statements can be introduced to impeach a witness
    [ ] Assert that a falsely-stated point has a negative consequence; but dismiss this irrelevant point as irrelevant.
    [ ] Make a vague argument, but do not site the source of the argument
    [ ] Bring up a point, but then deny any association with it
    [ ] Assume nobody will think you’re an idiot for asserting a point, but then distancing yourself from it.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask you why you raised a point that someone may have said, but then distanced yourself from it.
    [ ] Assume nobody will wonder why you are wasting their time bringing up a point you are not willing to be associated with
    [ ] Distance yourself from an irrelevant point by making reference to another irrelevant factor
    [ ] Verbal armor: Assume nobody will notice you have changed the subject about war crimes and the veracity of the President before the Grand Jury, to whether or not they have favorable views of the military.
    [ ] Point to battles, however irrelevant they are to the veracity and credibility of the claims made before the arguably unlawful war was waged
    [ ] Grouping: Assume nobody will notice you have incorrectly grouped the battles in different regions of the world under the same argument, however disconnected that argument may be from the facts, law, or original catalyst for war.
    [ ] Assert that things listed in the same sentence are, because they are together, share a common level of believe, however unproven.
    [ ] Say positive things about irrelevant things
    [ ] Assert focus by those who are arguably following unlawful orders
    [ ] Assert their effort, however flawed or poorly resourced, is something America should be proud of.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why should we be proud of those who fight battles we are not willing to fully support with the resources needed to do the job; nor the lawful orders at the foundation of their action?
    [ ] After making comments about irrelevant things, deny the original point which everyone has forgotten.
    [ ] Assume the audience is confused: That they have not realized that you have changed the subject from war crimes and misrepresentations to Congress, to the issue of whether those who point out what needs to be investigated should or should not be believed.
    [ ] Do not mention the Grand Jury is still looking into Libby
    [ ] Incorrectly assert, without evidence, that action on the ground is lawful or the product of wise leaders
    [ ] Make vague references to battle, mentioning concepts like: Focus, conduct, skill, burden
    [ ] Do not mention this was a war of choice
    [ ] Do not mention the sanctions were working
    [ ] Do not mention the US interfered with the UN inspections
    [ ] Do not mention the 17 visits to the CIA
    [ ] Do not mention Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson, LtCol Schaeffer, Ian Fishback, Sibel Edmonds, Able Danger, Fitzgerald, Libby Indictment, Judith Miller doesn’t work at the NYT, Unlawful Wars of Aggression, Nuremburg, or Impeachment
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the military are doing lawful things
    [ ] Paint favorable image of victory, however illegal that goal may be achieved
    [ ] Assert, without citing any legal authority, that lawful combat can be presumed if the leadership believes or wants to think that the action is right, just, necessary
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the action was right, just, necessary; but do not mention the lack of imminence required for a war to be lawful
    [ ] Do not mention the concern in the Joint Staff about the illegal wars of aggression, or the possible sanctions for war crimes: Death.
    [ ] Assert arguably unlawful action is meeting the highest ideals.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Are the highest ideals of America committing torture?
    [ ] Pretend those who ask that question are evildoers. Threaten to banish them to Mars.
    [ ] Assert without proof that the belief in justice is the same as justice. Make no mention of torture in Eastern Europe.
    [ ] The Grand Jury will note that a professed belief in something ( or an assertion without proof that someone else believes in something) is not the same as the leader actually meeting that standard
    [ ] Assert, without proof that the military can believe and be certain of something that appears to be contrary to the laws of war.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the nation will stand by those who commit war crimes.

    [ ] Assert without proof that because we say something is right, that all actions however unlawful are something to be proud of.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Should we be proud of the unlawful orders given to take the gloves off and violate the UN Charter against abuse?
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the military can be certain of anything, despite the uncertainty over whether to believe a single source on WMD.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why are we to believe that some things are certain when they are vague; but that things that are important, and improvable, are to be believed as if certain?
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that action is important, vital.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Is it vitally important that (a) American engage in (b) unlawful wars of aggression to (c) preserve principles we (d) do not practice?
    [ ] Combination: Bandwagon, double standards on whether visions are or are not clear -- Assert without proof, that the road ahead in 2005 is unclear; but the other roads ahead in 2002 were clear.
    [ ] Make comments that sound like you’re reading them
    [ ] Deny something that is vague
    [ ] Make vague references to capabilities of the vague enemy
    [ ] Imply certainty about the enemy we still cannot comprehended well enough to defeat
    [ ] Imply the enemy has ambitions, without being specific, nor making a case that the resources needed to defeat this threat should be mobilized.
    [ ] Make comments about enemy that apply to the White House: Committed fanatics
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask what this has to do with anything
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that torture should be condoned, tolerated, or assented to.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that unlawful invasions by corrupt leaders should be assented to.
    [ ] Assert objective of enemy that is a mirror of ourselves: To gain a base to conduct military operations
    [ ] Assume nobody will notice you are making comments about the US objectives in re Syria and Iran: To create a base in Iraq to spread unwanted arrogance against those who do not bow down to stupidity.

    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If they have a common ideology, why cannot that single ideology be singularly defeated with self-evident victory in terms of practices, accomplishes, and examples?
    [ ] Make no credible case why the asserted objectives are something which America, if not the locals, should be concerned with
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask about the flawed Domino Theory in South East Asia – “Why will this domino theory, that failed, will work; yet the same strategy, that failed to defeat it, will work; and why are we to believe that the two are certain despite the contrary evidence; yet, despite a forecast, we are to believe that only some things are certain, why negative things are not certain or doomed to fail?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If this is a self-evident dangerous problem, why aren’t the locals fighting what is the greater evil?
    [ ] Assert, without evidence, that rules which are enforced is a bad thing under Islam; but a good thing in Western Society. Assume nobody will ask whether the rules are or are not enforced fairly against the corrupt in government who wage unlawful war.
    [ ] Assert, without evidence, that the goals of others are different than the United States: Torture, death in battle, dominance, overthrow regional governments.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why is it OK for the US to engage with Central America, but it is not OK for forces in the Middle East to do the same in that region of the world? Why the double standard on who can or cannot invade others?
    [ ] Raise reasonable question
    [ ] Answer question with absurd answer
    [ ] Make your answer contingent upon irrelevant connections between Iraq and 9-11
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Who threw the mud first?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why are we going back to 1983 to justify torture in 2005?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Despite all the attacks prior to 9-11, why did the US ignore the information prior to 9-11?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If this was an obvious problem prior to 9-11, why the reluctance to publicly find out what went wrong during 9-11?
    [ ] Why not make a statement under oath about what really happened in the underground bunker?
    [ ] Assert, without proof, the previous groups formerly characterized as being unrelated to Iraq are suddenly in Iraq.
    [ ] Use “they” a lot to imply a big cloud of enemies.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If this was such a big problem, and known in 2001, why wasn’t there a massive mobilization to win?
    [ ] Make favorable images, but do not contrast them with: War crimes, torture, and misconduct before the enemy.
    [ ] Talk about things in 2005 as a defense to unlawful wars in 2003. Ignore the fact that the court will not find this probative.
    [ ] Assert, without evidence, that information possibly fabricated should be believed.
    [ ] Fail to make the case that the information is credible.
    [ ] Fail to explain, if this threat is real to the region, why the region is not taking a stand?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If this is such a self-evident problem, why is the US alone?
    [ ] Fail to explain why someone’s believe in one situation should be feared, but a similar belief by an American Congressman should be pointed to as evidence of a problem for America?
    [ ] Ask irrelevant questions which do not address the fundamental issues: If this is a self-evident problem, why aren’t those who are supposedly threatened by this problem motivated; why is the US fighting a battle which the locals appear not willing to fight; why should the US care that there are nasty people in one region of the world, but do nothing about nasty people in the White House who lie?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why is the safety of Americans a factor relative to what the US does or doesn’t do in Iraq, when our safety has already bee jeopardized by the actions taken in Guantanamo and Eastern Europe: Torture, abuse, and a refusal to let those who have been charged with crimes access to American courts?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If America is fighting for justice, why is American unwilling to let those who are defendants or accused of crimes have access to that justice?
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that those we oppose have the capability to do what you would like us to believe they are capable; yet the contrary evidence suggests your statements are not reliable.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: How can anyone credibly believe we are committed to victory when the troops do not have enough resources to do the job; and here we are, going on four years after 9-11, the same time after Pearl Harbor, and there’s no end in sight: Where was the mobilization and commitment to solve this problem?
    [ ] Assume nobody will state: Problems that are supposedly this big, but the leadership rely on lies to prevail over, cannot expect to prevail as leaders.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If we are not committed to victory, why are we staying?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If we are not wiling to see things as they are, what hope of there is of victory?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Is this man talking about himself – Changing policies, forsaking friends, abandoning interests when it comes to CIA agents and treaties against torture.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why are we staying in a place where the legal foundation for that action is vacuous?
    [ ] Misstate opposition’s points, concerns with the current approach; Assert, without proof, that someone is calling for the immediate withdrawal.
    [ ] Ignore the lessons of Vietnam: That a timely withdrawal from a no-win situation is prudent.
    [ ] Ignore the problem of Vietnam-analogy: Dominoes did not spread; even if they did, let the other nations handle it.
    [ ] Ignore what some might say: Hay, if this is such a problem that might come to our borders, why isn’t there more border protection?
    [ ] Ignore the question: If we have a bonafide threat, why wasn’t there more attention paid to shoring up at home what was closest to our interests, and within our control: FEMA and the National Guard?
    [ ] Ignore this question: If the stakes are so high, why has the United States spent more energy overseas, than in making sure the facts justified a wider coalition?
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that valid criticism of something that is not working, is the same as negativity. Conversely, assert, without proof, that optimism, despite reality will prevail regardless the lack of factual information justifying that conclusion.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that criticism, when contrast with an irrelevant geographic factor, is something that should be overshadowed or negated.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that insufficient forces can credibly take control of a region.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, there are many battalions, when the SecDef says otherwise.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why are the Vice President and Joint Staff not on the same page when it comes to the number of Iraqi battalions?
    [ ] Assert, without credible proof, that “every benchmark” has been set.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “Does anyone really know what the benchmarks are?”
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “Wasn’t the RNC stunt last week over Murtha really about implying that the benchmarks, however vague, are not being met, but we’ll agree to continue doing more of what isn’t working?”
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Despite the elections, why is there a civil war brewing?

    [ ] Assert, without credible foundation, that values which the Iraqis are exercising [ elections, public speaking] are not good enough to be recognized in the US – Why the voter fraud; why the suppression of those with other views; why the indefinite detention of those who dare oppose something that, arguably, is unlawful?
    [ ] Assert, without evidence, that the agenda is the issue, when the real issue is impeachment, war crimes, and Fitzgerald’s continuing review of your office.
    [ ] Paint favorable picture of freedom, an image denied to those who exercise those rights in the US: How many people have been smeared because they disagree with unlawful wars; how many CIA agents have been threatened because they speak out about Eastern European detention centers?

    [ ] Assert, without credible evidence or examples, that progress on the ground is being made: Why are people still allowed to run around causing problems, yet there’s no national mobilization after 9-11 to address these manning and skills shortages?
    [ ] Where was the imminent threat in Iraq?
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that current action is linked to success and progress.
    [ ] Ignore differing views that the current action is not making progress.
    [ ] Assert, without evidence, that the current approach is credible and no adjustments are needed.
    [ ] Do not discuss who asked General Casey for the options to withdraw.
    [ ] Do not discuss why ground commanders state that they don’t have enough troops to do the job.
    [ ] Focus on continuing something, which others have stated isn’t working.
    [ ] Assert, without credible evidence or consideration of other views, that this action will succeed.
    [ ] Assert, without, proof, that success, despite a flawed approach, is guaranteed.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the results in this distant region will address the more pressing issues ignored at home.
    [ ] Assert, without proof, that the solutions haven’t made the problem worse: Inspiring innocent people, who after they were tortured, to join the resistance and assert their right to be free of intervention.
    [ ] Assert that war is a test, but fail to make a good case that the leadership is passing that test.
    [ ] Do not discuss the failed mobilization, or failed ability to mobilize the world to face a real, imminent threat.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Where was the imminent threat; why did a self-evident problem require violations of the law and justice system we supposedly are championing?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: If we knew this would be difficult, why did we make it harder on ourselves by inspiring, with torture and abuse, the very people we hope to win over?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Who hates our liberties more, the terrorists or the White House – freedom to speak out against unlawful war; the hatred for tyrants who out CIA agents; the contempt for those who mislead Congress over fixed facts; hatred for the right of liberty to speak out against the leadership that inspires its chief of staff to allegedly lie to the grand jury. For what purpose? If this was a self-evident problem, why not let the facts speak for themselves, instead of obstructing the UN to create the illusion of non-cooperation?
    [ ] Assume nobody will think of the White House when you speak of the enemy that wears no uniform, hides in the shadows, and has no regard for the laws of warfare, and are not constrained by the morality which prohibits abuse.
    [ ] Assume nobody will say, “When you say, ‘We’ve never had to fight like this,’ aren’t you talking about the fight against the Grand Jury?”
    [ ] Create image of bravery, and imply that action, however devoid it is of the rule of law is justified, however reckless or contrary to the principles we supposedly stand for.
    [ ] Make no reference to the spineless Joint Staff General Counsel who refused to stand up to the violations of 5100.77 or the conduct which violated the UN Charter against abuse.
    [ ] Make no mention of the FBI reports which the 170th Military Police Company and 6th Group Forwarded to the Joint Staff, but the Joint Staff feigns ignorance of.
    [ ] Assert, without justification, that those who have followed unlawful orders should be proud of what they are doing.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “When you say that someone lacks the ability to inspire the hearts,” are you not speaking of the White House?
    [ ] Assert, without qualification, that the only chance of victory is contingent upon a future decision; when, self-evidently, it appears the lack of legal foundation, facts, and mobilization for a lawful war have failed to ensure sufficient, lawful resources were brought to bear on a specific enemy with sufficient power to ensure victory.
    [ ] Assert, without qualification, that the enemy, not the White House, has contempt for our values of justice, truthful statements before the grand jury, truthful statements to the Congress, human rights abuses.
    [ ] Paint a picture using negative words: Fear, doubt, coward. Assume nobody will infer this is the state of the Joint Staff and White House when it comes to matters of criminal law, impeachment, and war crimes.
    [ ] Assume nobody will state, “When you say we will not retreat in the face of brutality, and we will never liver at the mercy of tyrants . . .” does that not apply to the White House in re war crimes, abuses committed against American citizens, and their conduct in suppressing civil liberties?
    [ ] Talk of spiritual things
    [ ] Make statement about the future that is not consistent with previous certainty of victory.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: How can we know our current action, although failing will achieve victory, despite needed adjustments; yet at the same time we are to believe that we cannot know something?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Why is it OK to discuss strategy in 2005, but it wasn’t OK to discuss this in 2002 when we had to make decisions?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: Would it not have been more lovely, if we had had this debate based on facts, rather than to threaten your fellow citizens like Scott Ritter, Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson, Sibel Edmonds?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask: “How can you call America decent when it spends so much time pretending that the leaders who were in charge in the White House and signed memos are not connected to the abuses committed in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Eistorn Yurop?
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “How can you argue America is defending the innocent” when the innocent are, according to Ian Fishback, the majority of the detainees in Abu Ghraib?

    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “If America is a nation that confronts the violent, why are we not confronting with an Impeachment the violent people in the White House who like to wage unlawful war devoid of facts, and based on misleading statements to Congress?”
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “If America is bringing freedom to the oppressed, what happened in the wake of Katrina, and to Pakistan? If we truly want to fight the pockets of desperation, why isn’t the US leading the charge to reach out to the earthquake damaged Pakistan and ensures the survivors do not become the next recruits for AlQueda?”
    [ ] Assert understanding without a credible linkage to conduct
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “If you understand so much, why wasn’t the US able to mobilize the world based on facts, as we did after Pearl Harbor?”
    [ ] Assert, without evidence, that the leadership understands things, despite self-evident facts to the contrary: This leadership doesn’t understand the laws of war, nor the UN Charter against abuse, and shows every inclination to violate the laws in re misleading Congress and the Grand Jury.
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “IF we really have the resources, as you say to do this – why aren’t’ there enough troops on the ground to win, both in Louisiana after Katrina, and in Iraq after the unlawful invasion?”
    [ ] Assume nobody will ask, “Didn’t Hitler say, ‘The reason we invaded Poland was to liberate them and make the world a better place?”
    [ ] Assert, without any credible foundation, some sort of ‘superior intellect” of the leadership: That they have a divine ability to organize things, despite self-evident problems with plans prior to the invasion despite being told of likely problems; on top of holding this as an objective since 2000.
    [ ] End on positive note.
    [ ] Assume audience will mindlessly raise their hand in harmony, “Heil, Glorious One.”

    Here’s the actual speech: How does your speech compare?

    Good morning, and thank you all very much. And thank you, Chris. It's great to be back at AEI. Both Lynne and I have a long history with the American Enterprise Institute, and we value the association, and even more, we value the friendships that have come from our time here. And I want to thank all of you for coming this morning and for your welcome.
    My remarks today concern national security, in particular the war on terror and the Iraq front in that war. Several days ago, I commented briefly on some recent statements that have been made by some members of Congress about Iraq. Within hours of my speech, a report went out on the wires under the headline, "Cheney says war critics 'dishonest,' 'reprehensible.'"
    One thing I've learned in the last five years is that when you're Vice President, you're lucky if your speeches get any attention at all. But I do have a quarrel with that headline, and it's important to make this point at the outset. I do not believe it is wrong to criticize the war on terror or any aspect thereof. Disagreement, argument, and debate are the essence of democracy, and none of us should want it any other way. For my part, I've spent a career in public service, run for office eight times -- six statewide offices and twice nationally. I served in the House of Representatives for better than a decade, most of that time as a member of the leadership of the minority party. To me, energetic debate on issues facing our country is more than just a sign of a healthy political system -- it's also something I enjoy. It's one of the reasons I've stayed in this business. And I believe the feeling is probably the same for most of us in public life.
    For those of us who don't mind debating, there's plenty to keep us busy these days, and it's not likely to change any time soon. On the question of national security, feelings run especially strong, and there are deeply held differences of opinion on how best to protect the United States and our friends against the dangers of our time. Recently my friend and former colleague Jack Murtha called for a complete withdrawal of American forces now serving in Iraq, with a drawdown to begin at once. I disagree with Jack and believe his proposal would not serve the best interests of this nation. But he's a good man, a Marine, a patriot -- and he's taking a clear stand in an entirely legitimate discussion.
    Nor is there any problem with debating whether the United States and our allies should have liberated Iraq in the first place. Here, as well, the differing views are very passionately and forcefully stated. But nobody is saying we should not be having this discussion, or that you cannot reexamine a decision made by the President and the Congress some years ago. To the contrary, I believe it is critical that we continue to remind ourselves why this nation took action, and why Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, and why we have a duty to persevere.
    What is not legitimate -- and what I will again say is dishonest and reprehensible -- is the suggestion by some U. S. senators that the President of the United States or any member of his administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence.
    Some of the most irresponsible comments have come from politicians who actually voted in favor of authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein. These are elected officials who had access to the intelligence materials. They are known to have a high opinion of their own analytical capabilities. (Laughter.) And they were free to reach their own judgments based upon the evidence. They concluded, as the President and I had concluded, and as the previous administration had concluded, that Saddam Hussein was a threat. Available intelligence indicated that the dictator of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and this judgment was shared by the intelligence agencies of many other nations, according to the bipartisan Silberman-Robb Commission. All of us understood, as well, that for more than a decade, the U.N. Security Council had demanded that Saddam Hussein make a full accounting of his weapons programs. The burden of proof was entirely on the dictator of Iraq -- not on the U.N. or the United States or anyone else. And he repeatedly refused to comply throughout the course of the decade.
    Permit me to burden you with a bit more history: In August of 1998, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution urging President Clinton take "appropriate action" to compel Saddam to come into compliance with his obligations to the Security Council. Not a single senator voted no. Two months later, in October of '98 -- again, without a single dissenting vote in the United States Senate -- the Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act. It explicitly adopted as American policy supporting efforts to remove Saddam Hussein's regime from power and promoting an Iraqi democracy in its place. And just two months after signing the Iraq Liberation law, President Clinton ordered that Iraq be bombed in an effort to destroy facilities that he believed were connected to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction programs.
    By the time Congress voted to authorize force in late 2002, there was broad-based, bipartisan agreement that the time had come to enforce the legitimate demands of the international community. And our thinking was informed by what had happened to our country on the morning of September 11th, 2001. As the prime target of terrorists who have shown an ability to hit America and who wish to do so in spectacular fashion, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep terrible weapons out of the hands of these enemies. And we must hold to account regimes that could supply those weapons to terrorists in defiance of the civilized world. As the President has said, "Terrorists and terror states do not reveal ... threats with fair notice, in formal declarations -- and responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self-defense, it is suicide."
    In a post-9/11 world, the President and Congress of the United States declined to trust the word of a dictator who had a history of weapons of mass destruction programs, who actually used weapons of mass destruction against innocent civilians in his own country, who tried to assassinate a former President of the United States, who was routinely shooting at allied pilots trying to enforce no fly zones, who had excluded weapons inspectors, who had defied the demands of the international community, whose regime had been designated an official state sponsor of terror, and who had committed mass murder. Those are the facts.
    Although our coalition has not found WMD stockpiles in Iraq, I repeat that we never had the burden of proof; Saddam Hussein did. We operated on the best available intelligence, gathered over a period of years from within a totalitarian society ruled by fear and secret police. We also had the experience of the first Gulf War -- when the intelligence community had seriously underestimated the extent and progress Saddam had made toward developing nuclear weapons.
    Finally, according to the Duelfer report, Saddam Hussein wanted to preserve the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction when sanctions were lifted. And we now know that the sanctions regime had lost its effectiveness and been totally undermined by Saddam Hussein's successful effort to corrupt the Oil for Food program.
    The flaws in the intelligence are plain enough in hindsight, but any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped, or fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false. Senator John McCain put it best: "It is a lie to say that the President lied to the American people."
    American soldiers and Marines serving in Iraq go out every day into some of the most dangerous and unpredictable conditions. Meanwhile, back in the United States, a few politicians are suggesting these brave Americans were sent into battle for a deliberate falsehood. This is revisionism of the most corrupt and shameless variety. It has no place anywhere in American politics, much less in the United States Senate.
    One might also argue that untruthful charges against the Commander-in- Chief have an insidious effect on the war effort itself. I'm unwilling to say that, only because I know the character of the United States Armed Forces -- men and women who are fighting the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other fronts. They haven't wavered in the slightest, and their conduct should make all Americans proud. They are absolutely relentless in their duties, and they are carrying out their missions with all the skill and the honor we expect of them. I think of the ones who put on heavy gear and work 12-hour shifts in the desert heat. Every day they are striking the enemy -- conducting raids, training up Iraqi forces, countering attacks, seizing weapons, and capturing killers. Americans appreciate our fellow citizens who go out on long deployments and endure the hardship of separation from home and family. We care about those who have returned with injuries, and who face the long, hard road of recovery. And our nation grieves for the men and women whose lives have ended in freedom's cause.
    The people who serve in uniform, and their families, can be certain: that their cause is right and just and necessary, and we will stand behind them with pride and without wavering until the day of victory.
    The men and women on duty in this war are serving the highest ideals of this nation -- our belief in freedom and justice, equality, and the dignity of the individual. And they are serving the vital security interests of the United States. There is no denying that the work is difficult and there is much yet to do. Yet we can harbor no illusions about the nature of this enemy, or the ambitions it seeks to achieve.
    In the war on terror we face a loose network of committed fanatics, found in many countries, operating under different commanders. Yet the branches of this network share the same basic ideology and the same dark vision for the world. The terrorists want to end American and Western influence in the Middle East. Their goal in that region is to gain control of the country, so they have a base from which to launch attacks and to wage war against governments that do not meet their demands. For a time, the terrorists had such a base in Afghanistan, under the backward and violent rule of the Taliban. And the terrorists hope to overturn Iraq's democratic government and return that country to the rule of tyrants. The terrorists believe that by controlling an entire country, they will be able to target and overthrow other governments in the region, and to establish a radical Islamic empire that encompasses a region from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East and South Asia, all the way to Indonesia. They have made clear, as well, their ultimate ambitions: to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate all Western countries, and to cause mass death in the United States.
    Some have suggested that by liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein, we simply stirred up a hornet's nest. They overlook a fundamental fact: We were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001 -- and the terrorists hit us anyway. The reality is that terrorists were at war with our country long before the liberation of Iraq, and long before the attacks of 9/11. And for many years, they were the ones on the offensive. They grew bolder in the belief that if they killed Americans, they could change American policy. In Beirut in 1983, terrorists killed 241 of our service men. Thereafter, the United States withdrew from Beirut. In Mogadishu in 1993, terrorists killed 19 American soldiers. Thereafter, the U.S. withdrew its forces from Somalia. Over time, the terrorists concluded that they could strike America without paying a price, because they did, repeatedly: the bombing at the World Trade Center in 1993, the murders at the Saudi National Guard Training Center in Riyadh in 1995, the Khobar Towers in 1996, the simultaneous bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and, of course, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
    Believing they could strike us with impunity and that they could change U.S. policy, they attacked us on 9/11 here in the homeland, killing 3,000 people. Now they are making a stand in Iraq -- testing our resolve, trying to intimidate the United States into abandoning our friends and permitting the overthrow of this new Middle Eastern democracy. Recently we obtained a message from the number-two man in al Qaeda, Mr. Zawahiri, that he sent to his chief deputy in Iraq, the terrorist Zarqawi. The letter makes clear that Iraq is part of a larger plan of imposing Islamic radicalism across the broader Middle East -- making Iraq a terrorist haven and a staging ground for attacks against other nations. Zawahiri also expresses the view that America can be made to run again.
    In light of the commitments our country has made, and given the stated intentions of the enemy, those who advocate a sudden withdrawal from Iraq should answer a few simple questions: Would the United States and other free nations be better off, or worse off, with Zarqawi, bin Laden, and Zawahiri in control of Iraq? Would we be safer, or less safe, with Iraq ruled by men intent on the destruction of our country?
    It is a dangerous illusion to suppose that another retreat by the civilized world would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone. In fact such a retreat would convince the terrorists that free nations will change our policies, forsake our friends, abandon our interests whenever we are confronted with murder and blackmail. A precipitous withdrawal from Iraq would be a victory for the terrorists, an invitation to further violence against free nations, and a terrible blow to the future security of the United States of America.
    So much self-defeating pessimism about Iraq comes at a time of real progress in that country. Coalition forces are making decisive strikes against terrorist strongholds, and more and more they are doing so with Iraqi forces at their side. There are more than 90 Iraqi army battalions fighting the terrorists, along with our forces. On the political side, every benchmark has been met successfully -- starting with the turnover of sovereignty more than a year ago, the national elections last January, the drafting of the constitution and its ratification by voters just last month, and, a few weeks from now, the election of a new government under that new constitution.
    The political leaders of Iraq are steady and courageous, and the citizens, police and soldiers of that country have proudly stepped forward as active participants and guardians in a new democracy -- running for office, speaking out, voting and sacrificing for their country. Iraqi citizens are doing all of this despite threats from terrorists who offer no political agenda for Iraq's future, and wage a campaign of mass slaughter against the Iraqi people themselves -- the vast majority of whom are fellow Arabs and fellow Muslims.
    Day after day, Iraqis are proving their determination to live in freedom, to chart their own destiny, and to defend their own country. And they can know that the United States will keep our commitment to them. We will continue the work of reconstruction. Our forces will keep going after the terrorists, and continue training the Iraqi military, so that Iraqis can eventually take the lead in their country's security and our men and women can come home. We will succeed in this mission, and when it is concluded, we will be a safer nation.
    Wartime conditions are, in every case, a test of military skill and national resolve. But this is especially true in the war on terror. Four years ago, President Bush told Congress and the country that the path ahead would be difficult, that we were heading into a long struggle, unlike any we have known. All this has come to pass. We have faced, and are facing today, enemies who hate us, hate our country, and hate the liberties for which we stand. They dwell in the shadows, wear no uniform, have no regard for the laws of warfare, and feel unconstrained by any standard of morality. We've never had a fight like this, and the Americans who go into the fight are among the bravest citizens this nation has ever produced. All who have labored in this cause can be proud of their service for the rest of their lives.
    The terrorists lack any capacity to inspire the hearts of good men and women. And their only chance for victory is for us to walk away from the fight. They have contempt for our values, they doubt our strength, and they believe that America will lose our nerve and let down our guard. But this nation has made a decision: We will not retreat in the face of brutality, and we will never live at the mercy of tyrants or terrorists.
    None of us can know every turn that lies ahead for America in the fight against terror. And because we are Americans, we are going to keep discussing the conduct and the progress of this war and having debates about strategy. Yet the direction of events is plain to see, and this period of struggle and testing should also be seen as a time of promise. The United States of America is a good country, a decent country, and we are making the world a better place by defending the innocent, confronting the violent, and bringing freedom to the oppressed. We understand the continuing dangers to civilization, and we have the resources, the strength, and the moral courage to overcome those dangers and lay the foundations for a better world.
    Thank you very much. (Applause.)

    END 11:20 A.M. EST