Freedom and the Future.
February 27, 2003 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Freedom and the Future. Text of President Bush's speech last night to the American Enterprise Institute's annual dinner.
posted by Ty Webb (28 comments total)
Great speech!
posted by Witty at 3:50 PM on February 27, 2003

I write text to be said aloud for a (semi-)living -- Scripts for the newscasts of an international radio broadcaster -- and the first thing I learned is that writing for speech and writing for text (or screen) are remarkably different acts. There's a snobbery amongst print journalists towards broadcast journalists, but writing for speech is quite challenging.

Especially to do it well. And this speech is a very, very good example of how to write for speech. Even if I disagree with the majority of the ideas expressed therein.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:57 PM on February 27, 2003

Excellently well said, as usual. Nice link. Many thanks T.W.
posted by hama7 at 4:03 PM on February 27, 2003

to the American Enterprise Institute's annual dinner.

the man sure likes taking on a tough audience. Is next week's speech going to be at the 'Sycophants for Bush' spring get-together?
posted by riviera at 4:07 PM on February 27, 2003

Here is Josh Marshall's take on the speech (via TalkingPointsMemo)
posted by matteo at 4:12 PM on February 27, 2003

Translation: We will liberate Iraq by giving the Northern portion of the country to Turkey, running their country through our military, and forgetting about them when the cameras go away.
posted by owillis at 4:16 PM on February 27, 2003

Matt, shouldn't this get the same treatment as other "Op-Ed" pieces? (And why did the lofi front page show "6 comments" a few minutes ago when there were only four? Okay, I'll take it to MetaTalk)
posted by wendell at 4:16 PM on February 27, 2003

Excellently well said, as usual.

Maybe when we're reading it. I'm convinced Bush can destroy any speech with his delivery, regardless of how well it's written.
posted by letitrain at 4:18 PM on February 27, 2003

the man sure likes taking on a tough audience.

It's not unusual for presidents to make significant policy statements (I think this is one) before largely sympathetic audiences.

Recognizing the sometimes miles-wide chasm between Bush's rhetoric and reality, these sentiments strike me as unabashedly and undeniably liberal. Of course, based on Bush's record and the gang of creeps he's surrounded himself with, I'll maintain a certain amount of skepticism, but this is damn impressive.

I thought this was very notable:

We will seek to protect Iraq's natural resources from sabotage by a dying regime, and ensure those resources are used for the benefit of the owners — the Iraqi people.

You get that? The Iraqi people are the owners of their nation's own natural recources! If anybody who wasn't the president had said such a thing at AEI, they'd have probably been stoned to death.(Note to Bush: Please clue Michael Powell, head of the FCC, in to this point of view. He seems dead set on creating conditions for the eventual complete consolidated corporate control of the publicly owned airwaves.)
posted by Ty Webb at 4:20 PM on February 27, 2003

Too many words. Thank heavens for Word's autosummarize-in-100-words-or-less feature:

If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. The first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people, themselves. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people. The United States and other nations are working on a road map for peace. In confronting Iraq, the United States is also showing our commitment to effective international institutions. We are a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Free people will set the course of history, and free people will keep the peace of the world.
posted by milnak at 4:23 PM on February 27, 2003

Translation: We will liberate Iraq by giving the Northern portion of the country to Turkey, running their country through our military, and forgetting about them when the cameras go away.

Really? I must have missed that part of the speech. Can you point it out to me?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:38 PM on February 27, 2003

also on topic, check out this entry in Steven Der Beste's increasingly Dr Strangelove-like blog. My favorite part?

What we've embarked on is going to be hard. It's going to be risky. There will be setbacks and missteps. Some of them are going to die. Some of us are going to die. But it's the only plan which can make us safe without requiring us to kill a hundred million people in the process, and possibly losing a million of our own.

A hundred million dead? Why not all the Muslims in the world -- make it one billion (mainly dark-skinned) dead, since you're at it.
Also, imagine these lines read aloud, solemnly, by John Cleese
posted by matteo at 4:47 PM on February 27, 2003

"The United States has promised to prevent Kurds from imposing a federation-style government in postwar Iraq that would ensure their continued autonomy and agreed to allow Turkish troops to enter northern Iraq and observe the disarmament of Kurdish militias once fighting has stopped, Turkish officials said today."
posted by homunculus at 4:53 PM on February 27, 2003

Really? I must have missed that part of the speech. Can you point it out to me?

You can rent it at Blockbuster under the titles "Afghanistan" and "Kuwaiti Democracy."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:25 PM on February 27, 2003

We gave Afghanistan and Kuwait to Turkey?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:33 PM on February 27, 2003

I actually liked this speech. There seemed to be a glimmer of acknowledgement that Iraq would in fact continue to exist even after we blow it to smithereens. Which is nice to see, for the first time, even if I suspect it was merely a token gesture.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:03 PM on February 27, 2003

Translation: We are going to drop democracy into Iraq like a bomb.....or naplam, that usually works.
posted by CrazyJub at 7:17 PM on February 27, 2003

Since you insist on being dense about this.
Risking a Civil War: Turkey is demanding that it send 60,000 to 80,000 of its own troops into northern Iraq.

They raked us over the coals for $30billion this week(education, medicare, what's that?), so I don't put it past them or us.

You get that? The Iraqi people are the owners of their nation's own natural recources!
Of course, the fine print says WE decide where the revenue from Iraqi oil goes towards rebuilding their country.
posted by owillis at 7:23 PM on February 27, 2003

"The United States has promised to prevent Kurds from imposing a federation-style government in postwar Iraq"

Oh isn't that great news. Bringing freedom , but not for everybody, only the guys we like because we promised not to let the northern guys start a federated governenment.

Let me check merriam webster

Freedom:1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another

Also in that article posted by homunculus

The Kurds, who constitute the most numerous and best armed element of the U.S.-supported opposition, harbor centuries-old resentment of the Turks and have expressed strong opposition to an occupation

This is a great way to bring stability to the region, adding a turkish occupation force ?

....and to stop Iraqi Kurds from seizing oil fields near Kirkuk and Mosul that would give them economic power to establish an autonomous state

Oil is ours !
posted by elpapacito at 8:18 PM on February 27, 2003

Ah yes, Owillis... I am sure you would love to see the Kurds in Northern Iraq invade Southern Turkey during the chaos of war, and reunited their brethren in a break away state of Kurdistan (map).

And yes Turkey did get a multi-billion dollar aid package in loans. (That means they have to be paid back) from the US and the IMF. Your point is? We shouldn't protect our national security because we need to throw more money at bloated Federal programs that are incredibly wasteful?
You do not decided to protect your national security based on how much it costs. (If this military action protects our national security is debatable, the standards by which you conduct defense spending during a war are not)

But your hyperbola is meant to suggest that the Turkish troops are going to cause the breakup of Iraq, when the actual reasoning is to prevent the breakup of Iraq. Are you really so naive that you believe the Turks would refuse to leave Northern Iraq while US Troops are occupying Iraq for the next couple years? Turkey is attempting to move in to the world community (Joining the EU, etc) not piss everyone off and isolate itself.

And please do share the "fine print" of Bush's evil plan that only you are privy to...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:21 AM on February 28, 2003

The Kurds still harbour bitter memories from 1975, when the withdrawal of US and Iranian support caused an abrupt end to their armed struggle against Baghdad.
The Shi'ites also remember President George Bush senior's encouragement to the Iraqi people, after the Gulf war, to rise up against the regime. The rebellion that followed was ruthlessly suppressed by Baghdad.

Kurds wary of U.S. promises
Diaspora dream of Saddam’s ouster but distrust Bush
After the 1991 Gulf War, with Saddam still in power, the CIA orchestrated an uprising using opposition among the northern Kurdish and southern Shia populations to overthrow the Iraqi leader. But when the Kurds rose to the challenge, the first President Bush shied away.
Thousands were slaughtered by Saddam’s forces, and thousands more fled over the borders to Turkey and Iran. As news of the televised catastrophe spread, the Bush administration responded by declaring the “safe haven” in northern Iraq so that the surviving refugees could return home and live shielded from Saddam’s military.

Turkey weighs economic, political costs of a Gulf war
Ankara waits for a second UN resolution on Iraq and parliament's approval to OK US troop presence.

People got really confused when they heard the sound, because they didn't know whether it would be the Iraqi army, it would be the Americans coming to help us. It would be the United Nations. And it made this big sound as it turned, towards the mountai n.
And then we knew straight away. We saw the Iraqi flag on the tail of the helicopter. It had the Iraqi flag on it and we knew straight away it was the Iraqi army.
So everybody started to panic. And there was this bright light, a little smoke coming out, and this red thing was jusst flying towards the mountain. It hit the cars. I said, it will fly around the mountain and come back again and do exactly the same t hing.
I was like, sort of staring at the helicopter. It had come again and hit again and go again, like this. Spin around and all you see was women grabbing on to their children and you know, dragging them along to making them run. Those people literally ju st, leaving their cars, leaving all their belongings in their cars, just running towards the mountains.
As Iraqi helicopters strafed refugees, allied pilots could only observe and report back. Unlike the liberation of Kuwait, they had no United Nations mandate or authority to intervene in the internal affairs of Iraq.
To make matters worse, it seemed to the Kurds that President Bush was now having second thoughts too.

As the Bush administration struggles to induce
Turkey to support a war with Iraq, our Kurdish allies in northern Iraq are realizing that once again America is about to double-cross them.
For the Kurds, this brought bitter memories. They blame Henry Kissinger for encouraging them to rebel in the early 1970's and then acquiescing quietly as the shah of Iran made a deal with Iraq and stopped funneling American aid to them. (Mr. Kissinger's standing among Kurds was not helped by his explanation: "Covert action should not be confused with missionary work.")
After the Persian Gulf war, the first President Bush called on the Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam Hussein. When the Kurds tried to do just that, the American military let the Iraqis send out helicopter gunships to annihilate them.

The buildings seem haunted, especially at twilight. In several rooms, hooks are still jutting from the ceiling, hooks from which Kurds were hung with hands tied behind their backs. In a hallway, a plaster statue of a man, one hand manacled to the wall, back facing outward, stands as a reminder of the guards' practice of beating the prisoner on the back each time they walked by.
Graffiti still line the cells, including one by a 15-year-old condemned to death in 1991, after the failed Kurdish uprising after the Gulf War. He had scribbled in pencil, ``Mother, father, I will never see you again.''

posted by matteo at 2:39 AM on February 28, 2003

Seriously, if you were a Kurd, would you trust a man named George Bush?
posted by signal at 7:28 AM on February 28, 2003

"Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. - George W. Bush, 2003 State of the Union Address

"Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you."-Benjamin Franklin

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."-George W. Bush, Washington, DC, Dec 18, 2000, during his first trip to Washington as President-Elect.

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." —George W. Bush,
July 27, 2001

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a
democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." - Hermann Goering

"The last stage but one of every civilisation, is characterised by the forced political unification of its constituent parts, into a single greater whole."-Arnold Toynbee

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

"There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead." —George W. Bush, May 11, 2001

"Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety." -Daniel Webster

"When there is a regime change in Iraq, you could add three million to five million barrels [per day] of production to world supply," he said. "The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy." - Larry Lindsey

"Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment." —George W. Bush, Jan. 2001

"I know the human being and fish can coexist" - George W. Bush
posted by troutfishing at 9:08 AM on February 28, 2003


Furthermore, simply quoting and linking articles is not a rebuttal.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:24 AM on February 28, 2003

Steve_at........OK you got me. It was gratuitious. I'll try and clean up that little "behavior" of mine (to at least make a comment directly relevant to the thread before larding out quotes from my hotlist.)
posted by troutfishing at 11:28 AM on February 28, 2003

Military Dictatorship = Liberation
Only in BushWorld
posted by nofundy at 12:13 PM on February 28, 2003

Military Dictatorship over Japan after World War II = Liberation
Only in TrumanWorld
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:28 PM on February 28, 2003

Josh Marshall: The more I think about this Turkish rejection of US troops the bigger a deal it looks like.

Perhaps it can be salvaged next week, though that seems unclear. But if you want some evidence of this administration's diplomatic incompetence, consider this. We publicly sold out the Kurds to get this deal. We really should have made sure we had a deal before we tipped our hands to the Kurds about the price we were willing to pay for it.

Now we have no deal and no Kurds. I don't think we should have sold out the Kurds regardless. But if we were going to do so we should have been clearer with ourselves about who we were in bed with, the Turks or the Kurds.

posted by homunculus at 1:51 PM on March 2, 2003

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