Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Remarks from Vice President Cheney at the 46th Annual American Legion Conference

About photo: Vice President Dick Cheney delivers remarks to the 46th Annual American Legion Washington Conference, Tuesday, February 28, 2006. The Vice President addressed the global war on terror as well as the administration's goal of enhancing quality healthcare and service to veterans.
(Courtesy of the White House)
White House photo by......
David Bohrer
“... The terrorists were actually at war with this country even before 2001. But for a long time, they were the ones on the offensive.

In Beirut in 1983, terrorists killed 241 Americans. Following that attack, the United States forces were withdrawn from Beirut. Time and time again, for the remainder of the 20th century, the terrorists hit America but America did not hit back hard enough. In 1993 we had the killing of American soldiers in Mogadishu, and the first bombing at the World Trade Center in New York. We had the murders at the Saudi National Guard Training Center in Riyadh in 1995; the killings at the Khobar Towers in 1996; the destruction of two American embassies in East Africa in 1998; and, of course, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000. The terrorists came to believe that they could strike America without paying any price-- indeed, they became convinced that if they killed enough Americans, they could change American policy.

And so they continued to wage those attacks-- making the world less safe and, of course, eventually striking the United States here at home on 9/11 and killing 3,000 of our fellow citizens. Now they're making a stand in Iraq-- testing our resolve, and trying to shake our commitment to democracy in that country. And while the terrorists are seemingly random and cold-blooded in their attacks, we have to realize they are also pursuing a strategy with a clear set of objectives.

By methods of murder, they hope to overturn Iraq's democratic government and return that country to the rule of tyrant, and then use Iraq as a staging area for ever greater attacks against America and other civilized nations. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own image of tyranny and oppression-- by toppling governments, driving us out of the region, and by exporting terror.

I know that most of you have heard the political debates that have been going on here in Washington. Some have suggested this war is not winnable, and a few seem almost eager to conclude that the struggle is already lost. They are wrong. The only way to lose this fight is to quit-- and quitting is not an option...”

(My favorite part of his speech today was the following...)

“Here in Washington, if any believe America should suddenly withdraw from Iraq and stop fighting al Qaeda in the very place they have gathered, let them say so clearly. If any believe that America should break our word and abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison, let them make it known. If any believe that America should be safer -- or would be safer with men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of Iraq, let them try to make that case.”

Vice President Dick Cheney
February 28, 2006
(His above remarks were made at the 46th Annual American Legion Conference)
Read speech in full

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