America did not ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over. So do I. But the war is not over -- and it will not be over until either we or the extremists emerge victorious. If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons.
A lot of people are short sighted about this war. We shouldn't have gone to war and we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. However, Bush understands what we're really fighting for:
This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations. And we're fighting for the possibility that good and decent people across the Middle East can raise up societies based on freedom and tolerance and personal dignity.
Will the American people catch the vision? Can they see beyond their day to day troubles and visualize the possibilities? If they can catch the dream will they be willing to make the sacrifices?
We are now in the early hours of this struggle between tyranny and freedom. Amid the violence, some question whether the people of the Middle East want their freedom, and whether the forces of moderation can prevail. For 60 years, these doubts guided our policies in the Middle East. And then, on a bright September morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage. Years of pursuing stability to promote peace had left us with neither. So we changed our policies, and committed America's influence in the world to advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism.
Lord, grant us the grace and mercy to continue to have leadership such as President Bush. Who see the possibilities of freedom and peace and are determined to see the rest of the nation catch and keep that vision.