The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel


June 8, 2006

Bush today, speaking in Nebraska on immigration:

This is a tough debate for America, it really is. It’s a tough debate because it’s one in which the language can sometimes send the wrong signals about what we’re about. People are very emotional about this issue. And my admonition to people who are concerned about the immigration debate is to remember that language can send signals about who we are as a nation. That harsh, ugly rhetoric on the debate tends to divide our country. It tends to forget the values that have made us great.

Language sends signals….

So what kind of signals has Bush been sending about the War On Terrorism / War in Iraq?

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

History has called us into action, and this nation is responding. You’ve got to understand my mind set and what we think. We’ve got to act on behalf of the little ones. We’ve got to secure the world and this civilization as we know it from these evil people. We just have to do this.

This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.

[T]he best way to defend America is to stay on the offense. The best way to protect you is to rally all the strength of national government — intelligence and military and law enforcement and financial strength — to stay on the offense against an enemy that I believe wants to hurt us again. And that means find them where they hide, and keep the pressure on, and never relent, and understand that you can’t negotiate with these folks, there is no compromise, there is no middle ground. And so that’s exactly what we’re doing.

There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don’t understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring ’em on.

This country will not rest, we will not tire, we will not stop until this danger to civilization is removed.

[L]et me say something: the United States government has an obligation to protect the American people. It’s in our country’s interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm’s way. And we will do so within the law, and we will do so in honoring our commitment not to torture people. And we expect the countries where we send somebody to, not to torture, as well. But you bet, when we find somebody who might do harm to the American people, we will detain them and ask others from their country of origin to detain them. It makes sense. The American people expect us to do that. We — we still at war.

One of my — I’ve said this before to you, I’m going to say it again, one of my concerns after September the 11th is the farther away we got from September the 11th, the more relaxed we would all become and assume that there wasn’t an enemy out there ready to hit us. And I just can’t let the American people — I’m not going to let them down by assuming that the enemy is not going to hit us again. We’re going to do everything we can to protect us. And we’ve got guidelines. We’ve got law. But you bet, Mark, we’re going to find people before they harm us.

This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table.

So, again, what sort of signals does this language send?

Filed as: ., , and

+ posts

Dr. Peter Howard focuses on US foreign policy and international security. He studies how the implementation of foreign policy programs produces rule-based regional security regimes, conducting research in Estonia on NATO Expansion and US Military Exchange programs and South Korea on nuclear negotiations with North Korea.