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The speech that made a president
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 by Ron Cruger
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          America’s newly elected president had promised that the first obligation of the new administration would be to resolve the lingering, malignant and disastrous predicament of the United States’ involvement in the hostilities in Iraq.
          The president had been elected largely on the basis of a promise of presenting a bold plan for the solution to the nearly six year war. The American public demanded that their new president take office and resolve the bloody and perplexing Mideast conundrum which has divided the American public since its beginning.
          In the candidate’s final speech before election day the nominee expressed hope that a solution to the almost six year old war could be found – a solution that would accomplish a multitude of objectives. Many thought that this final speech was the defining consideration that propelled the nominee to victory. In this speech, given the day before the election, the candidate openly identified the problem and offered the manner in which the solution could be found.
          Standing before an overflow crowd in the auditorium of the high school from which the candidate graduated, the president to-be began the presentation by saying, “We are gathered here, less than twenty four hours before this historic election, to discuss where your vote would best be placed. I stand before you and humbly ask for your vote. I do that because I firmly believe that, with the cooperation of members of both political parties, the trust and prayers of the American people and the blessing of the Almighty we can resolve the difficult situation in Iraq and the Mideast.”
          “There was an estimate that the war in Iraq would cost Americans fifty billion dollars. We are now headed towards spending some seven hundred billion dollars. Some estimate that the real cost of our efforts in Iraq will be closer to three trillion dollars. These are not Democrat dollars or Republican dollars. They are American dollars and they would be better spent improving the lives of Americans. Whether it is seven hundred billion or three trillion dollars they are dollars that a poor mother in Chicago could use to buy food for her children. They are dollars that could build a shelter and food for a homeless man in California. They are dollars that could provide a doctor’s care for an ill baby in West Virginia.
          “I do not propose, nor will I spend any more of this nation’s valuable time and energy on a single minded and wasteful campaign to find and place blame on how we got to this point in Iraq and to where the blame should be placed.”
          “We are all Americans. We have been divided into classes, into groups, into blue and reds, into haves and have nots. It is time to provide answers to America’s problems. – and we can solve them, but only if we stop the dividing this wonderful country and move ahead together – as united Americans.”
          “Thousands of Americans are in Iraq and they are still dying. The death of one American is too much to ask. Iraqis are dying. Are not their lives valuable? Now it is time for answers. The search, the proof, the accusing fingers have bled too much of our nation’s vigor. Let us put the blame, the mistakes, the miscalculations behind us. Let all Americans gather together, marching towards a single, unified goal – a solution to the killing and pain in Iraq. There has been enough.”
          “I offer to the American people that what we have in Iraq is a war unlike any war in which Americans have been involved. Our enemies clothe themselves the same as our friends. The enemy has no high flying bombers, no tanks. Our enemies conduct a war in the shadows. A war of which we are not familiar. Our enemies kill innocent women and children as easily as they kill uniformed soldiers. We will not win a war fighting on the desert sands across an ocean, waging it against men whose fight is fundamentally against men of their own religion, men belonging to a different caste of the same religion. Each day it is being proved that the people of Iraq would, if they could, remove our soldiers from their soil.”
          “I shall fly to Iraq during the first week after my election. I will notify the Iraqi politicians that America will support all of their genuine efforts to end the warfare and create stability in the area. We will continue to help supply their armies and police with the arms needed to pursue victory and peace. Withdrawals of American troops will begin six months after my visit. We will withdraw five thousand troops per month. However, we will leave seven thousand five hundred American and coalition troops to assist in the training of Iraqi troops and police. I will make it clear to the Iraqi leadership and their parliament that it is in their national interest – and indeed, to their national survival, to better organize their armed forces. I will tell them that the world will be watching their efforts and if they and their country are to survive they must become strong and refuse to bow before the forces that would prefer them to fail.”
          “I will unyieldingly urge the United Nations to become more active in the rebuilding and protection of Iraq. Warnings must be given and supported that the nations of the world will not tolerate nor permit the infiltration of destructive forces that would harm this new nation.”
          “And so, my fellow Americans, I ask you to put aside your political differences for the sake of finding a cure for America’s current malady. I ask all Americans to join together, regardless of your political quarrel. Let us agree that four thousand deaths are enough. Let us support our military and offer every member of our Armed Services the finest care that we can give. Let us join in helping to create a strong Iraqi government, a government that is vigorous and powerful enough to repel any invader.”
          “If Americans stand undivided we can accomplish whatever we dream. The time has come to move on, to rise as one and move forward. Together we can create a new America. An America strong and powerful. An America that is so strong that no nation on earth would dare confront it. An America where all of its citizens can think of their country with pride.”
          “I ask for your support to make this dream come true.”
          The new president of the United States, victor in the recent election by a wide margin, sat on this chilly Washington day, awaiting the swearing in ceremony by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A concerned smile grew on the face of the soon to be president. The thoughts of the new president returned to that speech which was given a few, short months ago. The new president silently prayed for a united nation. The prayer asked for the strength to do everything possible to end the country’s six year nightmare.
         Across the United States the vast majority of Americans watched on television as their new president was being sworn in. A breeze of hope swept across the landscape as the new president placed a left hand on the bible and raised a firm right hand.