State of the Union Translation
from the ongoing series of translations of Bush speeches
> Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour - when decisions are hard and courage is tested.
Hey how else could I ignore the advice of the whole world if I didn't pass my courage test.
> We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us. We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies - and the wisdom to face them together.
Which shows about how much wisdom I show by facing things alone.
> Finally, to keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of entitlements.
What, you think I am going to talk about corporate welfare? Hah!
> Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience - and so it is our duty to keep them permanently sound.
This is my way of starting to say I want to me mess them up even worse.
> Yet we are failing in that duty - and this failure will one day leave our children with three bad options: huge tax increases, huge deficits, or huge and immediate cuts in benefits.
Well yeah then there is that other possibility of taxing the super rich, but, uhhhh, that's just nonsense.
> Everyone in this Chamber knows this to be true - yet somehow we have not found it in ourselves to act. So let us work together and do it now. With enough good sense and good will, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid - and save Social Security.
When I say "fix" I mean more in the "chopping off the balls of a dog" sense then in the "repair" sense.
> Spreading opportunity and hope in America also requires public schools that give children the knowledge and character they need in life.
And that character is named Ronald McDonald.
> Five years ago, we rose above partisan differences to pass the No Child Left Behind Act - preserving local control, raising standards in public schools, and holding those schools accountable for results. And because we acted, students are performing better in reading and math, and minority students are closing the achievement gap.
It's really a great program and these stats back it up. Whoops, I am holding them upside down.
> Extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America - with laws that are fair and borders that are secure. When laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country. To secure our border, we are doubling the size of the Border Patrol - and funding new infrastructure and technology.
That's a way to avoid using that word "fence."
> It is in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply - and the way forward is through technology.
Science will save our ass.
> We must continue changing the way America generates electric power - by even greater use of clean coal technology ...
We always say "clean" before the word coal which distracts people from the fact that coal mining is never ever clean.
> solar and wind energy ... and clean, safe nuclear power.
With nuclear power we have to use the same technique, except put in the word "safe" to distract people from the fact that nuclear power is never clean nor safe.
> We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol - using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes.
Basically we got to burn all kinds of stuff.
> We have made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies in Washington and the strong response of the market.
Which is clear from this data I have in front of me. What? Oh sorry that's a comic book.
> Now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we have done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next ten years - thereby cutting our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East.
I like the whole 20 thing. 20 thousand troops, 20 percent... It has a good ring to it. I even like to say 20 in Spanish.
> To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory Fuels Standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 - this is nearly five times the current target. At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks - and conserve up to eight and a half billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.
Well yeah, in the past I did exempt Hummers as work trucks, what of it?
>Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, butwill not eliminate it. So as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must also step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. These technologies will help us become better stewards of the environment - and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.
They're called the "serious challenge antidepedency technologies," or SCATs for short. You'll get the details in about 20 years.
> We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us - unless we stop them.
Unfortunately, our technique for stopping them is to inflict horrors on other civilians.
> With the distance of time, we find ourselves debating the causes of conflict and the course we have followed. Such debates are essential when a great democracy faces great questions. Yet one question has surely been settled - that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.
I consider it settled in that at least 30% of Americans agree with me and at least 5% worldwide.
> From the start, America and our allies have protected our people by staying on the offense. The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free flowing communications are long over. For the terrorists, life since Nine-Eleven has never been the same.
For any civilians who happen to live near them, life has been destroyed by me.
> Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented - but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terrorist cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them.
Take my word on those, the data is classified.
> Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this enemy. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in Nine-Eleven is still at work in the world. And so long as that is the case, America is still a Nation at war.
As long as there is evil, we will be at war. So, dang, how does this war end?
> In the minds of the terrorists, this war began well before September 11th, and will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled. And these past five years have given us a much clearer view of the nature of this enemy. Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology.
It took us five years to come up with that analysis.
> Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats ... instruct with bullets and bombs ... and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent.
What we do is build alliances with threats, destroy civilizations with bullets and bombs, and promise to defeat evil as we murder innocents.
> Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions. They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty.
We are sticking by our liberties though, that's why we cancelled habeas corpus and posse comitatus.
> They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology. Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse." And Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."
Where as I pretend that what is coming is always better.
> These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East. Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah - a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.
Can I bomb Iran too, please?
> The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. But whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent, they have the same wicked purposes.
When we kill the innocent we have nice purposes.
> They want to kill Americans .... kill democracy in the Middle East ... and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.
And we don't want weapons like that at all.
> So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates, reformers, and brave voices for democracy.
Like, uh, hey who are these guys we're helping?
> The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security .. . . we must.
Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do so.
> In the last two years, we have seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East - and we have been sobered by the enemy's fierce reaction. In 2005, the world watched as the citizens of Lebanon raised the banner of the Cedar Revolution ... drove out the Syrian occupiers ... and chose new leaders in free elections.
And now we are seeing them blocking the streets against that government.
> In 2005, the people of Afghanistan defied the terrorists and elected a democratic legislature.
It's basically democratic there.
> And in 2005, the Iraqi people held three national elections - choosing a transitional government ... adopting the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world and then electing a government under that constitution. Despite endless threats from the killers in their midst, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote in a show of hope and solidarity we should never forget.
And although it was a couple years ago, I have to reach back to that to find any good news.
> A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back. In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. And Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran
and support from almost every group in that country
> sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government. In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia - and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day.
We have no responsibility for that at all.
> This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in.
Or it is the fight we constructed.
> Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. So let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory.
Even if that is completely tactically impossible at this point.
> We are carrying out a new strategy in Iraq - a plan that demands more from Iraq's elected government, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission. Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror.
It's kind of an impossible goal at this point though, but I am out of here in two years.
> In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital. But the Iraqis are not yet ready to do this on their own. So we are deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq. The vast majority will go to Baghdad, where they will help Iraqi forces to clear and secure neighborhoods, and serve as advisers embedded in Iraqi Army units. With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down terrorists, insurgents, and roaming death squads. And in Anbar province - where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them - we are sending an additional 4,000 United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out. We did not drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.
Yeah, we drove them out of Afghanistan to set up safe havens in Pakistan instead.
> My fellow citizens, our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options. We discussed every possible approach.
and fired any who disagreed.
> In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance of success. Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq - because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far reaching.
If we say "we haven't failed" enough maybe it will come true.
> If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country - and in time the entire region could be drawn into the conflict. For America, this is a nightmare scenario. For the enemy, this is the objective. Chaos is their greatest ally in this struggle. And out of chaos in Iraq, would emerge an emboldened enemy with new safe havens... new recruits ... new resources ... and an even greater determination to harm America. To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September 11th and invite tragedy. And ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East .... to succeed in Iraq ... and to spare the American people from this danger. This is where matters stand tonight, in the here and now. I have spoken with many of you in person. I respect you and the arguments you have made. We went into this largely united - in our assumptions, and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq - and I ask you to give it a chance to work.
And to the great majority of you, who say no, I say "piss off then."
> And I ask you to support our troops in the field - and those on their way. The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others.
Basically it will destroy the planet.
> That is why it is important to work together so our Nation can see this great effort through. Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. And this is why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties.
Because we have really learned how to ignore bi-partisan advice.
> We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. And we will show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory.
Even if we're not united at all, can't we just pretend?
> One of the first steps we can take together is to add to the ranks of our military - so that the American Armed Forces are ready for all the challenges ahead. Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years. A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. And it would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.
It's a good option for those retiring baby boomers. Talk about putting some boom back in your life!
> Americans can have confidence in the outcome of this struggle - because we are not in this struggle alone. We have a diplomatic strategy that is rallying the world to join in the fight against extremism.
Which countries are still with me? Hello?
>In Iraq, multinational forces are operating under a mandate from the United Nations - and we are working with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf States to increase support for Iraq's government. The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. With the other members of the Quartet - the UN, the European Union, and Russia - we are pursuing diplomacy to help bring peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.
It's really just getting underway now, just wait...
> In Afghanistan, NATO has taken the lead in turning back the Taliban and al Qaeda offensive - the first time the Alliance has deployed forces outside the North Atlantic area. Together with our partners in China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, we are pursuing intensive diplomacy to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. And we will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in places like Cuba, Belarus, and Burma - and continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur.
> Three weeks ago, Wesley Autrey was waiting at a Harlem subway station with his two little girls, when he saw a man fall into the path of a train. With seconds to act, Wesley jumped onto the tracks ... pulled the man into a space between the rails .... and held him as the train passed right above their heads. He insists he's not a hero. Wesley says: "We got guys and girls overseas dying for us to have our freedoms. We got to show each other some love." There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey.
In fact, that guy would be a better leader than me, I quit!
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