Look, liberals don’t lose heart out there. I want to try keep you bucked up the best I can. There’s too much doom and gloom on your side. I want you to rest assured; I want you to be confident that there will be some bad news days in Iraq down the road. There will be. I mean, I’ve got a whole Stack of Stuff about the politics of yesterday’s election in Iraq, and trust me, I’ve got sound bites; I’ve got brilliant analysis and insight, some of which I’ve already engaged in, and before I assure you liberals that you still have, you know, reason to live, there will be bad news now and then that you can revel in. You have to admit this is a glorious event yesterday. What a day to witness. What a triumph for human dignity and the universal hunger for freedom and liberty. You can read stories and look at certain television networks; you can hear what the Iraqi people say about their futures and what this day yesterday meant to them. Millions of Iraqis, literally millions risked their own deaths to vote and even after that, they risked post-election attack, for each voter has that mark with the indelible purple ink on his or her index finger, signals: “I voted.” Not only did they vote, they literally came out and showed the world they voted; they identify themselves to future mischief makers, terrorists and insurgents by saying, “Yep, I voted,” and they lined up in long lines, and they were dancing in the streets, singing, smiling.
They were bringing their children to the polls, old Iraqis and young Iraqis and female Iraqis. What a day! It’s as if Paul Wolfowitz’s prediction that they will greet us with flags and applause and so forth came true. The terrorist threats of blood in the streets didn’t scare them. The Kennedy cut-and-run speech didn’t scare them. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a polling site. They used a Down’s Syndrome child as the suicide bomber. The voters didn’t flinch. They didn’t cut and run. They waited and they waited to vote. But for you liberals out there, we understand how this is a tough day for you, the second election in three months that you’ve now lost, and I’m here to assure you, make no mistake: There will be bad days as the process plays out. There are going to be good days, too, which will disappoint you, but you’re going to get a few bad days, and you’re going to have your contingent of press people over there telling you that the good days are bad days, and you’re going to have a lot of people telling you how rotten it is. So you’re gonna have your fire stoked. Your furnace will be roiling and raging: 90% of the bad news you hear just as is the 90% of the bad news you have heard will not be true, but who cares for the truth when you are an American Democrat or liberal. If the news is bad it doesn’t matter whether it’s true.
That’s all you want to hear is bad news and there will be plenty of it from your willing accomplices over there. But now that the march, the ripple of freedom has taken another giant step in Iraq, just how far the bad news will echo, only time will tell, but I suspect the echoes will be of much shorter duration now, the echoes of bad news. A great day for the president, put his presidency on the line with this. At various stages, President Bush seemed to me to be that great statue of Atlas balancing the world on his back. He withstood the slings of the French and the New York Times. The French said the election should have been sooner; the New York Times said the election should have been later if at all — and, by the way, folks, what a day for our military planners. Yes, planners who brilliantly orchestrated a safe election. Our guests in the background, the Iraqi police force in the foreground. What a great day for our troops who followed the lead of the planners, and I’ll tell you, you know who I’m especially happy for today in this whole mix? What a fabulous day for the families of those who gave their lives to free Iraq.
You parents of men and women who have died or wounded in Iraq, yesterday was supreme validation for you. You’ve had to listen to the Democratic Party and the American left say that your sons and daughters’ lives weren’t worth it. “This isn’t worth anything,” and therefore their lives weren’t worth anything. You now can see with your own eyes the utter falsity of that. Your children, your fathers and mothers, your brothers and sisters, did not die in vain no matter what Ted Kennedy wants you to believe, no matter what John Kerry wants you to believe, or Howard Dean or Dingy Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi or whoever. Your children and fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, not only didn’t die in vain, they died in the service of their country and liberty. They died in the service of freedom, and they are all due our constant remembrances and thanks, just as we offer the same remembrances and thanks to those of you who are their families. No matter how you look at it, yesterday is a day for history, and a day for the ages. Here’s what President Bush said. Grab #3 out there, Alltmont. President Bush yesterday addressed the nation about the elections in Iraq, and this is just a portion of what he said.
BUSH: Today the people of Iraq have spoken to the world, and the world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East. In great numbers and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists. They have refused to be intimidated by thugs and assassins.
RUSH: Some of this stuff, practically all of this stuff, you just have to laugh at. CBSNews.com quoting Dan Rather, “A lot went right in Iraq. This was a major accomplishment. A lot went right with the just-completed first free elections in Iraq in half a century. The fact that the election was held at all was a major accomplishment. Whatever the final percentage of eligible voters who actually cast ballots turns out to be, it will be high — especially considering that it came about in the teeth of a ferocious guerrilla warfare effort to stifle turnout.” These are words Rather wrote for the CBS website. He said, “The insurgency isn’t over by a long shot, but it’s clearly off balance and reeling, whether it stays that way or not in post-election days remains to be seen, but no one should be mistaken: the guerrilla war fighters suffered substantial loss in the election both in fact and in perception.” Now, get this next line. “The momentum shifted in favor of the U.S. military and Iraqi forces a few months ago and has accelerated in their direction with the election.” Hey, Dan, why wasn’t that reported a few months ago? If the momentum shifted in favor of the U.S. military and Iraqi forces a few months ago, why was it that when I turned on television Friday and Saturday all I saw on CBS and CNN and anywhere else, ABC, was how this was going to be a bloodbath and it wasn’t going to work and, “Oh, no, this shouldn’t even be happening! Oh, we’re going to get these people killed.”
If the momentum shifted months ago, how come only the day after the election do you suggest to us it’s been going on for months? Explain this to me. It’s easy. They didn’t want to see the momentum shifting, so if they did they either denied it or suppressed it, in hopes that what they were seeing and sensing wasn’t true because it’s the last thing they wanted to see happen. The insurgency failed to pull off a single spectacular event on Election Day. There was not one cataclysmic event. More than 44 people died in attacks of various kinds, but there wasn’t nearly as much violence as had been anticipated. By who, Dan? This is the point. Folks, I could sit here and do a See, I Told You So all day long. If I wanted to go back to Friday or Thursday or Wednesday or two weeks ago, I have sat here and told you that all of this bad news is being amplified and exaggerated, that the elections are going to happen. I told you what the press would say about the elections before them and during them, and after them, but that the elections are going to happen and that the turnout would be large, and that this event was going to go down just as the president had forecast that it would go down. Now, why am I able to do this, and they, who are there, can’t see it? Is it that I’m smarter? Is it that I’ve got spies over there telling me this?
No, it’s simply the difference in optimism and pessimism and being able to look at what’s happened in Iraq since we went there. It also does help, ladies and gentlemen, to have reports from soldiers as we get. Soldiers come back; they call us. They tell us what’s really going on. We are of the crowd that believes our freedoms are more because of the actions of soldiers than the pens and pencils of reporters, and so when soldiers tell us the truth of what they see, we tend to believe it. Or when parents of soldiers call us and tell us what their sons and daughters are telling them, or when we read e-mails from a commander who led the invasion of Fallujah who’s fed up with what he sees being reported in Iraq and tells us what’s really going on, who do we believe? We believe the people there who are fighting the insurgents — the terrorists, whatever — rather than a bunch of pessimist doom and gloom negative press people who don’t want to see success anywhere they look. They don’t want to see happiness anywhere they look, this country or anywhere else. Oh, sorry, they do want to see happiness in Davos, Switzerland, when Bill Clinton is muttering a bunch of inanities while trying to woo Sharon Stone, who’s also there. While Hillary is out making speeches to a bunch of Catholics trying to tell them that she’s pro-life all of a sudden, Bill and Sharon Stone over in Davos. No, there’s no report of them being together, but, hey, again, experience guided by intelligence.