My fellow Americans,
Four years ago, the armed forces of the United States and the world liberated the peoples of Iraq from Saddam Hussein.
We did this because every other method of forcing Saddam to comply with United Nations resolutions and the no-fly zones had failed.
We did this because Saddam refused to allow us to verify the dismantling of his WMD programs.
We did this because to stop the flow of support to terrorists who threatened Americans, Israelis, and innocent people across the world.
We did this to prevent, for all time, any possibility that Saddam would develop nuclear weapons.
We did this to prevent, for all time, any possibility that Saddam would use Iraq’s wealth to support terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
We have succeeded in our goals. In only six weeks, I was able to tell you that our mission was accomplished.
Following the end of major combat operations, we — in cooperation with our coalition partners — attempted to build a new Iraq. We hoped that Iraqis major peoples — the Shia, the Kurds, and the Sunni Arab tribes — would be able to put the past behind them and stand united. A series of elections proved that most Iraqis were opposed to terrorism and welcomed democracy. Even though Iraq had long been ruled by parasitic small minority that deprived most Iraqis of their countries wealth and never won power through any election, we hoped that all Iraqis would welcome the possibility of being equal citizens in a new country.
Sadly, events have now proved that this is impossible. The violent rejection of a new Iraq by a small minority has lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis. We will appease this violence by loyalists of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden no longer. Instead, I now announce a policy of providing substantial support, in the form of materiel, capital, and airborne security, to all groups and parties in Iraq that stand against Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party and Osma bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist organization.
While many Iraqis opposed terrorism and supported democracy with their fellow Iraqis, that country’s tribal Sunni Arab minority has proved hostile to our ideals of liberty, justice, and freedom. Unlike the white minority government of South Africa, Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority regime has been unwilling to accept peace and reconciliation with their neighbors. After World War II, ethnic Germans and ethnic Japanese were relocated from their former colonies. This caused much hardship and grief, but ultimately proved vital in building a peaceful Europe. In the same way, it appears that the democratically-elected Iraqi government will relocate many members of this former ruling minority out of shared neighborhoods. Additionally, Iraq’s President and Prime Minister have informed me they have no plans to divert that country’s oil wealth to same tribes that have supported al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. I welcome this decision.
By holding the Iraqi Sunni Arab tribes to their crimes, such as IED attacks on American troops and the destruction of the holy Golden Mosque, we prevent any possibility of any victory by loyalists to the dead tyrant Saddam Hussein or the cowering terrorist Osama bin Laden. Providence has given Iraq to populations who have suffered the most from Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda: the Kurds and the Shia. The Iraq War now ends in victory, not just for us or for Iraq, but for all the people of the world.
This victory, which will allow the majority of American ground forces to be withdrawn within the year, also strengthens our diplomacy with Iran. As long as we were unable to fully support the free and peace-loving people of Iraq, many Iraqis concluded that Iran would be their only friend against terrorists who kill for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Now that we no longer will forgive certain Iraqi tribes for their harboring of fascist and totalitarian tyrants, no Iraqi will think that America is only a fair weather friend. We hereby give our immediate and complete support to the many political parties and civil societies in Iraq that suffered under the Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda regimes. We support them as they fight back.
We have won, and through our friendship to the young democracy in Iraq we will continue to win.
Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.