After a day of the world could not afford to take. The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. And now the challenge is to help the Iraqi people build a democracy that fulfills the dreams of the nearly 12 million Iraqis who came out to vote in free elections last December.
Al Qaeda and other extremists from across the world have come to Iraq to stop the rise of a free society in the heart of the Middle East. They have joined the remnants of Saddam's regime and other armed groups to foment sectarian violence and drive us out. Our enemies in Iraq are tough and they are committed -- but so are Iraqi and coalition forces. We're adapting to stay ahead of the enemy, and we are carrying out a clear plan to ensure that a democratic Iraq succeeds. Analysis of the speech by both the NY Times and Washington Post have quotes from pundits who think it's dangerous for Bush to "conflate all of our problems into one massive, single enemy" because "you do not define the enemy properly," as former 9/11 Commission co-chairman Lee Hamiltoin told the NY Times. Why? Former CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says in the WaPost, "It leads to a misunderstanding of the need of what is in fact a different counterterrorist policy for each groups and state we are dealing with.... Hamas is an entirely different entity than al-Qaeda.... Their objectives are very much different."
Read the speech here at the White House website. And the other factor in his language: Midterm elections.