Monday, December 20, 2004
Does anybody remember the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K)? It involved really bad sci-fi movies and a viewer and his two robots who made sarcastic remarks about the films. Quite amusing, indeed. Well, I thought it might be fun if we applied the same principle to our daily news. I like to call it Political Science Theater 3000 or PST3K. Welcome to episode one.
- "THE PRESIDENT HOLDS A PRESS CONFERENCE"
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, and happy holidays to you all.
- I thought I'd come and answer some of your questions.
- Before I do so, I've got a statement I'd like to make.
- We're nearing the end of a year where -- of substantial progress at home and here -- and abroad. In 2004, the United States grew in prosperity, enhanced our security and served the cause of freedom and peace. Our duties continue in the new year; I'm optimistic about achieving results.
- America's economy is on solid footing, growth is strong and the nation's entrepreneurs have generated more than 2 million jobs in this year alone.
- There's more we must do to keep this economy flexible, innovative and competitive in the world. In a time of change we must reform systems that were created to meet the needs of another era. Soon I will appoint a citizens panel to recommend ways we can transform the outdated tax code.
- I'll work with the new Congress to make health care more accessible and affordable,
- to reform the legal system, to raise standards of achievement in public schools -- especially our high schools
- -- and to fix the Social Security system for our children and our grandchildren.
- Early in the year, I will also submit a budget that fits the times. We will provide every tool and resource for our military, we'll protect the homeland and we'll meet other priorities of the government. My budget will maintain strict discipline and the spending of tax dollars, and keep our commitment to cutting the deficit in half over five years.
All of these goals require the energy and dedication of members of both political parties.
- Working in a spirit of bipartisanship, we will build the foundation of a stronger, more prosperous country. We'll meet our obligations to future generations as we do so.
Our duties to future generations include a sustained effort to protect our country against new dangers.
- Last week, I signed legislation that continues the essential reorganization of our government by improving the nation's intelligence operations.
- Because we acted, our vast intelligence enterprise will be more unified, coordinated and effective than ever before. And the American people will be more secure as a result.
- Our country is also safer because of the historic changes that have come around the world in places like Afghanistan.
- This year brought the first presidential election in the 5,000 year history of that country. And the government of President Hamid Karzai is a steadfast ally in the war on terror. President Karzai and the Afghan people can be certain of America's continued friendship and America's support as they build a secure and hopeful democracy.
- In Iraq, a people that endured decades of oppression are also preparing to choose their own leaders.
- Next month, Iraqis will go to the polls and express their will in free elections.
- Preparations are underway for an energetic campaign, and the participation is wide and varied. More than 80 parties and coalitions have been formed, and more than 7,000 candidates have registered for the elections.
- When Iraqis vote on January the 30th, they will elect 275 members to a transitional national assembly, as well as local legislatures throughout the country.
- The new national assembly will be responsible for drafting a constitution for a free Iraq. By next October, the constitution will be submitted to the people for ratification. If it is approved, then, by December, the voters of Iraq will elect a fully democratic constitutional government.
- My point is, the elections in January are just the beginning of a process, and it's important for the American people to understand that.
- As the Iraqi people take these important steps on the path to democracy, the enemies of freedom know exactly what is at stake. They know that a democratic Iraq will be a decisive blow to their ambitions, because free people will never choose to live in tyranny.
- And so the terrorists will attempt to delay the elections, to intimidate people in their country, to disrupt the democratic process in any way they can.
- No one can predict every turn in the months ahead, and I certainly don't expect the process to be trouble-free.
- Yet, I am confident of the result,
- I'm confident the terrorists will fail, the elections will go forward, and Iraq will be a democracy that reflects the values and traditions of its people.
- America and our coalition have a strategy in place to aid the rise of a stable democracy in Iraq.
- To help the Iraqi government provide security during the election period, we will increase U.S. troop strength.
- Coalition forces will continue hunting the terrorists and the insurgents.
- We will continue training Iraqi security forces so the Iraqi people can eventually take responsibility for their own security.
- We have a vital interest in the success of a free Iraq. You see, free societies do not export terror.
- Free governments respect the aspirations of their citizens and serve their hopes for a better life. Free nations are peaceful nations.
- And free nations in the heart of the Middle East will show what is possible to others who want to live in a free society.
In Iraq and elsewhere we've asked a great deal of the men and women of our Armed Forces.
- Especially during this holiday season, those on duty far from home will be in our thoughts and our prayers. Our people in uniform and our military families are making many sacrifices for our country.
- They have the gratitude of our whole country.
- THE END