Good evening. Tonight I am going to explain why I am vetoing the Democrat’s plan to force a US withdrawal from Iraq by next year. The primary reason is that it would be handing our enemies a massive victory they haven’t earned on the battlefield. Our men and women in uniform have never been beaten in battle. The enemy has never been able to score a victory against our armed forces. And they never will. But they can score a victory against our nation, and the Democrat’s plan will give them that victory.

Back in 1996, Osama bin Ladin declared war on the US. In his declaration he said, and I am quoting his words now:

We say to the Defence Secretary that his talk can induce a grieving mother to laughter! and shows the fears that had enshrined you all. Where was this false courage of yours when the explosion in Beirut took place on 1983 AD (1403 A.H). You were turned into scattered pits and pieces at that time; 241 mainly marines solders were killed. And where was this courage of yours when two explosions made you to leave Aden in lees than twenty four hours!

But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the “heart” of every Muslim and a remedy to the “chests” of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.

Do the American people really want to let Osama bin Ladin say that he defeated us in Baghdad, and Fallujah, and Mosul, and Basra, and Kirkut and all the cities and towns of Iraq? Because, if we pull out of Iraq before the job is done, that is exactly what he will say and he would be right.

If we set a date certain for withdrawing from Iraq, Al Qaeda will simply wait for us to leave. The Iraqi people, who have supported us, will fear for their lives after we leave. The Al Qaeda terrorists will take advantage of their fears and intimidate or kill any Iraqi who supported the US. The Shi’ite militias, supported by Iran, will also prepare for our departure. The result will be a bloodbath and a human catastrophe worse than what happened when we abandoned South East Asia to the evils of Communism. Millions died then and millions will die if the Democrat’s plan is allowed to proceed.

Our retreat from Vietnam was bad enough. But our retreat from Iraq and the Middle East will have devastating consequences to the world. Al Qaeda will gain a strategic safe haven and access to massive oil wealth. Iran will have free reign to complete its nuclear weapons program and threaten the region and the rest of the world. Their leaders have spoken openly about using nuclear weapons to destroy Israel.

In 2000 and 2004, the people of the United States elected me as President. The constitution of the United States confers on the President the title and powers of Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces. The mid-term elections of 2006 did not elect a new Commander-in-Chief. If Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to be Commander-in-Chief, then let her run for President in 2008. If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to be Commander-in-Chief, then let him run for President in 2008.

Let me make one point very clear. The Democrats are playing domestic politics with the fate of our men and women in uniform. The proof is the $6 billion dollars of pork they added to a bill that was supposed to fund our troops fighting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is political cynicism at its most disgusting.

I will veto any funding bill that imposes a timetable. I will veto any funding bill that hamstrings our commanders in the field. I will veto any bill that includes pork. I will veto any bill that gives aid and comfort to our enemy. I will veto any bill that lets Osama bin Ladin claim victory over America.

If the Democrats really support our troops, then let them show it with a clean bill that funds our troops. Thank you and God bless America.