This morning, President Bush addressed 20,000 Marines and their families at Camp LeJeune. As CNN quotes the President: “The course is set. We’re on the advance. Our destination is Baghdad and we will accept nothing less than complete and final victory.” President Bush paid tribute to those who have lost their lives: “No one who falls will be forgotten by this grateful nation.” CNN–no friend of the President–acknowledged that he “was greeted heartily by the Marines, who often interrupted his speech with cheers and applause.”
The superb performance of our military in the Iraq war is due to several factors; our obvious superiority in weaponry ane technology is one. But our biggest advantage lies not in our equipment but in the quality of our soldiers. And I think that one reason for the troops’ high morale–not the main reason, certainly, but one that should not be overlooked–is their respect and affection for the Commander in Chief. Our soldiers know that they have the President’s full support and respect; that the war will be carried through to a definitive and successful conclusion; that their efforts will not be sold out to achieve a political objective; and that the President, and the American people, believe that what they are doing is essential to preserve our security. This knowledge must help to sustain them as they risk their lives on our behalf.
In the photo below, President Bush shakes hands with cheering Marines after delivering his speech.
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