'August 4, 2005 -- In Iraq yesterday a roadside bomb killed 14 Marines. Two days earlier, six Marines from the same outfit were ambushed and killed. Yet those Marines were not the terrorists' primary target.
Our enemies know the Marines won't quit. But they hope you will.
The terrorists realize now that they can't defeat our military. Instead, they hope to achieve what the North Vietnamese did: To blur the reality on the ground and convince the American public that we're losing.
Those Marines were tactical targets of opportunity. You're the strategic target. The terrorists hope that our media will create an atmosphere of failure -- and that you'll give in to a sense of defeat.'
'Our troops will keep the pressure on even as they mourn. The Marines have faced far tougher enemies -- not least the suicidal Japanese, another enemy who showed no mercy (and beheaded prisoners, as well).
The difference is that the extremists in Iraq don't expect a battlefield victory. They're fighting for time. They hope to wear us down, to maintain a level of photogenic chaos in just enough of Iraq to keep the media hot. They'll keep chipping away at our forces, praying that our will will prove far weaker than our weapons.
They don't expect to force out our military through violence. They hope our political leaders will withdraw our troops. The terrorists have done their homework. They know that a disheartening number of our politicians share one of their beliefs: a low opinion of the American people, a notion that we're weak, that we're quitters.
The terrorists know that our Marines aren't afraid of them. But they believe that our politicians are terrified. Of you.
So you're the target of every bomb, bullet and blade our enemies wield. Those Marines were killed to discourage you. They were targeted to ignite political discord in the USA. They died to give ammunition to those in Washington who view our dead only as political liabilities.'
'There are many practical military issues the administration hasn't addressed. Our forces in Iraq have always have been too few. Much of the equipment with which our Marines and soldiers are equipped is old, inappropriate and inadequate. We went to war with a military designed by defense contractors, not by warriors.
But while those issues are real, we can't afford to play politics with the vital global struggle of our times, the battle with the psychotic strain of Islam that generates terror. Ultimately, the fate of Iraq won't be decided by our enemies. And it won't be decided by our troops. It's going to be decided by you. By your voice and your vote.
The terrorists mean to help you make your decision.'