Thursday, July 28, 2005

President Bush's Siren Song

If one says something long enough and frequently enough, it comes to have the status of a given. We have been told time and again by President Bush—for over a year now, in fact—that we are fighting terrorists abroad so we don’t have to face them here at home. This line is a crowd pleaser, drawing applause every time it is uttered. I have traced the line to its birth in June of 2004, and have, through a systematic search on the whitehouse.gov website, produced every instance of Bush’s utterance in chronological order. In addition, I analyze what work this piece of rhetoric is designed to accomplish, what message it is designed to convey, and, most importantly, what reality it crucially distorts.

I. Origins

As exemplified in President Bush’s 4th of July speech—“We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home”— this well-balanced sentence was conceived sometime in the middle of June 2004, before Bush embarked on his flurry of 2004 re-election campaign rallies. Incidentally, if anyone knows of an earlier utterance, please let me know in the comments.

The first rough formulation can be found in Bush’s June 2, 2004 remarks at the Air Force Academy Graduation:
“Some say that by fighting the terrorists abroad since September the 11th, we only stir up a hornet's nest. But the terrorists who struck that day were stirred up already. (Applause.) If America were not fighting terrorists in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and elsewhere, what would these thousands of killers do, suddenly begin leading productive lives of service and charity? (Laughter.) Would the terrorists who beheaded an American on camera just be quiet, peaceful citizens if America had not liberated Iraq? We are dealing here with killers who have made the death of Americans the calling of their lives. And America has made a decision about these terrorists: Instead of waiting for them to strike again in our midst, we will take this fight to the enemy. (Applause.)”

Bush was more succinct on June 15, 2004 at his meeting with President Karzai of Afghanistan:
“First, it's in our interests that we defeat terrorists there than fight them here. That's our short-term security interest.”

The very next day (June 16, 2004), saluting the Military at Macdill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, the line fully bloomed:
“By fighting the terrorists in distant lands, you are making sure your fellow citizens do not face them here at home.”

II. Analysis

Within the rhetorical framework of staying on the offensive tack, the phrase marks a shift in emphasis away from the mantra of bringing the terrorists to justice, and places the accent instead on taking the fight to the terrorists abroad (read: Iraq insurgency) to prevent future attacks in America. Though it suggests that America is safer because of the Iraq war, it simultaneously has the effect of renewing fear of terrorism in order to make Americans believe that, but for out steadfastness in Iraq and our war president, the terrorists, e.g., Zarqawi and his like, could and would strike America again. In this sense it is a piece of rhetoric calculated to reinforce support for the war in Iraq by identifying it with the war on terrorists overseas. In effect it says—and not without truth—that we must stand behind Bush and his enterprises in fear that our way of life and destiny is under imminent threat from abroad. Bush’s message to the American people is clear: The only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve in Iraq.

What’s troubling, however, is that whatever the measure of the Iraq insurgency, as long as terrorist attacks occur overseas, including London, and not here at home, the war in Iraq seems to be precisely what it is not—an effective means of executing the global war on terror. This idea—which conflates fighting terrorism with fighting the Iraq insurgency— is represented, for example, in a statement by Mr. Lawrence Kudlow on The McLaughlin Group on June 20, 2003: “MR. KUDLOW: Look, I think we have in this sense; I think the greatest benefit and the greatest blessing to the USA is that we have not had any terrorist attacks since 9/11. That by itself is extraordinarily positive. And to the extent we are taking it to the terrorists abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is also positive.”

Against this equation of Iraq and terrorists, financier, philanthropist and outspoken Bush critic George Soros notably has argued that Bush’s favorite line is in truth “a Siren’s song”: “Most of the people attacking our soldiers in Iraq originally had nothing to do with al-Qa’ida. They have been generated by the policies of the Bush administration. We have been spared a terrorist attack at home, but it is quite a stretch to attribute that to the invasion of Iraq. The insurrection in Iraq, however, is a somber reality, and it doesn’t make us safer at home. Our security, far from improving as President Bush claims, is deteriorating.”

III. Complete History (from the most recent down to June 18, 2004)

“We will defend ourselves by staying on the offense against these killers. We will find them overseas so we don't have to face them here at home.”
—President Promotes Central American Free Trade Agreement
Organization of American States, Washington, D.C., July 21, 2005


“We're on the offense against these terrorists overseas. We will bring them to justice so they don't murder more of our citizens and other citizens around the world.”
—President Discusses Education, Entrepreneurship & Home Ownership at Indiana Black Expo, July 14, 2005

“And we're staying on the offensive. We're fighting the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan and across the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President discusses war on terror at FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia, July 11, 2005

“We are now waging a global war on terror -- from the mountains of Afghanistan to the border regions of Pakistan, to the Horn of Africa, to the islands of the Philippines, to the plains of Iraq. We will stay on the offense, fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them at home.”
—President's Radio Address, July 9, 2005

“We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President celebrates Independence Day at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, July 4, 2005

“Today, a new generation of Americans is defending our freedom against determined enemies. At posts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world, our men and women in uniform are taking the fight to the terrorists overseas, so that we do not have to face the terrorists here at home.”
—President’s radio address, July 2, 2005

“There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home. The commander in charge of coalition operations in Iraq -- who is also senior commander at this base -- General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said: "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."”
—Address to the nation from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, June 28, 2005

“Our troops are fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home.”
—President’s Radio Address, June 18, 2005

“See, the strategy is we'll defeat them before they attack us; we'll face them overseas before we have to face them here at home. And the best way to make sure we do so is with the best possible intelligence.”
—President’s Remarks before the National Counterterrorism Center, McLean Virginia, June 10, 2005

“We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad, so we don't have to face them here at home.”
—President discusses Patriot Act at Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, Columbus, Ohio, June 9, 2005

“We are taking the fight to the enemy abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Commencement speech at Naval Academy, Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland, May 27, 2005

“Over the next four years, we'll be relentless in tracking down the terrorists. We will confront them abroad so we don't have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks at the Republican National Committee Gala, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2005

“I've always told the American people here, it's best to find them where they try to hide so that we don't have to deal with them here at home.”
—Interview of the President by Estonian TV, The Map Room, May 4, 2005

“Q[:] Mr. President, your State Department has reported that terrorist attacks around the world are at an all-time high. If we're winning the war on terrorism, as you say, how do you explain that more people are dying in terrorist attacks on your watch than ever before?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we've made the decision to defeat the terrorists abroad so we don't have to face them here at home. And when you engage the terrorists abroad, it causes activity and action. And we're relentless.”
—Press Conference of the President, The East Room, April 28, 2005

“The terrorists have made Iraq a central front in the war on terror. Because of your service, because of your sacrifice, we are defeating them there where they live, so we do not have to face them where we live.”
—President Discusses War on Terror at Fort Hood, Texas, April 12, 2005

“Like an earlier generation, America is pursuing a clear strategy with our allies to achieve victory. Our immediate strategy is to eliminate terrorist threats abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home. The theory here is straightforward: terrorists are less likely to endanger our security if they are worried about their own security. When terrorists spend their days struggling to avoid death or capture, they are less capable of arming and training to commit new attacks. We will keep the terrorists on the run, until they have nowhere left to hide.”
—President Discusses War on Terror, National Defense University
Fort Lesley J. McNair, March 8, 2005


“By fighting terrorists in places like Baghdad and Karbala and Tikrit, you are making sure we do not face those enemies at home.”
— President Thanks U.S. Troops at Wiesbaden Army Airfield Base
Wiesbaden Army Airfield, Wiesbaden, Germany, February 23, 2005


“We will continue to hunt down terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President’s Radio Address, February 5, 2005

“Our men and women in uniform are fighting terrorists in Iraq, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—State of the Union Address, Feb. 2, 2005

“We remain in a war the United States will continue to lead -- fighting terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President’s Radio Address, January 22, 2005

“We're staying on the offensive against the enemy. We'll take the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President Signs Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Washington, D.C., December 17, 2004

“Our success in Iraq will make America safer for us and for future generations. As one Marine sergeant put it, "I never want my children to experience what we saw in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania." He said, "If we can eliminate the threat on foreign soil, I would rather do it there than have it come home to us." That's why we're on the offensive today in Fallujah and Mosul, Ramadi and north Babil. We're getting after the terrorists. We're disrupting their plans.”
— President Thanks Military Personnel and Families For Serving Our Country, Camp Pendleton, California, December 7, 2004

“Like generations before them, today's armed forces have liberated captive peoples and shown compassion for the suffering and delivered hope to the oppressed. In the past year, they have fought the terrorists abroad so that we do not have to face those enemies here at home.”
—President’s Radio Address, November 27, 2004

“We will chase the terrorists around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President and Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a RNC Victory 2004 Rally
Moody Coliseum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, November 2, 2004


“We are staying on the offensive. We will chase the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Wilmington, Ohio, Airborne Airpark, Wilmington, Ohio, November 1, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We are fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, Post-Gazette Pavilion at Star Lake, Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, November 1, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive. We are fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Cellular Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 1, 2004

“We are resolute, we are determined, we are staying on the offensive. We are fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Journal Pavilion, Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 1, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Sioux City, Iowa, Tysons Event Center, Sioux City, Iowa, November 1, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will fight the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Des Moines, Iowa, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, Iowa, November 1, 2004

“We are fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Cincinnati, Ohio, Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 31, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive. We are fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Gainesville, Florida, University Air Center, Gainesville, Florida, October 31, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive so we do not have to face the terrorists here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Tampa, Florida, Legends Field, Tampa, Florida, October 31, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive. We're chasing the terrorists around the globe. We will find them and bring them to justice so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Miami, Florida, Coconut Grove Expo Center, Miami, Florida, October 31, 2004

“We will fight the terrorists across the globe so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Orlando, Florida, Tinker Field, Orlando, Florida, October 30, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive against the terrorists around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 30, 2004

“We will chase the terrorists around the globe so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Brown County Veterans Memorial Complex, Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, October 30, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive against the terrorists across the globe so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Devos Place, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 30, 2004

“First, we're on the offensive against the terrorist networks. The best way to prevent future attacks is to go after the enemy. (Applause.) We will confront the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire, October 29, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive. We're chasing the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Seagate Convention Centre, Toledo, Ohio, October 29, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're defeating the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Pease International Tradeport Airport, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, October 29, 2004

“We are staying on the offense. We're chasing the terrorists across the globe so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio, October 29, 2004

“And we'll work hard to make sure this country is secure by not only chasing the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home, but by spreading freedom and liberty.”
— President's Remarks in Westlake, Ohio, October 28, 2004

“We are relentless, we are determined, we are staying on the offense against these terrorists so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Broadmeadows Farm, Yardley, Pennsylvania, October 28, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're relentless; we are determined. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Lititz, Pennsylvania, October 27, 2004

“We are relentless; we are steadfast; we are pursuing the enemy across the Earth so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Vienna, Ohio, October 27, 2004

“We are relentless, we are determined, we are staying on the offensive so we do not have to face these terrorists here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Findlay, Ohio, October 27, 2004

“We will fight the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Pontiac, Michigan, October 27, 2004

“We're on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Onalaska, Wisconsin, October 26, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're defeating the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here in our own country.”
— President's Remarks in Cuba City, Wisconsin, October 26, 2004

“The way to deal with them and protect the American people is to stay on the offense, find them where they hide, defeat them overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President Discusses the Economy in Richland Center, Wisconsin, October 26, 2004

“We will strike the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Dubuque, Iowa, October 26, 2004

“We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities.”
— President's Remarks in Greeley, Colorado, October 25, 2004

“We are fighting the terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our cities.”
— President's Remarks in Council Bluffs, Iowa, October 25, 2004

“Our troops will defeat Zarqawi and his likes overseas in Iraq so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in New Mexico, October 24, 2004

“As long as I am the Commander-in-Chief, I will confront dangers abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President’s Radio Address, October 23, 2004

“And our troops will defeat Zarqawi and his friends and allies overseas so we do not have to face them in America.”
— President's Remarks in Jacksonville, Florida, October 23, 2004

“Our troops will defeat the likes of Zarqawi so we do not have to face him in our own cities.”
— President's Remarks in Melbourne, Florida, October 23, 2004

“Our troops will defeat them there so we do not have to face them in our own cities.”
— President's Remarks in Lakeland, Florida, October 23, 2004

“Our troops will defeat them there so we do not have to face them in our own cities.”
— President's Remarks in Ft. Myers, Florida, October 23, 2004

“We'll protect America by striking the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, October 22, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 21, 2004

“We will stay on the offense. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here in America.”
—President Discusses Medical Liability Reform and Health Care in Pennsylvania, October 21, 2004

“It is essential we defeat Zarqawi there so we don't have to face the likes of him here at home.”
—President Discusses the Economy in Rochester, Minnesota, October 20, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in Mason City, Iowa, October 20, 2004

“It is best we defeat Zarqawi in Iraq so we do not have to face him here at home.”
—President Discusses Rural America in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, October 20, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in The Villages, Florida, October 19, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in New Port Richey, Florida, October 19, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in St. Petersburg, Florida, October 19, 2004

“As long as I'm the Commander-in-Chief, I will confront dangers abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks on Homeland Security in New Jersey, October 18, 2004

“We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Daytona International Speedway Root Property, Daytona Beach, Florida October 16, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Sound Advice Amphitheater, West Palm Beach, Florida, October 16, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Sunrise, Florida Victory 2004 Rally, Office Depot Center, Sunrise, Florida, October 16, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Central Point, Oregon, October 15, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, U.S. Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, October 15, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Experimental Aircraft Association Building, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, October 15, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 14, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We'll strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Rancho San Rafael Park, Reno, Nevada, October 14, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 12, 2004

“We must find them overseas so we don't have to face them here, and that's exactly what we're doing.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Paradise Valley, Arizona, October 12, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President and General Tommy Franks's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Morrison, Colorado, October 11, 2004

“We got to beat them overseas so we don't have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Coors for Senate Luncheon, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Denver, Colorado, October 11, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We are striking the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Hobbs, New Mexico, October 11, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Chanhassen, Minnesota, October 9, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Missourians for Matt Blunt and the Missouri Republican Party Breakfast, America's Center Convention Center, St. Louis, Missouri, October 9, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Waterloo, Iowa, October 9, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive against the terrorist networks -- we will defeat them overseas, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Wausau, Wisconsin, October 7, 2004

“We'll stay on the offensive against terrorist networks, striking them before they come to America to hurt us.”
—President's Remarks in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, October 6, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive against terrorist networks. We will strike them overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Farmington Hills, Michigan, October 6, 2004

“We must -- we must chase them down all around the world, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at an Ask President Bush Event in Clive, Iowa, October 4, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive. We are striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Rally, October 2, 2004

“The best way to do our duty to protect this country is to fight them overseas so we do not have to face them here at home -- (applause.) -- is to stay on the offense, never relent, use every asset at our disposal.”
—President's Remarks at a "Focus on Ownership" Event, Renaissance Theater, Mansfield, Ohio, October 2, 2004

“But the best way to protect the homeland is to stay on the offensive, fighting the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here in America.”
—President's Remarks to the National Association of Home Builders
Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio, October 2, 2004


“We will continue to stay on the offense. We will fight the terrorists around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by President Bush and Senator Kerry in First 2004 Presidential Debate, October 1, 2004

“We'll stay on the offensive. We'll defeat the terrorists around the Earth so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Mcintyre Ski Area
Manchester, New Hampshire, October 1, 2004


“We're staying on the offensive. We'll strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, October 1, 2004

“We will defeat the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in West Chester, Ohio, September 27, 2004

“The best way to protect America is to stay on the offense against them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in "Focus on Education with President Bush" Event, Midwest Livestock and Expo Center, Springfield, Ohio, September 27, 2004

“We must whip the terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at "Focus on Education" Event, Janesville Conference Center, Janesville, Wisconsin September 24, 2004
“We are staying on the offensive. We are striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Bangor, Maine, September 23, 2004

“We must stay on the offensive and bring them to justice before they hurt us again here at home.”
—President's Remarks in "Focus on Education with President Bush" Event, Valley Forge Convention Center, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, September 22, 2004

“Our strategy is clear: We're defending the homeland, we're transforming our military, we're strengthening our intelligence services, we're staying on the offensive, we're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, September 22, 2004

“We're standing with the people of this good country because we understand that, as Prime Minister has said, that we must defeat them there; otherwise we'll face them here at home.”
—President Bush Meets with Prime Minister Allawi in New York, September 21, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here in America.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in New York City, September 20, 2004

“Our strategy is clear: We will stay on the offensive against them; we will bring them to justice, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Ask President Bush Event in Derry, New Hampshire, September 20, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive, striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President’s Radio Address, September 18, 2004

“We've got a clear strategy: we'll continue to defend the homeland; we'll transform our military to meet the threats of the 21st century; we'll strengthen our intelligence services; we will stay on the offensive -- it is best to strike the terrorists elsewhere, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Luncheon, Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C., September 17, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in St. Cloud, Minnesota, September 16, 2004

“You can't -- it's impossible to try to rationalize with them. And that's why we're using every asset at our disposal to find them around the world, so we don't have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at "Focus on Health with President Bush" Event, NSC Sports Hall, Blaine, Minnesota, September 16, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Rally, Mayo Field, Rochester, Minnesota, September 16, 2004

“You're fighting terrorist enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and across the globe, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks to the General Conference of the National Guard Association of the United States, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 14, 2004

“Our strategy is clear: we're defending the homeland, we're transforming our military, we're reforming and strengthening our intelligence services; we're staying on the offensive, we'll strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in Victory 2004 Rally, Coors Amphitheatre, Greenwood Village, Colorado, September 14, 2004

“And so the only way to deal with them is to stay on the offense, is to chase them down overseas so we don't have to face them here at home, and we will.”
—President's Remarks in "Focus on Health Care" Event, Muskegon County Airport, Muskegon, Michigan, September 13, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in Victory 2004 Rally, C.o. Brown Stadium, Battle Creek, Michigan, September 13, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We are striking the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks in Victory 2004 Rally in Holland, Michigan, September 13, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive in this war -- striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President Proclaims Patriot Day, September 10, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Huntington, West Virginia, September 10, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive. We will chase the terrorists around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Chillicothe, Ohio, September 10, 2004

“We will find them overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Colmar, Pennsylvania Rally, September 9, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, September 9, 2004

“We're still on the offense here in this country. We're chasing down these killers overseas so we don't have to face them here at home.”
—President Discusses Reforming & Strengthening Intelligence Services, The Cabinet Room, September 8, 2004

“We will -- we will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Lee's Summit, Missouri, September 7, 2004

“And the only way to deal with them is to find them and bring them to justice around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Ask President Bush Event in Sedalia, Missouri, September 7, 2004

“Our strategy is clear: We're defending the homeland, we're transforming our military, we're strengthening our intelligence services, we're staying on the offensive, we're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Columbia, Missouri, September 7, 2004

“We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at a Victory 2004 Rally in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, September 6, 2004

“Our strategy is clear: We'll defend the homeland; we'll stay on the offensive; we'll strike the terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Parkersburg, West Virginia, September 5, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President and Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, September 4, 2004

“We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Kirtland, Ohio, September 4, 2004

“We must find them in other countries so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Ask President Bush Event in Ohio, September 4, 2004

“We will stay on the offensive. We will strike the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President and the Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Victory 2004 Rally in Moosic, Pennsylvania, September 3, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Cedar Rapids, Iowa Rally, September 3, 2004

“We're staying on the offensive. We're striking the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—Remarks by the President and Mrs. Bush at West Allis, Wisconsin Rally, September 3, 2004

“We are staying on the offensive -- striking terrorists abroad -- so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, September 2, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
—President's Remarks at Columbus, Ohio Rally, September 1, 2004

“We must pursue them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at the 2004 Farm Progress Show, Alleman Farm, Alleman, Iowa, August 31, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at the American Legion 86th Annual National Convention, Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, August 31, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President and Mrs. Bush at Taylor, Michigan Rally, August 30, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them around the world, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Wheeling, West Virginia Rally, August 29, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Troy, Ohio Rally, August 28, 2004

“Our strategy is clear: We will stay on the offense. We will defeat them elsewhere so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at "ask President Bush" Event, Lima Senior High School, Lima, Ohio, August 28, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them elsewhere so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Perrysburg, Ohio Rally, August 28, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them and defeat them around the world so we do not face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President and the First Lady at Miami, Florida Rally, August 27, 2004

“We must engage these enemies overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Albuquerque, New Mexico Rally
Albuquerque Convention Center, August 26, 2004


“We must engage them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Las Cruces, New Mexico Rally, August 26, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Farmington, New Mexico Rally, August 26, 2004

“In order to secure our country, we must stay on the offense and bring them to justice, defeat them elsewhere so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Ask President Bush Event, Lakefront Park, Hudson, Wisconsin, August 18, 2004

“I know we must engage these enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, August 18, 2004

“We must engage these enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at St. Paul, Minnesota, August 18, 2004

“We must engage these enemies so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Hedgesville, West Virginia Rally, August 17, 2004

“We will continue to find these killers and defeat them overseas, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, August 17, 2004

“We will engage these enemies around the world, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Traverse City, Michigan Rally, August 16, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them and defeat them in foreign lands, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President Speaks at VFW Convention, August 16, 2004

“We must aggressively pursue them and defeat them in foreign lands, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President and Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Sioux City, Iowa Rally, August 14, 2004

“The short-term strategy is to find this enemy and defeat them so we don't have to face them here at home.”
— President and Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Ask President Bush Event with Small Business Owners, Southridge High School, Beaverton, Oregon, August 13, 2004

“We're -- we will work with our friends and allies to pursue these terrorists around the world. Listen, it's better to defeat them there than to face them here in our own country.”
— Remarks by the President and Mrs. Bush at Victory 2004 Dinner, Santa Monica Municipal Airport, Santa Monica, California, August 12, 2004

“I understand we must pursue them overseas so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President Speaks to Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, International Training Facility, Las Vegas, Nevada, August 12, 2004

“We must engage the enemy around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Phoenix, Arizona Rally, August 11, 2004

“Second lesson, which we'll do -- we'll do this year and we'll do over the next four years -- we must bring them to justice in places where they hide and plot, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Ask President Bush Event, Eclipse Aviation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 11, 2004

“We will aggressively pursue them. We will engage them. We will defeat them so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Panama City, Florida Rally, August 10, 2004

“We must engage these enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Pensacola, Florida Rally, August 10, 2004

“That's why it's important for us -- that's why over the next four years, we will engage them in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Ask President Bush Event, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, Virginia, August 9, 2004

“We must engage these enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Stratham, New Hampshire, Picnic, August 6, 2004

“My most solemn duty is to protect our country. I will continue to do so by hunting these killers down around the world and bringing them to justice before they hurt us here at home.”
— President's Remarks to the Unity Journalists of Color Convention, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., August 6, 2004

“We must engage the enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Saginaw, Michigan Rally, August 5, 2004

“The second lesson is, though, that in order to defend the homeland, we've got to be on the offense. We must deal with those people overseas, so we don't have to face them here at home.”
— Presidents Remarks in Ask President Bush Event, Aladdin Shrine Center, Columbus, Ohio, August 5, 2004

“We must engage them so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at Bush-Cheney Rally, Southern Minnesota Construction Company Quarry, Mankato, Minnesota, August 4, 2004

“We must engage the enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Davenport, Iowa, August 4, 2004

“We will engage these enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere, so that we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Canton, Ohio, July 31, 2004

“We must engage these enemies around the world, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Cambridge, Ohio, July 31, 2004

“We must engage these enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 31, 2004

“We will engage those enemies around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Springfield, Missouri, July 30, 2004

“We must engage the enemy so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 30, 2004

“We must engage these enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at the 2004 President's Dinner, The Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., July 21, 2004

“We will engage these enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world, so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— Remarks by the President at St. Charles, Missouri Rally, July 20, 2004

“We must stay on the offensive. We will engage the enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin Rally, July 14, 2004

“We must deal with them in foreign lands so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Ask President Bush Event, Mid-States Aluminum Corporation, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, July 14, 2004

“We must engage the enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks in Waukesha, Wisconsin, July 14, 2004

“We must engage these enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President's Remarks at Marquette, Michigan Rally, July 13, 2004

“We must engage our enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world so we do not have to face them here at home…We're defending our homeland, we're defeating the terrorists abroad.”
— President's Remarks at Duluth, Minnesota Rally, July 13, 2004

“Our strategy for peace has three commitments: First, we are defending the peace by taking the fight to the enemy. We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home.”
— President Bush Discusses Progress in the War on Terror, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, July 12, 2004

“We're defending our homeland, we will defeat the terrorists abroad.”
— President's Remarks at York, Pennsylvania Rally, July 9, 2004

“Our men and women in uniform have removed two terrorist regimes that threatened our people and are now helping the Iraqi and Afghan people get on the path to democracy and self-government. By fighting the terrorists abroad they have made American people more secure here at home.”
— President Discusses American Dream, July 8, 2004

“We will engage these enemies in these countries and around the world so we do not have to face them here at home.”
— President Celebrates Independence Day, West Virginia State Capitol Grounds, Charleston, West Virginia, July 4, 2004

“In Iraq, we're serving the cause of our own security, striking the terrorists where we find them, instead of waiting for them to strike us at home.”
— President Bush Discusses Early Transfer of Iraqi Sovereignty, Hilton Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey, June 28, 2004

“By fighting terrorists abroad, you're making the American people more secure at home.”
— President Bush Salutes Soldiers in Fort Lewis, Washington, June 18, 2004

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was this post seriously a joke? "buzzkill" comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

I second that...

Captain Snuffy said...

Your so full of horseshit your eyes are brown.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

Andy, I am going to update you on something, this is called a slogan or a theme. In the corporate world they call it a pitch, as in a sales pitch. I just wish you had taken some time to document this better.

PiedPiper said...

A.) First of all, I did not write this post. Ilya did. Get your facts straight, X.

B.) I'm sure Ilya will gladly explain his reasoning behind it at another time. Until then, I have no further comment.

Ilya said...

Yes, it's long, but that's the beauty of it, the beauty of blogging. I have infinite space in the blogosphere. Why document one instance of Bush's siren song when I can reproduce them all? Thinking in bullet points is great for some things, but for other things thinking big gets the point across better: for such a short-term strategy, President Bush has spent a long time talking about it.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

I have a distinct feeling that Ilya is the only person that is interested in his posting. But it seems that he is quite content with himself. You digital masturbator, you.

PiedPiper said...

This post certainly takes up quite a bit of space, about Bush, the Iraq war, and the state of politics.

Yes, X, the "fighting the terrorists abroad so we don't have to fight them here" is a sales pitch (correct me if I read your previous comment wrong). It's a common tool - the stump speech - that's been utilized by politicians for decades as a way of framing their arguments in simplistic and easy to remember phrases, which allows the public to sum up their positions readily.

This particular phrase, however, deserves the examination that Ilya gives it. First of all, it's a rationale for the war that never - NEVER - existed until the war was already "won." As Ilya has researched, it was not until July of 2004 that this reasoning was brought to the public forefront. If I recall correctly, this was more than a year after major combat operations were supposed to have ceased in Iraq, but, of course, we all now know that was - for lack of a better term - bullshit.

Now, Ilya does make light of the fact that this war has been one of shifting rationales from the day it was conceived. First, it was the potential for chemical and biological weapons. Then it was nuclear weapons. Then, when none of those panned out, it was the liberation of the Iraqi people. Now, it appears to serve a twofold purpose of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East, and taking the fight to the enemy so that the enemy is unable to take the fight to our homeland.

This particular line of rhetoric, however, is futile at best, and meaningless at its core. Its suggestion - that the insurgency in Iraq has somehow sapped all of Al Qaeda's (not to mention their copycats and followers) resources is patently false and misleading. The recent attacks in London prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Iraq war has done little, if anything, to hinder attacks on Western nations, and the attacks in Egypt show that it has done little, if anything, to hinder attacks on nations sympathetic with, or reliant upon, the U.S.

What Ilya has created - and personally I think it is well-documented and rare - is a historical and chornological account of the systematic misleading of America. And I beg you to disagree with that.

Anonymous said...

WAY TOO LONG!!!!! i thought blogs were supposed to be interesting, short commentaries, not NOVELS

Admin said...

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