Here is the video of the speech as it happened:
And in case you missed it, here is the money quote:
[T]he violence in Anbar has gone down despite the Surge, not because of the Surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al Qaeda said to these tribes, “We have to fight al Qaeda ourselves.”
However, here is the "official" transcript as the Shmuck posted it. Guess what is missing?
Thank you, Mr. President. I rise today to discuss the situation in Iraq and the continuing efforts of this administration to paint a rosy picture and cling to straws when the situation on the ground and common sense suggest just the opposite.
Now, some have argued that the surge in Iraq is working. But, Mr. President, all you have to do is look at the facts to know that that is not the case. The President went to Anbar Province, which at the moment he is touting as a place of success, but we all know what’s happening in Iraq. Many other provinces are in terrible shape. In Iraq you get the certain sense that when you push on one end of the balloon and make things a little better, something pops out at another end.
And the fallacy of the President’s new policy is just amazing. Are we placing our faith in the future of Iraq in the hands of some tribal leaders who at the moment dislike al Qaeda more than they dislike us? Make no mistake about it. They’re no friends of Americans.
Is this the vaunted, clarion cry for democracy in the Middle East that the President announced when he started the build-up in Iraq? Obviously not.
This is a policy of last resort. This is a policy of desperation.
To say at the moment that some warlords in one province in Iraq happen to be shooting at al Qaeda when months from now they could easily turn around and resume shooting at Americans—which they did in the past—that’s nothing to base a policy on. What kind of policy is it? What are the odds that six months from now the fragile and perilous situation in Anbar will reverse itself and collapse?
We’ve heard of success stories every six or eight months. This province, this town, this city. “They’re cleared, they’re safe.” And then because of the basic facts on the ground, we revert to the old situation. And let me be clear: the violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge.
The lack of protection for these tribes from al Qaeda made it clear to these tribes, “We have to fight al Qaeda ourselves.” It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords had to create a temporary peace here on their own. And that is because there was no one else there protecting them.
And as I said, Mr. President, we’ve heard about successes in the past. They’re temporary. They’re not based on any permanent structural change or any permanent change in the views of Iraqi citizens. We’ve heard about success in Baghdad and we’ve heard about success in Fallujah and they vanish like the wind.
So now, at a time when the American people are crying out for a change in course, some are pointing to a temporary situation in one province – Anbar – based on a few warlords, who don’t believe in democracy and who don’t like America, as a way to continue the present misguided policy? It makes no sense. It makes no sense because the fundamentals in Iraq stay the same. There is no central government that has any viability. The Shiites, the Kurds and the Sunnis dislike one another far more than they like or want any central government, and these two facts doom the administration policy for failure.
Just seven or eight months ago when the President began the surge, he said it was to give the present government breathing room, to strengthen the Maliki government. Today we have more troops, more military patrols, more death, and the Iraqi government grows weaker. How can we regard the Bush-Petraeus surge as a success when its central goal, to strengthen the government, has failed?
Again, more troops, more American deaths this summer than any other, and yet the government is weaker, when the very purpose of the surge was to strengthen the government. In the President’s words, “to give it breathing room.” By the President’s own words, the government is suffocating while the surge goes on. It doesn’t have breathing room.
Why isn’t it apparent to the President? Why isn’t it apparent to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that the stated goal of the surge is failing? Strengthening the central government is not happening. As the surge and number of troops goes up, the strength of the central government goes down. That equation says failure in the Bush-Petraeus surge. The goal is not a military goal. In the president’s own words, it is to give the government of Iraq greater stability, greater breathing room and that government, by just about every standard, is worse off than before. And again, because a few warlords and tribal leaders are now temporarily on our side for the moment—even though they are not loyal to us, they don’t like us and they dislike the central government—that is why we should continue the present course in Iraq? It makes no sense.
Now then, those on the other side and the president say, “Give us a chance. You’re already declaring defeat.” If this were 2003 or 2004 or 2005 or maybe even 2006, those words would have some resonance with the American people. But there’s been new plan after new plan, new hope after new hope, and they all are dashed within months. Why? Why? Again, because the fundamentals on the ground don’t change. The Kurds, the Shiites, and the Sunnis dislike one another more than they like any central government.
If you look at the benchmarks, they show that. The independent GAO report showed little progress being made in meeting the 18 military and political benchmarks set out by Congress. The draft report from last week showed that only three of the benchmarks had been met. However, over the weekend, the Pentagon revised the report, and now miraculously an additional four benchmarks were “partially met.” Despite the apparent efforts by the Pentagon to edit this independent report, it will, sadly, take much more than a red pen to correct the failures of the President’s Iraq policy.
So the surge—by the President’s own stated goal—is failing. The central government is weaker. The fundamentals on the ground continue to deteriorate. There continues to be no loyalty to a central government in Iraq and no loyalty to Maliki, who seems to almost revel in his incompetence. The bottom line is very simple. We are worse off, not better off. We’re not even in the same place in Iraq today than we were six months ago.
The position of America, the position of democracy, the position of stability all continue to erode. If there was ever a need for a change of course in Iraq, it is now. I plead with my colleagues from the other side of the aisle, you know that we have to change course.
Mr. Schumer, you sick, twisted lying sack of garbage. How dare you besmirch our troops again and again. And I hope no one outside of the KosKadavers buys your b.s. argument that things are working IN SPITE of our troops. You sir, can kindly go to hell. And take that big pile of grease you use for your hair with you!