Remember the nostalgic climax of my Afghanistan war escalation speech on the first day of this month?
It's easy to forget that when this war began, we were united -- bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again. (Applause.) I believe with every fiber of my being that we -- as Americans -- can still come together behind a common purpose. For our values are not simply words written into parchment -- they are a creed that calls us together, and that has carried us through the darkest of storms as one nation, as one people.
Don't spin it. The quote isn't out of context. I spoke plainly:
Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them -- an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to nothing. The vote in the House was 420 to 1. For the first time in its history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked Article 5 -- the commitment that says an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. And the United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network and to protect our common security.
I said it. That was when America and the world were at their best. United. What president wouldn't feel nostalgia for those days?
We know there are people here who insist we weren't at our best then. They associate that time with secret torture memos, attacking the wrong countries, rampant abuse, letting the actual criminals get away, and creating many new accused war criminals - who I know must never be prosecuted. I trust you'll ignore or silence those extreme left voices. Denigrate their "purity". Don't let them spoil this for the rest of us! We got what I dreamed, and not one innocent person was injured. This is a happy time.
I hope your own tree has the present you wanted. Mine arrived Christmas Day.
Happy New Year, and a Hopey Changemas to all!