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Friday, March 19, 2004

If you want to hear the President, don't count on NPR

I only listen to NPR when I'm in the car for various ten-minute schleps to the kids' schools or the grocery store. But Every Single Time I turn it on, I get furious. Just now, it was the way they glossed over the President's speech today. They didn't broadcast even a single audio moment of it, though they gave Colin Powell's words from Baghdad a little airtime. That's because they like Powell more than Bush. They are more transparent than they know.

Even when there have been presidents I couldn't bear, I've always wanted to know what they said. The extent to which NPR goes to humble the Office of the Presidency is really shameful.

The great thing about blogging is that when you come home from an upsetting car radio interlude, you can blog it, and in this case, link to the text of the speech.
The murders in Madrid are a reminder that the civilized world is at war. And in this new kind of war, civilians find themselves suddenly on the front lines. In recent years, terrorists have struck from Spain, to Russia, to Israel, to East Africa, to Morocco, to the Philippines, and to America. They've targeted Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Yemen. They have attacked Muslims in Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. No nation or region is exempt from the terrorists' campaign of violence.

Each of these attacks on the innocent is a shock, and a tragedy, and a test of our will. Each attack is designed to demoralize our people and divide us from one another. And each attack must be answered, not only with sorrow, but with greater determination, deeper resolve and bolder action against the killers. It is the interest of every country, and the duty of every government, to fight and destroy this threat to our people.

There is no dividing line--there is a dividing line in our world, not between nations, and not between religions or cultures, but a dividing line separating two visions of justice and the value of life. On a tape claiming responsibility for the atrocities in Madrid, a man is heard to say, "We choose death, while you choose life." We don't know if this is the voice of the actual killers, but we do know it expresses the creed of the enemy. It is a mindset that rejoices in suicide, incites murder and celebrates every death we mourn. And we who stand on the other side of the line must be equally clear and certain of our convictions. We do love live, the life given to us and to all. We believe in the values that uphold the dignity of life, tolerance and freedom, and the right of conscience. And we know that this way of life is worth defending. There is no neutral ground --no neutral ground-- in the fight between civilization and terror, because there is no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death.
Someone on NPR ridiculed the simplicity of this, but one has to know that a thought can be simple, yet still true and right. I believe the President's words are both. I wish we could have heard them, even on National "Public" Radio.

"W", simply stated, in an elegant typeface, drop shadowed. Classy.
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Full text of speech President Bush delivered this morning at the White House
courtesy of OpinionJournal