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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 1, 2006 12:57 PM

***2:15pm Eastern update: Watch the press corps frenzy***

Attention, John Kerry: Here’s a banner message from the troops “stuck in Iraq” that’s spreading like wildfire across the ‘Net. (Hat tip: Leonard and Anthony J.) Click for enlarged photo:

bannerkerry.jpg

Laffing out lowd!

Update: Drudge just picked up on it. It’s gone viral. Well done, troops.

***

President Bush on the Rush Limbaugh show this afternoon:

THE PRESIDENT: Let me say something about our troops, Rush. I am… I guess “amazed” is the proper word at how courageous our troops are, and I am amazed at the fact that they are so capable, and that they volunteer in the midst of this war to defend us, and these troops deserve all the support of the United States of America, and they understand as well as anybody that we are making progress in Iraq, and they know when their comrades are out there fighting that they’re bringing enemies to justice. They see that firsthand. The enemy has got an advantage in that by killing innocent people it looks like they’re winning, because it gets on our TV screens. We have taken a measured approach to talking about casualties, but I can assure your listeners: our troops are on the offense, and they’re after an enemy. When they find the enemy and the enemy confronts, we win.

They can’t beat us on the battlefield. The only way we can lose this is if we leave, and our troops are — the other thing people say, “Well, you know, it’s a long slug and therefore it’s going to be hard to maintain morale in the military.” One: it is going to be a tough fight, but I will tell you something. The morale in our military is high because these young men and women understand the stakes. Reenlistment rates are very high and recruitment rates are strong, which all says to me we’ve got an amazing country when we’ve got people who put on the uniform say, “Put me in. I want to go fight for this country.”

RUSH: Yeah, and then they turn around and get insulted routinely. John Kerry is not the first. He’s just the latest, Mr. President. We don’t really have to focus on him. You’ve spoken about Senator Kerry. He’s now trying to laugh this off by saying he was talking about you, but clearly he has a Vietnam era mind-set, back when we had a draft, that if you didn’t have a college deferment you got drafted — and that’s his thinking on who comprises military members, that they’re basically uneducated boobs, but it’s not just Senator Kerry. We’ve got Senator Durbin who has impugned interrogators as Guantanamo Bay. Throughout this war effort some Democrats have done their best to impugn the people who are volunteering, offering their lives in sacrifice to defend this country. They have questioned their motives. They’ve questioned their backgrounds and so forth — and frankly, Mr. President, the American people are outraged by this because John Kerry is just the latest. This is not the first.

THE PRESIDENT: Anybody who is in a position to serve this country ought to understand the consequences of words, and our troops deserve the full support of people in government. People here may not agree with my decision. I understand that. But what I don’t understand is any diminution of their sacrifice. We’ve got incredible people in our military, and they deserve full praise and full support of this government. Secondly, what they deserve is a plan for victory, and we have a plan for victory. Our victory, as you know, is really to help the Iraqis win, to help the 12 million people, to help Iraq realize the dreams of 12 million people who voted. To help the political process and help the security process and help the economic process and we’re doing just that. It’s not easy work, because there’s an enemy that still tries to derail the process. They’re trying to foment sectarian violence, and on the other hand it’s necessary work. My problem with many of the Democrat voices in Washington is they have no plan for victory.

This is an essential part of the war on terror, and I believe responsible leaders must come up with a plan for victory in order to achieve peace, and yet the only plan I hear is, one: let’s get out of Iraq before the job is done — which would be a disaster for a future generation of Americans. Getting out of Iraq, Rush, all that would do is embolden an enemy and dash the hopes of millions who count on the United States to help them secure freedom, and getting out of Iraq would make the country less secure. One of the interesting things about this war that is different from previous wars, is in previous wars you could leave the battlefield and the enemy would stay close to the battlefield. In this war, if you leave the battle, the enemy follows us home to America — and that’s one of the lessons of September the 11th, and that’s one of the reasons why we will win in Iraq. I repeat: the only reason we could lose in Iraq is if we leave, and, therefore, we’ve got kids sacrificing in Iraq, and when they hear politicians say, “Get out before the job is done,” that’s discouraging to them, and it’s discouraging to the Iraqis, and it’s encouraging to the enemy. That’s why my voice is so loud in saying to our troops: “What you’re doing is noble and important and you’re going to win and history will look back and thank you for your sacrifices.”

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