Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bush: Ahmadinejad a 'Tyrant'

President Bush is most definitely making a case against Iran much the same way he did against Iraq. This speech marks the first time he (as the first US president ever) officially goes so far as to mention Iran's 1979 revolution as"Shia Islamic radicalism taking over a major power" and then, in the fashion of a prosecutor, quotes Ahmadinejad's own words to build his case against him and remind his audience of the terrorist nature of the current regime in Iran:

Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C.:

This Shia strain of Islamic radicalism is just as dangerous, and just as hostile to America, and just as determined to establish its brand of hegemony across the broader Middle East. And the Shia extremists have achieved something that al Qaeda has so far failed to do: In 1979, they took control of a major power, the nation of Iran, subjugating its proud people to a regime of tyranny, and using that nation's resources to fund the spread of terror and pursue their radical agenda.

Like al Qaeda and the Sunni extremists, the Iranian regime has clear aims: They want to drive America out of the region, to destroy Israel, and to dominate the broader Middle East. To achieve these aims, they are funding and arming terrorist groups like Hezbollah, which allow them to attack Israel and America by proxy. Hezbollah, the source of the current instability in Lebanon, has killed more Americans than any terrorist organization except al Qaeda. Unlike al Qaeda, they've not yet attacked the American homeland. Yet they're directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans abroad. It was Hezbollah that was behind the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans. And Saudi Hezbollah was behind the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans, an attack conducted by terrorists who we believe were working with Iranian officials.

Just as we must take the words of the Sunni extremists seriously, we must take the words of the Shia extremists seriously. Listen to the words of Hezbollah's leader, the terrorist Nasrallah, who has declared his hatred of America. He says, "Let the entire world hear me. Our hostility to the Great Satan [America] is absolute. Regardless of how the world has changed after 11 September, 'Death to America' will remain our reverberating and powerful slogan: Death to America."

Iran's leaders, who back Hezbollah, have also declared their absolute hostility to America. Last October, Iran's President declared in a speech that some people ask -- in his words -- "whether a world without the United States and Zionism can be achieved. I say that this goal is achievable." Less than three months ago, Iran's President declared to America and other Western powers: "open your eyes and see the fate of pharaoh. If you do not abandon the path of falsehood, your doomed destiny will be annihilation." Less than two months ago, he warned: "The anger of Muslims may reach an explosion point soon. If such a day comes, America and the West should know that the waves of the blast will not remain within the boundaries of our region."

He also delivered this message to the American people: "If you would like to have good relations with the Iranian nation in the future, bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender. If you don't accept to do this, the Iranian nation will force you to surrender and bow down."

America will not bow down to tyrants.

The Iranian regime and its terrorist proxies have demonstrated their willingness to kill Americans -- and now the Iranian regime is pursuing nuclear weapons. The world is working together to prevent Iran's regime from acquiring the tools of mass murder. The international community has made a reasonable proposal to Iran's leaders, and given them the opportunity to set their nation on a better course. So far, Iran's leaders have rejected this offer. Their choice is increasingly isolating the great Iranian nation from the international community, and denying the Iranian people an opportunity for greater economic prosperity. It's time for Iran's leader to make a different choice. And we've made our choice. We'll continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution. The world's free nations will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.