Bush Pep Talk to Generals: “Stay Strong! Stay the Course! Kill Them!”

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Here’s an example of the President’s motivational and oratorical power, from the autobiography of retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez. Bush is speaking to his national security team and generals after the famous 2004 incident in which four contractors were killed in Fallujah:

“Kick ass!” he quotes the president as saying. “If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal.”

“There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!

Can you imagine what Bush’s inevitable commencement speeches are going to be like in his post-presidency? “Take the road less traveled! Dare to be great! Follow your dreams! Be confident! At those times Jesus carried you! Kick ass!”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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