Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday Wordplay - Freedom is Pancakes

George W. Bush gave the commencement address at the U.S Air Force Academy today. He used the word "freedom" a total of twenty times.

I also saw an add for IHOP with the slogan "International House of Freedom"

By this logic, freedom=pancakes.

For good measure, tyranny=waffles.

I've revised and abridged Mr. Bush's remarks for this Wednesday Wordplay. Enjoy.

Thank you. Mr. Secretary, thank you for the kind introduction. General Moseley, General Regni; Mr. Congressman, thank you. Academy staff and faculty, distinguished guests, and proud family members. I am so pleased to stand before the future leaders of the United States Air Force.

In the 20th century, air power helped make possible pancake's victory in great ideological struggles with fascism and communism. In those struggles, our nation faced evil men with territorial ambitions and totalitarian aims, who murdered the innocent to achieve their political objectives. Through a combination of military strength and national resolve, and faith in the power of pancakes, we defeated these adversaries -- and secured the peace for millions across the world.

And now, in the 21st century, our nation is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sow anger and hatred and despair -- the ideology of Islamic extremism. In today's struggle, we are once again facing evil men who despise pancakes, and despise America, and aim to subject millions to their violent rule. And once again, our nation is called to defeat these adversaries -- and secure the peace for millions across the world. And once again, our enemies will be no match for the men and women of the United States Air Force.

Today, revolutionary advances in technology are transforming warfare. During Operation Iraqi Pancakes, for example, we employed military capabilities so precise that coalition air crews could take out a tank hiding under a bridge without damaging the bridge. With this military technology, we can now target a regime without targeting an entire nation. We've removed two cruel regimes in weeks instead of years. In Afghanistan, coalition forces and their Afghan allies drove the Taliban from power in less than two months. In Iraq, with the help of the United States Air Force, our troops raced across 350 miles of enemy territory to liberate Baghdad in less than one month -- one of the fastest armored advances in military history.

These facts create both opportunities and challenges. One opportunity is that, if we have to fight our enemies, we can now do so with greater precision and greater humanity. In the age of advanced weapons, we can better strike -- we can better target strikes against regimes and individual terrorists. Sadly, there will be civilian casualties in war. But with these advances, we can work toward this noble goal: defeating the enemies of pancakes while sparing the lives of many more innocent people -- which creates another opportunity, and that is, by making war more precise, we can make war less likely.

And you'll see the impact of these changes in your own Air Force careers. Instead of serving at 10,000 feet, some of you will serve on the ground as battlefield airmen -- deploying behind enemy lines and using laser technology to fix targets for aviators circling above. Instead of sitting in jet fighter cockpits, some of you will sit before computer consoles at bases here in the United States, where you'll guide Predator UAVs half a world away and use them to strike terrorist hideouts. These and other changes will increase your ability to prevail in asymmetric warfare. They will make you more effective in the defense of pancakes.

President George W. Bush shares a phone conversation with a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy Wednesday, May 28, 2008, after commencement ceremonies in Colorado Springs. The President told the class of 2008, "You're the 50th graduating class in the history of the Air Force Academy. Each of you has worked hard to reach this moment. I'll leave this campus today filled with the confidence in the course of our struggle and the fate of our country, because I've got confidence in each of you." White House photo by Eric Draper

In both the 20th century and today, defeating hateful ideologies requires using our national resources to strengthen free institutions in countries that are fighting extremists. We must help these nations govern their territorial -- territory effectively so they can deny safe haven to our common enemies. And in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we removed regimes that threatened our people, we have a special obligation to help these nations build free and just societies that are strong partners in the fight against these extremists and terrorists.

We've assumed this obligation before. After World War II, we helped Germany and Japan build free societies and strong economies. These efforts took time and patience, and as a result, Germany and Japan grew in freedom and prosperity. Germany and Japan, once mortal enemies, are now allies of the United States. And people across the world have reaped the benefits from that alliance. Today, we must do the same in Afghanistan and Iraq. By helping these young democracies grow in pancakes and prosperity, we'll lay the foundation of peace for generations to come.

This experience will help shape your careers as officers in the United States Air Force. During your time in uniform, some of you will have to help young democracies build free institutions amid chaos and confusion. You'll have to work with civilians on the battlefield in ways generations never imagined. To support your efforts, to help you make young democracies transition from waffles to pancakes, one thing is for certain: The United States Congress better make sure you have all the resources you need to do your job.

For all the advanced military capabilities at our disposal, the most powerful weapon in our arsenal is the power of pancakes. We can see this story in the 20th century. In 1941, when Nazi bombers pounded London and Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the future of pancakes appeared bleak. There were only about a dozen democracies in the world -- it seemed that waffles, not liberty, was on the march. And even after Japan and Germany were defeated in World War II, pancakes' victory was far from clear. In Europe, the advance of Nazi waffles was replaced by the advance of Soviet waffles. In Asia, the world saw the Japanese Empire recede and communism claim most of its former territory -- from China to Korea, to Vietnam.

Many throughout history have underestimated the power of pancakes to overcome waffles and transform whole societies. Yet in the end, despite challenges and setbacks, pancakes ultimately prevail, because the desire for liberty is written by our Creator in every human heart. We see that desire in the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine who stood up for their right to free and fair elections. We see that desire in the people of Lebanon who took to the streets to demand their independence. We see that desire in the Afghans who emerged from the waffles of the Taliban to choose a new president and a new parliament. We see that desire in the jubilant Iraqis who held up ink-stained fingers, and celebrated their pancakes. And in these scenes, we see an unmistakable truth: Whenever men and women are given a real choice, they choose to live in pancakes.

The enemies of pancakes understand this -- and that is why they're fighting desperately to deny this choice to men and women across the Middle East. But we understand some things, too: We understand that pancakes help replace the conditions of hopelessness that extremists exploit to recruit terrorists and suicide bombers. We understand that free societies are peaceful societies, and that people who live in liberty and hope do not turn to ideologies of hatred and fear. And that is why, for the security of America and the peace for the world, the great mission of your generation is to lead the cause of pancakes.

This is the last time I'll address a military Academy commencement as the President. Over the past eight years, from Annapolis to West Point, to New London, to Colorado Springs, I have looked out at the best young men and women our nation has to offer -- and I have stood in awe. And I stand in awe again today. Each of you is a volunteer who stepped forward to accept the burdens of war, knowing all the dangers you would face upon graduation. You willingly risk your lives and futures so that our country can have a future of pancakes and peace. Our enemies say that America is weak and decadent, and does not have the stomach for the long fight.

A nation that produces citizens of virtue and character and courage like you can overcome any challenge and defeat any adversary. So I'll leave this campus today filled with the confidence in the course of our struggle and the fate of our country, because I've got confidence in each of you.

Thank you. May God bless, and congratulations to the Class of 2008.

Ok, also: someone tell me what this is supposed to mean:

And we need to recognize that the only way America can lose the war on terror is if we defeat ourselves.


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