Times are very tough in Iraq and if I was still a speechwriter for the President, like I was for Mr. Nixon and Mr. Ford, this is what I would suggest he say:
My fellow Americans, I have some sobering news. It is my duty, above all, to protect the nation. I sincerely believed I was doing that when I ordered the invasion of Iraq. I still believe Saddam Hussein was the most dangerous man in the world. But it is clear to me now that things are not working out well in Iraq. Despite the incredible confidence, bravery and sacrifice of our men and women on the ground there, Iraq is still a violent, largely out of control nation. We may be making more terrorists than we destroy. "Quagmire" comes sadly to mind. It is clear that change must be made. Therefore, I have this morning accepted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's resignation with sincere thanks for his service to the nation. He will be replaced by a truly heroic American, Senator John McCain of Arizona.
Despite my best intentions, I made mistakes in Iraq and mine is the responsibility. Good men and women died and hard-earned tax money was lost. Fine young men and women are crippled and disabled, which is a tragedy. It is time for a change. Therefore, I am convening an official, national, bi-partisan, blue ribbon commission composed of Democrats, Independents and Republicans, civilian and military, to start meeting at once and give me a recommendation in one month as to what our Iraq policy should be. All options are on the table. All.
I want to close with this thought. I am just a man. I have no miraculous powers. I have no special pipeline to God. Like all presidents from Jefferson and Lincoln onwards — and believe me, I know I'm not in their league — I make mistakes and sometimes good people die because of them. I am deeply sorry. As we re-examine our policy, I would ask that you all pray for us to make the right decision. May God continue to bless us all. Thank you.