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Text of convention remarks by Gen. Tommy Franks

The text of a speech by Gen. Tommy Franks, as prepared for delivery Thursday at the Republican National Convention:

I'm Tommy Franks and I approved that message.

This convention rocks.

I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. But I believe in democracy. I believe in America.

After almost four decades as a Soldier I've been Independent ... some would say very independent.

But, here I stand tonight, endorsing George W. Bush to be the next President of the United States.

America is a land of opportunity and a land of choice. A great war time President, Franklin Roosevelt, once said: ''Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.''

Delegates and Friends I am prepared to ''choose wisely.''

And I choose George W. Bush.

I am honored to join the American Patriots who just stood on this stage.

Men who know as do our troopers' mothers and dads, husbands and wives, that 'Freedom is Never Free.'

These are men who stepped forward to lead America's sons and daughters selflessly. They remained loyal to their Country and the troops. I join them in saluting our Commander in Chief, George W. Bush.

America finds itself today at an important crease in history. The attacks of Sept. 11th, brought a new enemy to our shores an enemy unlike any we've ever faced before.

Our Nation is safer today because we have hardened our defenses and taken the fight to the terrorists, but we still have work to do.

The Global War on Terrorism will be a long fight. But make no mistake we are going to fight the terrorists. The question is do we fight them over there -- or do we fight them here? I choose to fight them over there.

Some argue that we should treat this war as a law enforcement issue. Some say we should fight a less aggressive war -- that we should retreat into a defensive posture and hope that the terrorists don't attack us again.

Well, my wife Cathy and I are simply not willing to bet our grandchildren's future on the 'good will' of murderers.

I learned long ago that hope is not a strategy.

In the years ahead, America will be called upon to demonstrate character, consistency, courage and leadership.

Lincoln once said, ''Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.''

Citizens and friends, I've been with this President in tough, uncertain times. George W. Bush is ''the real thing.''

The past three years have been hard years, a time of hard decisions and tough choices. I have looked into his eyes and I have seen his character.   Continued...

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