Bush’s Speech (Links)

Not the most soaring part of President Bush’s speech, this does seem the real point of difference from previous attempts:

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.

For more soaring, we have:

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists, or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom.

For less soaring, we have the thought of the boat people and the killing fields. Some of us have come to rethink the twentieth century and are not so comfortable with the positions we hear from the Democrats.

Instapundit has many links; one is to Jay Reding, who has many more.

Update: Michael Barone has the most positive spin on the Bush/Durbin performance. Durbin’s outlining of the good accomplished struck me at the time as a little better framing than that usually done by the Democrats, though apparently as a cover for leaving.
I am struck (as I was during Clinton’s time) by the myopic perspective that means every speech by a president is followed by the opposition.  If we have real enemies who want to do real harm, framing a war that will last long after Bush can no longer be president seems politicizing rather than informing.  Nor is a frame that implies if America loses, the other party will win very useful.  That doesn’t mean that the “loyal opposition” should not be listened to, given a forum, nor that they shouldn’t posit better plans, be given a megaphone.  Whenever the open marketplace is quota-driven, it becomes artificial and encourages false dichotomies.

17 thoughts on “Bush’s Speech (Links)”

  1. Poor David Hansen and Glenn Reynolds: constantly defending a totally failed policy. Hansen seems to believe that military might, endlessly applied, prevails and we are always warned that leaving Iraq would open the doors to chaos! But what have we now. Even the Pentagon now says there has been an increase in terrorism because of our presence in Iraq; and Saddam, evil as he was, at least was a countervailing for for Iran–now there is none.

    A simple test then: would you want your son, daughter, grandchild to go to Iraq now? If so, then say so and tell them to go. If not, then use the time tested gambling rule: cut your losses. Or, as my grandmother would advise: if you are losing the game, change the rules.

    Iraq is a civil war beteen Shities and Sunnis, supported and encouraged from other regional Muslim states. I hope both sides win and kill the others.

  2. If Iraq fails and the Jihadis seize control, in their theology, they will declare a Caliphate from which to launch a global offensive jihad (which a lot of factions have already begun anyway).

  3. Iran pretty much now has control. This was bound to take place once we invaded and got rid of the terrible Saddam, whose role, it seems, was to offset growing aggression via Iran. Now, with civil war, Iran working both sides! I have seen a report from Aemrican military claiming they had evidence that both Sunnis and Shia were being helped by Iran. True or not, today American military raided Iran consulate and grabbed computers etc to examine.

    The “if we lose Irag” cliche is akin to the domino effect used in Viet Nam. Now we trade with that country.

    Send you childre or grandchildren if you think we should be there but not mine. And what is to be said of the rules imposed by Ã…merica that gives 3/4s of oil revenue to Western com-panies while we pay taxes to rebuild Iraq?

  4. David: It’s not a cliche what I said, its the very goal stated by the Jihadis themselves. Now if you can prove to me that they haven’t said this and that that isn’t their goal, then please correct me with what their objective is and where they have stated it.

  5. “Some of us have come to rethink the twentieth century and are not so comfortable with the positions we hear from the Democrats.”

    Kind of a straw man, no? It fails to mention that the reason we face boat people and killing fields in the future (now, 2008, 2018 — whenever we ultimately pull out), is because the Republicans, Bush in particular, put us in this mess in the first place.

    State an objective. Define success. Give a defined end-date. Take as long as you need. At what point from now, today, 2008, 2018, will you realize that unilateral, outside military action will never be successful in attempting impose democracy through occupation. Even if you can’t do that, state a date at which point, when the situation is exactly as dire as it is today, you will simply say, “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

    Take as long as you need.

  6. The reason we’re fighting “boat people” is because of the teachings of Islam put into motion by very devout adherents.

    I have to wonder, do people who oppose this war actually read ANYTHING the Jihadis say?

    Does anyone who opposes the war ever look at things from the POV of the enemy?

  7. “boat people and killing fields in the future” aren’t the main problems we’ll face if we lose. That shows lack of imagination on your part. If we lose we will face mass-slaughter, either by wmd or the old-fashioned way, by conquering armies, and subjugation. This will not happen if we fight back, but it will happen eventually if we stop fighting.

    You want an objective? How about a world where jihadist groups are so marginal and demoralized that they are unable to recruit new members, and where no government will sponsor such groups for fear of reprisal. Let me know how you think we’ll get there without fighting hard and without pursuing and killing our enemies wherever they are (including into Iran and Syria and Somalia and other countries as necessary). Otherwise we will lose, because our enemies want to win and it only takes one side to keep a war going. And none of our self-absorbed defeatists has yet made a coherent case for why retreat by us is going to convince the other side to stop attacking. The way some of you people talk you’d think that pro-war people want to get Americans killed. The truth is that Americans who want to win the war are acknowledging a tradeoff that you refuse to face: if we are not willing to lose some people now we will likely lose a much larger number of people in the future. And in that case we will also likely kill an enormously larger number of people on the other side.

    None of us likes war, but some of us realize that the best way to end the war is to use overwhelming force to win it as soon as possible.

    BTW, no one is “sending” sons, grandsons etc. to Iraq. Our soldiers are adult volunteers. If we were having difficulty maintaining personnel levels in the military, then you might have a point. But if anything the opposite is the case.

  8. It was a good speech, and it is a good plan. There is no gaurantee that it will succeed, but, given the stakes, we must try. I just wish Bush would have spoken like this long before now, more forthrightly. This speech is not one for the ages, but it is in the same tone as another speech given by another leader, a speech that is one for the ages, the end of which I append below:

    In this crisis I think I may be pardoned if I do not address the House at any length today, and I hope that any of my friends and colleagues or former colleagues who are affected by the political reconstruction will make all allowances for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act.

     I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

    You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

    You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs – Victory in spite of all terrors – Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal.

    I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, “Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”

    I know this moment in time does not have the feel of existential urgency as the moment at which Churchill spoke these famous words, but, had the British listen to Churchill when Hitler began his rise, instead of treating him as a comic bagatelle, they would not have had to face the existential moment that occasioned Churchill’s later words. This is a lesson America dare not ignore.

  9. My opinion is that there isn’t much hope in Iraq because our leaders – in the military and out – haven’t the stomach to be successful occupiers.

    Common sense and history indicate that there’s one necessary requirement that will allow a new government to form successfully
    in an invaded, anarchistic country and that requirement is civil order. To get order in some reasonable amount of time draconian measures are (were) required, callousness is required; order at the expense of the average American’s sensibleites isn’t going to happen (see the tempest in a teapot of AbuGrabe). It’s clear that, unless our enemies make some brutal and bloody strike (a PR mistake that could happen), that the incremental move Bush
    seems to be proposing won’t be successful. Let’s hope the enemy is incited.

  10. I’m enjoying in a grim sort of way the turn around in rhetoric among war mongers. The war is now about the “jihadists”; it’s a “bloody, anarchic country”; “total victory” is needed, by imposing “order” on the natives and their atavistic lusts for world domination and the khalifate. Um, folks, remember your rhetoric just four years ago? How the Iraqi people were a proud people yearning to breathe American freedom? How the problem was a cruel dictator, who though not an Islamist, was perhaps associated in some undefined way with the 9/11 terrorists? People who worried that the invasion might spark civil war were branded racists who were refusing to accord the Iraqis the same passion for freedom and democracy that we have.

    Well, we got rid of the dictator and held elections. As predicted by so many, we destabilized Iraq (not a coherent national entity to begin with) and touched off civil war. What we’re getting now is imperialistic rhetoric about atavistic inferior natives–I know that imperialism is a leftist taboo word, but that’s just what it is. Our goal now is no longer to topple a Stalinesque dictator but to stamp out “jihadism”. If that means sending in more forces, going door to door, whatever it takes….not recognizing that our continued presence is,of course, inciting “jihadism”, as it did in all of the national liberation movements of the past century. Good luck to you warmongers. I feel sad for Iraq and for my country.

  11. The straw men fall fast and thick.

    I haven’t changed my outlook or rhetoric much in the past several years. The invasion of Iraq was justified on multiple grounds, including primarily our own self-defense and, not least, the toppling of one of the worst regimes in recent history. Hussein was indisputably allied with terrorists and was a WMD threat. Iraq is a strategic location that we are much better off to control. Democratization of the Middle East still makes sense to me as a way to constrain, and promote an effective alternative to, jihadism. Our biggest mistake so far was in not pursuing the war to its logical end by toppling the Syrian and Iranian regimes, but that’s hindsight. And there is still time.

    It was forseeable that we would make mistakes. What did anyone expect? War is surgery done with hammers. Many of us had unrealistic expectations and are now disillusioned. Too bad. We’re in this war because we were too clever and didn’t overthrow Hussein in 1991, when it would have been easy. If we back out of this war now, before we win, we are going to have to fight it again later, and it will be worse the longer we put off winning it.

  12. I have been accused by one commenter here of not paying heed to what the “\jihadists” are saying. I do “keep up,” but also know from our very own military leaders and the petagon that the Al Q. guys are very limited in Iraq and what they are fighting are militia gangs–allowd by Bush thus far to have arms and be protected; and by anti-Americans, who do not want us in their country, and by memembers of the Shia and Sunni groups…The Pentagon admists now (this past week) that terrorism has gained strength because of our presence.

    If we do not stop them here etc: what in fact are the consequences and how do we stop them “here”? Iran is a big player, and this is now well known. Do we now attack Iran? As one anti-war congressman noted: we should not lose American lives because we are in the middle of a civil war.

    I too am for stopping “terrorism”: but the implication seems to be that we must pretty much stamp out all Islam–that’s a lot of people (and oil). Clearly we need to get the more moderate Islamists to stand up to radical Islam.

    Again, for those who would send our troops all over the world (we now have over 700 military bases), I say: go if you will. Not me. Not my family. Not for oil lies…me? been there and done that in a war zone and have served two terms in the military.

    Bush has a new plan which is what a genral he booted out suggested a few years ago! He admidts he was dead wrong. Up to now…Fool me once, shame on you etc etc

  13. I use the term “jihadi” because it describes who I’m talking about. Godforbid I say “Muslim” without qualifying that with “of course not all of them are like that, only 9497248 are”. And they’re all over the world, funded by Saudi Arabia, and being recruited by 89% of Mosque preachers in Canada, and 80% of them here. If we win or loose , there are still going to be more of them, but they wont have Iraq as a safe haven.

    Saddam had to be taken out, sanctions were about crumbled. And then we’d have a nuclear Iran, AND nuclear Iraq.

    This is what I think is going to happen… Israel will attack Iran, the US will attack North Korea (and perhaps Pakistan’s nukes). I think Iran already has North Korea nukes and uses them against someone.

  14. More exteremism from Muslims in UK:

    London Mosque DVD: Jews Face Mass Extermination
    12:26 Jan 12, ’07 / 22 Tevet 5767
    by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

    A leading mosque in London is selling DVDs that proclaim the coming mass extermination of Jews around the world on a “day of judgment.” It also attacks Christian groups and the United Nations.

    The London Central Mosque, also known as Regent’s Park Mosque, is “the spiritual focal point for Muslims” throughout Great Britain, the European Jewish Press reported. It is also home to the Islamic Cultural Center, which educates Muslim children.

    The report said that a British television station will air on Monday a documentary on Muslim extremism in Britain, and will report the selling of the DVD.

    The DVDs are being sold at the London Central Mosque Shop. One excerpt shows a preacher, Sheikh Feiz, imitating the sounds of a pig and referring to the Jewish people who will be killed on the “day of judgment.”

    Another preacher, Sheikh Yassin, states that United Nations missionaries and Christians conspired to inject an AIDS virus in inoculations against diseases in Africa.

    Faced with charges of selling the DVDs, the manger of the shop at the mosque said there were only 10 DVDs and all of them have been sold. He claimed that the supplier asserted the excerpts were taken out of context.

    The television documentary discusses Muslim extremism and the July 2005 attacks on London’s transportation system, which killed 52 people.

  15. Outraged: “I’m enjoying in a grim sort of way the turn around in rhetoric among war mongers.” …. and Outraged goes on to quote a phrase from an earlier comment of mine and of others.

    Sorry, my outlook and prescriptions has been constant. I won’t speak for others but I resent the gratuitous description. I suggest Outraged take on other’s particular positions one at a time (and make a rational argument with proof – I don’t see a anbody’s quote from the past to support his statement) rather than offensively labeling folks wholesale. Look to yourself, outraged, for unsupported “rhetoric”.

    One change I have had in my world view over the last three or four years has been in how I perceive the Muslim faith, generally. That stock has gone way down as I become more familiar with the faith.

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