“Unacceptable” was the strongest word the president used. Glad to hear it, but I doubt its going to be scaring any bad guys any time soon.
On Iran, President Bush said:
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
I’m sure Iranian terrorists who are helping insurgents in Iraq are shaking in their boots at all the “disrupting” and “interrupting” that will go on. Where were the threats to Iran if they don’t stop waging war against the U.S. in Iraq? There were none. I guess they aren’t really part of the axis of evil any longer, right? Otherwise we’d be acting instead of just re-acting.
In focusing on the perception the enemy will have of this speech (since we all know speeches are tools of war, right?), I can’t help but notice the weakest paragraph of the entire speech:
In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If Members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms. It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.
“So basically, we don’t want the democrats to think we are unreasonable, or not nice. We totally self examine and will change our plan if anyone has a better idea of what the heck to do in Iraq.” How is this war time rhetoric? How does this give the impression that he knows what he’s doing, and he’s not going to back down against the terrorists?
All the talking heads on Fox News seem to think this speech had “oomph” and said “we’re coming to get you”. I just don’t see it, it seemed watered down and politically correct.
Unsurprisingly, the dems response is that Bush “admitted we are losing”, that Iraq is a “grave and deteriorating” situation, and that additional troops sends the wrong message. To whom? To their friends Russia and France? To their new best buds in Syria? More troops certainly doesn’t send the wrong message to the terrorists, no matter how I feel about the speech itself. I wanted a speech that would knock it out of the park. This was just a base on balls.