Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bush's latest major speech on Iraq

President George W. Bush's speech and strategy are both available on the White House's website.

The president's tone was confident and purposeful. His plan states a number of specifics. It remains overly idealistic and ignores the dangerous sectarian conflagration that may pit police against Sunnis in Iraq.

Issue: duration and nature of the conflict.
In the years ahead, you'll join them in the fight. Your service is needed, because our nation is engaged in a war that is being fought on many fronts -- from the streets of Western cities, to the mountains of Afghanistan, the islands of Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa. This war is going to take many turns, and the enemy must be defeated on every battlefield. Yet the terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity, and so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror.'
Issue: the combatants involved.
The enemy in Iraq is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists. The rejectionists are by far the largest group. These are ordinary Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs, who miss the privileged status they had under the regime of Saddam Hussein -- and they reject an Iraq in which they are no longer the dominant group.
Issue: the president's route to victory.
To achieve victory over such enemies, we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy in Iraq. Americans should have a clear understanding of this strategy -- how we look at the war, how we see the enemy, how we define victory, and what we're doing to achieve it. So today, we're releasing a document called the "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." This is an unclassified version of the strategy we've been pursuing in Iraq, and it is posted on the White House website -- I urge all Americans to read it.

Reactions from Senators.

Russ Feingold:
In fact the booklet the administration released to accompany the President’s speech is described as a “…document [that] articulates the broad strategy the President set forth in 2003…” That alone makes it clear that the President seems more dug in than ever to the same old “stay the course” way of thinking. This is not a strategy, and it certainly is not a plan to complete the military mission in Iraq.
Bill Frist:
Some Democrats have been playing politics with the war in Iraq for partisan political gain. Today we saw real leadership. In his speech the president clearly and concisely laid out a plan for success in Iraq. He also highlighted the steady progress we are making in concert with the Iraqi people.
Carl Levin:
The President has thankfully dropped his "we-will-stay-the-course-as-long-as-we-are-needed" rhetoric, but he has replaced it with "we will stay as long as necessary to complete the mission." The mission is so broadly defined in his Strategy Paper – "Our mission in Iraq is to win the war" – that it will be hard to tell when we have achieved it.
Joe Biden:
This speech was a positive step. I hope it signifies new candor by the President on Iraq. He has a lot of work to do to regain the support of the American people.

The President did a better job laying out where we are and where we’re trying to go in Iraq, but failed to tell us how or when we’re going to get there.

And Howard Fineman.
With his new “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq,” the president isn’t really aiming for “victory” in the conventional sense. Nothing is “conventional” in a war against Islamist terrorists, and Iraq will remain a breeding ground for them regardless. Rather, Bush’s goal is to begin a draw down of our troops before next year’s Congressional elections. To do that, he needs the Dec. 15 election in Iraq to go well, with Sunni participation. Then the troop reductions can begin.

The weak “cut and run.” This president, nudged by Karl Rove, will trim and tiptoe. That way, White House advisors hope Bush can pay homage to the Cheney neocon vision and save his presidency at the same time.


Blogger Ezzie said...

No links to the WhiteHouse or his speech? :(

10:26 PM  
Anonymous walt clyde frazier said...

dude posted a picture of tom harkin. stop complaining.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous walt clyde frazier said...

i've been catching up on my blog reading, or "bleading" as i call it after a few week hiatus. i still thoroughly enjoy edit copy -- an online periodical of note.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Yay! Links! :)

3:30 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

They were right on top, how did you miss them?

He's got three more of these darn things too...

I almost had my fourth Tom Harkin reference this morning.

8:24 AM  

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