Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Nothing Risked, Nothing Gained

Color Me Unimpressed & A Little Angry

Well, the President's addressed just ended and as I organize my thoughts, there are two broad areas I'd like to address. First is the President's speech itself and second, is the horrible coverage by big media.

I was half joking when I did my previous entry that Bush would again (and again incorrectly) try to link Iraq to 9/11. He mentioned 9/11 numerous times. Iraq, prior to our invasion, had no links to 9/11 and in fact, Saddam and his secular Baathist regime, was also an enemy of OBL. This heavy handed approach seemed desperate, and did not instill any confidence despite my desire to see our leader dedicating himself to the good fight. In fact what was most alarming to me was that this same speech could have been given by LBJ himself, thirty or so years ago. A more ambitious blogger will likely pull up a similar speech from the dark days of Vietnam when the President said, almost verbatim, that we were quickly training South Vietnamese to fight, and our troops would soon by home. While I'm not ready to throw in the towel and label Iraq a Vietnam (for many reasons mind you, but our failure in Iraq would have more serious consequences than our failure in Vietnam), but I am actually less confident (if that is possible) than I was prior to this speech.

I also thought it weak, that Bush passed the buck on our troop levels. If the generals tell me they need more troops, he said, I'll send them. Well, I think former Provisional Governor Paul Bremmer has said we needed more troops as have others. (I'll check into that). It played to me like the classic Simpson's episode where Bart becomes famous for saying "I didn't do it."

So where does this leave us? Are we going to be fighting the insurgents for 2, 6, 8 or 12 years and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld suggested on the Sunday chat shows? Are we going to "cut and run" by declaring a victory and leaving the Iraqis to fend for themselves- in time for the 2006 elections here in the states? I don't know. But my disappointment has increased and my concern that we're not giving our men and women in Iraq the tools they need to succeed is growing firmer by the day. I mean if, as the President said, we are fighting World War III, why are we only limiting ourselves to 100,000 troops?

At best this may slow, or pause the President's slide in the polls. American's love to give people (including our leaders) the benefit of the doubt. But we also want results or absent that vision, which was sorely lacking in this speech.

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