10 January 2007

Comments on the Bush Speech, 10 Jan 2007

I’ve read the text of Bush’s speech given on the night of 10 Jan 07, but I haven’t taken the time to watch a video fed of it. I’m not sure that I will, as Bush sometimes reads better. And anyway, it’s better for me to go back and read, and reread, and reread. I’ve also purposefully not read any other reaction to the speech. I’ll let it sink in for a day before I do. (In fact, I get to avoid the television news tonight, as well.)

Some thoughts:
- Good thing that he said things in Iraq weren’t working, and even better that he gave some background on it. The Iraqi election period was a hopeful one, but little came out of it.
- Glad that Bush has decided on the Kagan / Keane plan, and also glad that he did not opt for the Kennedy / Murtha plan of running and hiding “over the horizon.” The Kagan / Keane plan is, in fact, a plan, as it’s founded on tactics and reason. Kennedy and Murtha scream, “Another Vietnam,” and run like hell…or redeploy like Hades. One plan has a chance of succeeding, the other succeeds in surrender.
- That the Kagan / Keane plan has defined missions and goals is a very good thing.
- Good that Bush is taking some aim at stopping the inflow of people, materials and support from Syria and Iran. While many Americans, thanks to the media, may feel that Iraq is an isolated military action, it is really the current battleground for the war against Islamofacism…or one of the many current battlefields.
- Increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps is critical, and the increase needs to be larger than it will end up being, I’ll bet. This effort should have begun on 12 September 2001. That the US may begin this effort 5½ years late means that the growth curve should be all the more steep. While Congress would probably never approve it, and Bush would never ask for it, I would go for an increase of 500,000 personnel. In the years ahead, we'll probably need them, and it is impossible to "make" soldiers just in time to use them.

I’m actually pretty happy that I’m not in the States at the moment, because I can just imagine the twists that this speech will take in the coming days from pundits and politicians alike, not to mention leftie “peace” activists (who really don’t want peace all that much; they just think they want the US to lose). What the fountains of endless deconstructive criticism do not understand is that the world does not work smoothly. Sometimes mistakes, big mistakes, are made. They can’t be covered up with newspaper, and you can’t turn away from them, pretending they’re not there.

Should the tactics used in Iraq have been changed sooner? Yes. Is it too late for a change of tactics now? No. Can we walk away from Iraq? Yes, but “redeploying” away will cause us to go back to fight again later against a more powerful foe. We’ve already done that once, in 1991. Best to stay, fight hard for a goal, and leave when it is really finished.

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