The President spoke Tuesday night. I only was able to hear the last half - it was earlier than usual - but what I heard, I liked.
The President argued that by taking the war to the terrorists, we keep America safe. That by engaging the enemy on their home turf, which includes Iraq, we keep them off ours. And the plan is to stay there until they get the hint that the United States can and will outlast them.
Basically, President Bush argued that Iraq is part of the War on Terror, and for good reason. I agree, but I know not everyone else did. Because as I watched CNN last night, the usual suspects, such as John Kerry (why anyone listens to him, I don't know), said the usual complaints. No plan. No deadline. No timetable. B**** b**** b****.
Of course, the Dems have no plan either. Unless you count this one. [Courtesy Argghhh!!!]
And they complained about Bush referring to 9/11.
Well, 9/11 is why we are there, but not how they think. 9/11 shocked some of us out of the apathetic 90's and into the big scary world that we always knew was there but refused to acknowledge. It never intruded upon our lives in any significant way; why worry about it?
Iraq had been a major problem for us all through the 1990s. Even the Clinton Administration came to the conclusion that the only way to deal with Iraq was to eliminate Hussein. He sponsored terror groups, offered them safe haven, and provided them aid. That alone should have been enough to encourage his removal. His dabbling with WMDs was icing on the cake. That was a job we should have handled years ago. But it is done.
So what now? If we just pull chocks and run, we will be abandoning the Iraqis, and we will re-experience the aftermath of Vietnam. We will prove to the world that we are too soft to stand for anything.
If we stay? More soldiers will die, more politicians will try to score points off their deaths. America will continue to be lambasted by the chattering elites of the world; our simplisme and directness mocked.
But maybe - just maybe - the world will change for the better. A little less tyranny, a little more light.
There's no guarantee, just a hope. But we have gotten by on less before.
"If we fail in Iraq, it will be a blow to America's prestige. One reason the terrorists struck on 9/11 is that they thought America was weak and making it bleed would prompt it to abandon its allies in the Middle East. The signal of weakness sent by a loss in Iraq wouldn't placate our enemies, but invite more attacks."
"On September 12, 2001, no one in America cared about whether there would be enough Sunni participation in a fledgling Iraqi democracy if Saddam were ever toppled. No one in lower Manhattan cared whether the electricity would work in Baghdad, or whether Muqtada al-Sadr’s Shiite militia could be coaxed into a political process. They cared about smashing terrorists and the states that supported them for the purpose of promoting American national security.
"Saddam Hussein’s regime was a crucial part of that response because it was a safety net for al Qaeda. A place where terror attacks against the United States and the West were planned. A place where Saddam’s intelligence service aided and abetted al Qaeda terrorists planning operations. A place where terrorists could hide safely between attacks. A place where terrorists could lick their wounds. A place where committed terrorists could receive vital training in weapons construction and paramilitary tactics. In short, a platform of precisely the type without which an international terror network cannot succeed."
"...we didn't build a functioning government in a year after we won the Revolution, gee, surprise, neither have the Iraqis. But there is progress..."