Sunday, December 18

Live-blogging Bush's adress to the nation

(Monday, 12/19: Much more - scroll down for updates)

Wow. I was sort of puttering around doing Sunday evening things with the news on in the background and heard the President begin his address. When I heard him mention WMDs four times in as many minutes, I ran back to the living room to hear the rest of his speech.

He's taken on each and every one of the liberals' talking points. One by one he brought them up and took them apart piece by piece. Good for him. About goshdarn time. I think I heard some liberals' heads exploding with each point he made.

He mentioned that age-old, worn-out lie that we are encouraging terrorists by being over in Iraq and Afghanistan. He reminded us that on 9/11 we weren't at war with them, but yet they attacked us. And, if you've read our "Iraq:102" post by Amy Proctor, you'll see that they've attacked us many times before. "Ignoring them doesn't work", the President said. They don't listen to reason and won't go away just because we leave them alone. It will only make them more adamant in their resolve to kill us.

To a Republican or a supporter of what we're doing over there, this is a "DUH", but to a lot of our liberal friends, it's probably a foreign language of some kind. And, frankly, it probably still is...but I'm glad Bush finally directly addressed some of the idiocy. 'Course that means they'll have to make up something NEW now. And I'm sure they will. And hopefully he'll keep addressing each lie as it surfaces. One can always hope.

Some of the earlier points he made was that war is difficult. It doesn't mean we're losing just because it seems - by the horrific things shown on the evening news - that it's too hard. We "can win, and we are winning". We aren't losing. "Our troops don't believe we're losing and our commanders on the ground don't believe it either."

He also laid out his strategy in three points:
1. Remain on the offense: Building up Iraqi security forces. When we got there there was only a handful of Iraqis trained and ready and now there are 125 battalions and over 50 battalions leading the way. We have turned over 50 military bases to Iraqi control.

2. Democracy: Over 10 million Iraqis went to the polls to vote - including Sunnis who boycotted the elections last January. He shared an anecdote about an Iraqi man who, after dipping his finger in the purple ink, raised and said "This is a thorn in the eyes of the terrorists".

3. Reconstruction: Focusing on their economy and infrastructure. That the Iraqis are optimistic. 7 out of 10 believe things are going well, with another two thirds expecting significant improvement in the coming months.

He also talked about honest critics vs. defeatists. And how defeatists are only going to embolden the terrorists and how the terrorists will laugh at our "failed resolve". He said that "honest critics" are to be listened to and that he HAS been listening to them and making whatever changes need to be made. He reiterated that we will not be running away until the mission is complete, and asked Americans not to give up on this "fight for freedom".

I thought he did a great job. He was brief but very much to the point. We all know the libs' talking points - heaven knows we've heard them a thousand times ad nauseum. But he addressed them all. In a language I hope that even they can understand! I'll post any feedback or updates I find tomorrow.

Speaking of updates, did anyone hear Dick Cheney's speech to the troops today?

I know most of you have heard the political debates that have been going on back home. You've heard some prominent voices advocating a sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq. Some have suggested this war is not winnable. And a few seem almost eager to conclude that the struggle is already over. But they are wrong. The only way to lose this fight is to quit. And that is not an option. Every American serving in this war can be absolutely certain the people of the United States are behind you. Americans will not support a policy of submission, resignation, or defeatism in the face of terror.

Our country will never go back to the false comforts of the world before September 11, 2001. Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And this nation has made a decision: We will engage these enemies, facing them far from home so that we do not have to face them on the streets of our own cities.

12/19:
Amy Proctor's blog has the transcript.
See Michelle Malkin for other blogger's reactions and also her take on the speech.

If you don't read Mark Steyn, you must. Especially his latest column entitled "Iraq vote leaves Dems looking like the losers". Here's a taste:

Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers. That's what this is about: Millions of Kurds, Shia and Sunnis beaming as they emerge from polling stations and hold up their purple fingers after the freest, fairest election ever held in the Arab world. "Liberal" in the American sense is a dirty word because it's come to stand for a shriveled parochial obsolescent irrelevance, of which ''Good Night, and Good Luck,'' Clooney's dreary little retread of the McCarthy years, is merely the latest example. (Clooney says he wants more journalists to "speak truth to power," which is why I'm insulting his movie.)

The Anglo-American political tradition is the most successful in the world in part because of the concept of "loyal opposition." Yes, the party out of office opposes the party in office and hopes to supplant it, but not at the expense of the broader political culture. A party that winds up cheerleading for a deranged loser death cult is the very definition of pointless self-defeating sour oppositionism. So, as Zarqawi flails, Dean and Murtha and Kerry flail ever more pathetically, too. Just wait till the WMD turn up.
Go read the rest. Good stuff.

Also threads and comments at Lucianne.com.

Our friends over at Barking Moonbat make very good points.

Whether you believe in the war or not, the simple fact is that we’re in it and we stand to lose too much if the constant harassment and negativity doesn’t stop. The time to argue over the justification for the war against terror or the war in Iraq is when everything has settled down. Second-guessing the President and publicly espousing defeatism is destructive in nature and only places our troops in jeopardy by encouraging the enemy. The time to stick together is now. We can argue over the details later ... when our troops have come home and, because of their sacrifices, we can debate the whole matter in comfort and safety. Until that day, none of us are safe ... Republicans or Democrats.
Say on, Skipper.

Please also read Freedom Eden's take on the speech: she calls it "apolitical". "He spoke as an American President, not a Republican President".
Something that was driving me nuts as I read through the different reports from the MSM on the speech was their fantasy about a lack of support for the mission in Iraq.

Six in ten Americans believe we should do what the President is proposing. While the President himself acknowledged the deep divide in the country regarding the war, it should be remembered that a majority of Americans believe it would be a mistake to cut and run.

The majority of Americans understand the necessity for completing the mission. They are not willing to accept defeat. They understand how high the stakes are.

The reality is the majority of Americans have not bought into the Dems' retreat and defeat policy for Iraq.

I thought Bush's straight talk was particularly effective.

As I said before, this speech was not political spin. The President was direct and humble, yet confident and firm.


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