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About Tonight's Speech

Stop the ACLU has compiled a list of links to read prior to tonight's Presidential address. I spent almost two hours writing a post of my own about what I would like to hear tonight, but the computer ate it and I was too frustrated to try to recreate the entire thing. One point I will make briefly here, though, is what I want to hear about what our troops have accomplished in Iraq.

We frequently hear even major opponents of the war say they "support the troops." What we rarely ever hear, though, is much about what the troops have actually done in Iraq. We hear sympathy for how they have been persecuted -- kids sent to fight an unjust war to stroke the ego of a dunce President who thought he would invade Iraq to line the pockets of his rich oil friends when all they wanted to do was escape the John Edwards' poverty pit that is America and get a free education. I hope to hear some specifics about not only how many schools we have rebuilt in Iraq, but how many bad guys we have killed and how many terrorist plots have been disrupted, and how much has been done to set the stage for a functioning democracy to emerge in the heart of the Middle East.

Update: I just participated in a blogger conference call with Tony Snow and asked if the President will be talking about some of the accomplishments that have been acheived in Iraq. Tony said he will not be doing much of that tonight, but will be making statements in the coming weeks about some of the accomplishments that have not been getting much media coverage.

Update II: I apologize for not giving more details about the conference call, but I missed the last part of the call because I had to leave to take my daughter to a class. (I wrote the update above before the call was actually over, just before I had to leave.) When I logged on after returning home to do a summary, I found that Kim had already done an excellent one. It appears just above this post so check it out if you have not already. The information we received included quite a few details, including some things I had not heard before today.

Be sure to read Bruce Kesler's checklist for the speech.


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Comments (41)

preview from Fox news: ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

preview from Fox news:

WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush will tell the nation Wednesday night that he should have sent more troops to Iraq to fight the war during the earlier stages of the nearly four-year conflict, a senior administration official revealed.

Speaking from the Library -- a White House room never before used by the president for a public address -- Bush will also acknowledge that the rules of engagement were flawed and will seek support for a new strategy to win the unpopular war, presidential counselor Dan Bartlett said.

The new approach includes sending 21,500 additional U.S. troops -- 17,500 to Baghdad and 4,000 to al Anbar province -- to join the 132,000 already there. Their purpose will be to help "break the cycle" of violence to "allow for the type of breathing space that the Iraqis need to get the type of political and economic reconciliation we all know that's necessary for that country to move forward," Bartlett told FOX News.

"President Bush would not commit one additional troop to Baghdad if it weren't based upon a new strategy with new outcomes to be expected," Bartlett said. "And that requires two basic things ... one, there has to be more Iraqi troops on the ground -- what we saw last time is that the Iraqis made pledges to bring in Iraqi troops that didn't materialize -- and, two, and just as importantly, is that the rules of engagement, the places where these troops can go and actually conduct operations, have to be different."

"Tony said he will be makin... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Tony said he will be making statements in the... COMING WEEKS about some of the accomplishments that have not been getting much media coverage." But not tonight! His Big Night! O, Lord! Deliver us from Rich Kids who can't get out of bed if 3000 more lives depended on it! Amen! (But seriosly, can we get a Dr.Feelgood for this guy? Cocaine? Meth? Whatever will get him out of the fetal position!

I just participat... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
I just participated in a blogger conference call with Tony Snow and asked if the President will be talking about some of the accomplishments that have been acheived in Iraq.

Pretty Cool. And here I am posting in the comment section of a person who was just in a conference call with the President's Press Secretary who probably just spoke to the President on the night of a big speech.

I almost feel like I'm somewhere in the loop. I know it's way, way, way out there on an outer band.

But pretty cool Lorie.

jumpinjoe, you never called... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

jumpinjoe, you never called Tony's old call-in show? You could have been an apostle!

Remember wizbangers, make s... (Below threshold)
Cornwell:

Remember wizbangers, make sure you have your drinking hats on tonight for the big speech tonight. And remember to clap very loudly for Dear Leader. If you clap very loudly, you will make sure we don't hear any of those negative nellies who want us to lose, because we really can win in Iraq, yay!

Delusion has set in amongst too many of you. It's kind of sad in a way, but somewhat amusing to witness.

But remember, clap very loud for Dear and Glorious Leader.

<a href="http://th... (Below threshold)
Brian:
On June 28, 2005 -- just 18 months ago -- Bush said that sending more troops to Iraq would "undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead" and "suggest that we intend to stay forever."

I'll look forward to hearing what our flip-flopper in chief has to say.

"President Bush would no... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"President Bush would not commit one additional troop to Baghdad if it weren't based upon a new strategy with new outcomes to be expected

Do none of you bother to think about what statements like this mean?

If Bush is implementing a new strategy, that means the old one wasn't working. Which means the people who have been telling him that the old one wasn't working were right, and his statements to the American people that the old one was working were wrong.

If Bush is expecting a new outcome, that means he acknowledges that the old outcome was not desirable. Which means the people who have been telling him that the old outcome wasn't good were right, and his statements that "we're winning" were wrong.

Regardless of your political affiliation, isn't it insane to continue to put your trust in someone who has repeatedly been wrong, while you continue to ridicule those who have repeatedly been right?

Are liberal blogger's invit... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Are liberal blogger's invited in on the conference call, or do they get a separate conference call?

I googled a blog search and came up with this regarding today's conference call: "White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and Brett McGurk, Director for Iraq, National Security Council, discussed President Bush's speech on the way forward in Iraq today at 4 PM with a small group of bloggers to discuss the way forward in Iraq. Joining me was Austin Bay, Lori Byrd , Wizbang John Hawkins - RightWing News, Human Events Online, Redstate , NZ Bear among others.".

There are a few names I don't recognize, but it appears to be primarily a list of right-wing bloggers. Lorie, were there any liberal bloggers participating? It would be interesting to see a liberal blogger's account of the call, and to be able to compare that with a conservative bloger's account.

I hope to hear some spec... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I hope to hear some specifics about not only how many schools we have rebuilt in Iraq, but how many bad guys we have killed and how many terrorist plots have been disrupted, and how much has been done to set the stage for a functioning democracy to emerge in the heart of the Middle East.

Then...

Tony said he will not be doing much of that tonight, but will be making statements in the coming weeks about some of the accomplishments that have not been getting much media coverage.

Lorie, Lorie, Lorie... you are so gullible and naive. You're like a dog panting in front of the butcher's waiting for a bone, not realizing that you're actually standing in front of the laundromat. How many times must the laundry guy tell you "it's almost here" before you give up in disgust and realize that what you've been promised doesn't exist? Instead, you keep wagging your tail.

"If Bush is implementing... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"If Bush is implementing a new strategy, that means the old one wasn't working."

In the weeks leading up to the election Bush told America what were winning the war in Iraq, and that he had no intention of firing Donald Rumsfeld. As soon as the election was over Bush fired Rumsefeld, and has slowly admitted that the war in Iraq has failed. This post-election catharsis, occurring after he looked America in the eyes and lied to us just weeks before the election, will go down as one of the memorable milestones in his administration.

It is indeed a tragedy to have this happen to our great country -- but tonight, when the President of the United States looks America in the eyes and begins speaking, he cannot be trusted to be telling the truth.

jumpinjoe, you ne... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
jumpinjoe, you never called Tony's old call-in show? You could have been an apostle

Not the same. Tony wasn't inner circle then. That's the diff.

Besides, I don't have the patience for busy signals and long holds for nation wide call-in shows. However in December 1995 I did get some great close up shots of me in the studio audience of Rush's T.V. show.

Update: I just participa... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Update: I just participated in a blogger conference call with Tony Snow and asked if the President will be talking about some of the accomplishments that have been acheived in Iraq. Tony said he will not be doing much of that tonight, but will be making statements in the coming weeks about some of the accomplishments that have not been getting much media coverage.

Tsk, tsk. Just an all-around bad, bad idea. You have the nation's attention, Mr. President, use it. There's simply no excuse for leaving this kind of important progress info out of such an important speech during wartime. This literally is making me shake my head.

Re: jumpinjoe: I like you.... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Re: jumpinjoe: I like you. I think we met at the Boston Tea Party. Things were simpler then.

Lorie, Lorie, Lorie... ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Lorie, Lorie, Lorie... you are so gullible and naive. You're like a dog panting in front of the butcher's waiting for a bone, not realizing that you're actually standing in front of the laundromat. How many times must the laundry guy tell you "it's almost here" before you give up in disgust and realize that what you've been promised doesn't exist? Instead, you keep wagging your tail.

Spoken, no doubt, by a guy who still believes the leftwingers who told him that Karl Rove's indictment was imminent. lol.

Talking with Tony? Very co... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Talking with Tony? Very cool. They don't get much better than him.

I don't usually comment abo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I don't usually comment about speeches that haven't happened but since they're scripted anyway, why not?

Some interesting items in this Washington Post article:

Pentagon insiders say members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have long opposed the increase in troops and are only grudgingly going along with the plan because they have been promised that the military escalation will be matched by renewed political and economic efforts in Iraq. Gen. John P. Abizaid, the outgoing head of Central Command, said less than two months ago that adding U.S. troops was not the answer for Iraq.

.....

Although the president was publicly polite, few of the key Baker-Hamilton recommendations appealed to the administration, which intensified its own deliberations over a new "way forward" in Iraq. How to look distinctive from the study group became a recurring theme.

As described by participants in the administration review, some staff members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of Baker-Hamilton. One senior administration official disputed that, arguing that staff members were attracted to the "surge" option to address long-standing concern that earlier efforts failed because of insufficient security forces.

Of course all of this is unattributed, but if true, it does not bode well for our country that the policymakers in the executive are basing their decisions on spite rather than what is the best course of action. I mean seriously, just because the Study Group said to do it, we'll do the opposite?

As usual, Washington doesn'... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

As usual, Washington doesn't give the full picture
From powerline


In Anbar, our additional forces will try to consolidate recent gains. According to Snow, tribal leaders there have turned strongly against al Qaeda, and want us to send in more forces with which to rout them. President Bush will oblige.

Shouldn't we help the people fighting the terrorists? Do we want to oppose working with the Ethiopians and Somalians to rout the AlQ terrorists on the run in Somalia?

BrianWar is a comp... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Brian

War is a competition therefore it is in constant change. Like football, in the beginning one strategy could be working then the opponent make changes to counter it. In the natural process, strategy changes. It changes back and forth where you last strategy might be the one you started with or it could be completely different but to not change at all would be foolish.

Also one can be winning and still think a change of strategy is warranted in attempt to accomplish it faster and with less cost.

Lee
I was not happy with what Bush did with Rumsfeld and did feel like Bush lie to us on that occasion. Most of what the libs have claim he lied about is B.S. Compare to how often President Clinton has lied to us in and out of office, Bush is a Saint. How about Sandy Berger?

Wayne, The one thin... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Wayne,
The one thing we want in a competition or a war is to win. The Dems seem to want us to lose. Their actions indicate that they don't want to win no matter what. All their rhetoric is intended to cause us to lose as well. What a sad commentary on a party in power.

LoveAmerica, just leave out... (Below threshold)
Jo:

LoveAmerica, just leave out the word "seem" in your post and you have it right.

Wayne, what are you talking about? War is easy, bloodless and always goes according to plans and schedule. At least that's what the liberals tell us.

Jo, maybe you can help me h... (Below threshold)
Cornwell:

Jo, maybe you can help me here. what does winning in Iraq entail?

I was not happy with wha... (Below threshold)
Cornwell:

I was not happy with what Bush did with Rumsfeld and did feel like Bush lie to us on that occasion. Most of what the libs have claim he lied about is B.S. Compare to how often President Clinton has lied to us in and out of office, Bush is a Saint. How about Sandy Berger?

Once again I am amazed at the right wing obsession with yesterday's politicians. Clinton is not in office anymore, you dig, and his lying was restrticted to mostly insignificant personal matters.

It's just hysterical to see those who hold up Bush as some divine saviour who run away from him and bring up Clinton as soon as their arguement hits a wall.

Lee,Were conservativ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Lee,
Were conservative bloggerss invited to the same info-calls (from big figures on the left and the Democrat party) as DailyKos and Atrios in the past? Is it relevant that not every pol invites the same people? The one word answer to both is the same.

LoveAmerica Immigrant, Why ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

LoveAmerica Immigrant, Why curse the audience for what the players won't do? The neo-cons wrote the script and they're acting it out.

Cornwell Clinton l... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Cornwell

Clinton lied about Sandy Berger stealing classified information from the archives during the 911 investigations. Some of them were the originals, which we may never know what they were. He lied about policies and the use of the FBI. It is sad that you consider that insignificant. To think comparing two Presidents as hitting a wall is reaching. Of course the libs never want to talk about Clinton unless it positive.

Winning in Iraq entail removing a dictatorial leader and a government that was a threat to the region, took potshots at our military, and also foster terrorist activities that included but not limited to paying suicide bomber family and giving medical aid to known terrorist. Mission accomplished. A second Victory would be establishing a relatively stable prosperous country that don't support terrorist. Work in progress and besides what the MSM say, we are making headway.

"but if true, it does not b... (Below threshold)
yo:

"but if true, it does not bode well for our country that the policymakers in the executive are basing their decisions on spite rather than what is the best course of action."


Indeed. Maybe they're stealing a page from the DNC's playbook.

Once again I am amazed a... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Once again I am amazed at the right wing obsession with yesterday's politicians.

Display your ignorance and explain why Clinton is not relevant. I'll show you a thousand quotes from contemporary liberal intellectuals (I know, I know, that is an oxymoron) that underscore his relevancy. Just as present-day conservativatism is the legacy of Goldwater and Reagan, so present-day liberalism has much for which to thank Clinton. Take that last part however you wish.

You mock Americans who still respect the American Presidency and care to consider what is said from the office, but any of you would drop to your knees in the presence of Clinton. Either Clinton, and for whatever reason imaginable.

We're obsessed with yesterdays politicians? Five minutes of listening to the liberal rants on the occassion of President Reagan's death would lead any rational being to say, "Pot. Kettle. Black." Hypocrisy is the shoe that fits.

The neo-cons wrote the s... (Below threshold)
Clay:

The neo-cons wrote the script and they're acting it out.

I'm interested in your definition of neo-con. Without research, and in your own words, please define the term. On your honor now.

Spoken, no doubt, by a g... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Spoken, no doubt, by a guy who still believes the leftwingers who told him that Karl Rove's indictment was imminent. lol.

Wow, just keep trottin' out the same stuff, don't you? Spoken, no doubt, by a guy who still gives a rat's ass about Karl Rove. lol.

According to Snow, triba... (Below threshold)
Brian:

According to Snow, tribal leaders there have turned strongly against al Qaeda

Big whoop. The Iraqis have always been strongly against AQ. Now you're going to try to make this look like some sort of progress?

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings.
Spoken, no doubt, by a g... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Spoken, no doubt, by a guy who still gives a rat's ass about Karl Rove.

And spoken, no doubt, by a guy who still wets his panties because KR stole, not one, but two elections.

War is a competition the... (Below threshold)
Brian:

War is a competition therefore it is in constant change. Like football, in the beginning one strategy could be working then the opponent make changes to counter it. In the natural process, strategy changes.

I couldn't agree more. That's why the Democrats have been screaming for changes in strategy early on, once it became clear that things were not going well. It's the Republicans who insisted on "staying the course", and that things were going well.

A troop surge would have been good... three years ago, when the generals requested it (and the Democrats supported it). Now, after insisting that "we're winning", "we're making progress", "we've turned the corner", "last throes", "violence is only increasing because we're winning/the Iraqi election/the American election", "we're training them to take over", on and on and on... now, only after losing an election, is there any admission that the prior strategy isn't working, and we need more troops.

Now is too late.

The Iraqis have always b... (Below threshold)
Clay:

The Iraqis have always been strongly against AQ.

Just curious, but do you believe that the percentage of Americans believing Iraq had WMD has risen?

The Iraqis have always b... (Below threshold)
Clay:

The Iraqis have always been strongly against AQ.

Oh, and what from the report caused you claim that the Iraquis have always been against AQ?

Ooops. your & Ira... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Ooops. your & Iraqi.

Oh, and what from ... (Below threshold)
Larkin:
Oh, and what from the report caused you claim that the Iraquis have always been against AQ?

Bin Laden loathes the secular regimes and has long maintained that they should be destroyed and replaced with fundamentalist regimes. Saddam returned bin Laden's antipathy.

The Iraqi people themselves have always tended toward the secular side (unlike their Saudi neighbors). The Wahabbists who form the backbone of Al Qaeda have never had any real following in Iraq (though they have in Pak, Saudi, Egypt, and the UAE).

Iraq's Sunnis don't want to live under a fundamentalist regime, they only tolerate the foreign Al Qaeda fighters because they need help defending themselves from Iraq's Shiite-dominated government that wants to exterminate them.

You mock Americans ... (Below threshold)
Fordrill:

You mock Americans who still respect the American Presidency and care to consider what is said from the office, but any of you would drop to your knees in the presence of Clinton.

So blind to your own hypocracy."What is said from the office?" This trash you refer to as the President has lied to you for 4 years about this war ("We are winning in Iraq", "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass distruction"), as a result, over 3,000 American lives have been lost as a result of these lies - and inept planning.

Please give me one example of how something has gone RIGHT over there.

The simple fact is this: Clinton lied about an infidelity. Wrong - sure it was. Impeachable? Lets say it is, to argue a point. But there's a few things that will always make the weight of his mistakes pale in comparison to the current liar in office.

One: No one lost their lives because of his lie.
Two: America's standing in the world didn't diminish because of his lie (I know it was a big deal to you, but most of the world snickered at the idea of us getting so hot and bothered by such a small matter).
Three: Our enemies were not emboldened because of his lie.

I don't expect you to understand this since you are so far up your own ass in denial about this President that your head would explode if you had to face reality, but that's typical for small thinkers like yourself.

Lastly, Clinton is a better man than George W. Bush. Always will be. Bush will go down in history as a corrupt, lying, egotistical, inept power grabber with no moral compass when it comes to the most important thing he has to preside over - American lives.

Besides, as others have posted, the Clinton argument has no merit anyway. He's been out of office for 6 years. Get over it.

Bin Laden loathes the se... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Bin Laden loathes the secular regimes and has long maintained that they should be destroyed and replaced with fundamentalist regimes...blah, blah, blah.

That didn't answer the question, did it? What statements were made in the report that prompted Brian's assertion that the Iraqis have always been against AQ?

http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/248.php?nid=&id=&pnt=248&lb=brme

Clinton lied about a whole ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Clinton lied about a whole lot more then infidelity. His inactions and lies did cost Americans lives. 911 was plan and set in motion on his watch. We have given many examples of Clinton screw-ups but the liberals keep their head in the sand.

For someone to claim this President is incompetent, then one would need to compare his performance with another President. Clinton was the prior President and would be a logical choice so stop being so defensive.

Fordrill

"Please give me one example of how something has gone RIGHT over there."

There have been many examples including 400% GNP growth. Opening of schools, hospital and infrastructure, a democratically elected government, relatively piece in the north and south. However, just like the MSM you close your eyes to that. Ask the soldiers how they think its going. They tell you a completely different story then MSM.

My point on the change in strategy is one can't determine if a strategy wasn't working at some point simply because someone decide to change it. I will rely on the judgments of Commanders in the field then some talking head or retired General. If someone can show if the CINC commander requested troops and didn't get it in the past, I would say Bush was wrong on troop levels. For most of the liberals, Bush would have been wrong regardless of what he did or does.

His inactions and lies d... (Below threshold)
Fordrill:

His inactions and lies did cost Americans lives. 911 was plan and set in motion on his watch. We have given many examples of Clinton screw-ups but the liberals keep their head in the sand.

Bin Laden's rise to power was set in motion on Reagan's watch (when they withdrew from Afghanistan), Bin Laden's war against the west was "set in motion" after the Gulf War (when we, the infidels, had a base in Saudi Arabia). And Clinton did go after him, and did help to foil the Millenium bomb plot.

Want to argue about them apples? I'm sure you've got some excuse for those Presidents, as you people always do, and would claim nothing of substance happened on Clinton's watch (I did well financially, how about you?). I would be more apt to claim that if Reagan and Bush are exhonerated from blame for the actions that created such an enemy, Clinton is exhonerated for not killing him during the current Bush presidency.

So when does Bush harbor any blame? He came to office and his first order of business was money for faith-based initiatives and tax cuts for the wealthy. That pesky little brief, "Bin Laden determined to strike on U.S. soil", of course, can't be blamed on Bush since he was possibly on vacation.

In fact, nothing can be blamed on Bush, right? He's only been in office during the time 9/11 happened, dropped the ball on Katrina, lied about - and failed - in Iraq, pushed the national debt to unforseen levels, got mangos from India in exchange for our jobs and nuclear technology, etc., etc.

And as far as your claims of what went right in Iraq? Sure, those are the same text book talking points every pundit on Sunday morning throws out - but it has nothing to do with a "winning strategy" and are not strong enough on the political or military end to account for more than collateral good deeds.

And you dramatically elected Government is horribly one-sided ethnically.

And, no, Bush wouldn't have been wrong regardless of what he did. I was for the man when he went into Afghanistan. But that was a long time ago - and a few thousand deaths past. He has proven himself since to be horrifyingly inept, morally corrupt and selfishly miopic.

And he will be viewed historically as the worst President this country has ever had. That's one thing you can be certain of -- except for the fact that your opinion today, January 11, 2007, is and will always be considered embarrassingly wrong.

Yes, Reagan and the first B... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Yes, Reagan and the first Bush made mistakes as well. However to pretend the only lie and/or mistake Clinton did was the lie about an affair is putting blinders on. That is the difference between Republicans and Democrats. We can and often do disagree with decisions or acknowledge mistakes made by Republican representatives the left do not.




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