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The Speech

I watched the President's speech, but only watched a few minutes of the post speech commentary. I saw Tim Russert say that Bush bet his presidency on Iraq and that tonight he made that bet double or nothing.

I was impressed by the speech. I thought the President struck the correct tone, explained the plan sufficiently for viewers to follow along, and provided enough details for them to decide for themselves whether or not they believe the plan deserves a shot. He also did a really good job explaining why it is so incredibly important that we do everything possible to succeed in Iraq. He cited in some detail some of the mistakes that have contributed to the current situation. He made clear that he took full responsibility. He said that the troops have done everything that has been asked of them and that they bear no blame for the things that have not worked.

I am sure there will be much debate over various components of the plan and the bi-partisan advisory group he mentioned, which will include Joe Lieberman, will most likely be attacked vigorously by many Democrats. If the plan is implemented and works, the President will be criticized for not changing course earlier. What we will have to wait to see is whether or not the President is able to move public opinion any over the next few weeks. Some of that will depend upon how the media covers this change in course. The next big speech will be the State of the Union address. Stay tuned.

Update: The transcript and video can be found at the White House site.

I failed to mention my favorite parts of the speech. I will dig them out of the transcript and post shortly.

Update II: Here is my most favorite line:

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.
I wonder what Dick Durbin would say about that? Or Jack Murtha, who wants to close Gitmo? The Democrats and those in the media have done a great job creating the perception that our troops have been too heavy handed and ruthless and that the horrible abuses they have commited against the Iraqi people are a big reason violence there has escalated. Abuses like those as Abu Ghraib certainly did nothing but hurt the mission, but I would argue that our commitment to minimize civilian casualties has cost us many U.S lives and in many instances we have, for many reasons including cultural sensitivity, insisted that our troops fight with their hands tied.

Here is my other favorite line from the speech:

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
I am sure there were more than a few people applauding that line tonight.

Update III: I think Uncle Jimbo is one of those cheering.

Others blogging:

Mary Katharine Ham keeps track of those for and against the plan.

The Anchoress is keeping track of those who were for it before they were against it.

Glenn Reynolds has lots of Iraq and surge links including this one from Victor Davis Hanson, "After listening tonight to Wesley Clark, Dick Durbin, Tom Vilsack, Nancy Pelosi, etc. I still can't for the life of me learn what they want to do." Glenn has the answer for him.

Bob Owens has some choice words for those who are in favor of the surge for all the wrong reasons -- and it involves morays.

Jay at Stop the ACLU liveblogged and has lots of links to speech reaction.

A.J. Strata has some excellent commentary and points out that the speech put the Democrats squarely in the pessimist camp.

Tom Delay has comments on the new plan here.

Pierre Legrand is ready for the gloves to come off.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Speech:

» Bill's Bites linked with Lt. Kije identified, facing arrest? -- Day 6

» Bill's Bites linked with THE SPEECH, THE SURGE, ...

» Stop The ACLU linked with Bush Surge Speech Open Thread And Liveblogging

» Flopping Aces linked with The Presidents Speech - Jan 10, 2006

» Church and State linked with Surge or Not, We Still Have to Win

» Doug Ross @ Journal linked with Democrats insist there\'s nothing much at stake in Iraq

Comments (25)

The most interesting part t... (Below threshold)
Tony:

The most interesting part to me was when he mentioned (finally) not allowing Iran and Syria to continue to bring arms and influence across the border. That's the 800 pound gorilla in the speech right there.

So much value is being plac... (Below threshold)
Diane:

So much value is being placed on public opinion concerning the war (as the press has so deemed & I belive influenced). However, I contend most of the public, is an uninformed public, and thus not a reliable source to make such important decisions as bestowed on the President's office in our Constitution.

Recently, when discussions come up about the Iraq war, I have begun to ask questions of those who have strong opinions against the war...
i.e., where is Iraq? what countries border Iraq? who are the Shias, Kurds, and Sunnis? Who is the leader of Iran and what are his beliefs? Do the Saudis have similar beliefs to the Iranians?, etc., etc.

Most of the people I have questioned are middle-income college graduates of all ages. The best most can do, is find Iraq on a map. They have no clue about the religious, cultural, political make-up of Iraq and other ME countries. Until they get a clue, I don't want these people influencing our foreign/military policy.

Is this internationalist S.... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Is this internationalist S.O.B. allergic to Old Glory? No flag, gold-trimmed or not! Just 50 or so books with no name. On a wierd Rosemary's Baby red background! I know I'm not addressing the speech, but the subliminality is OMINOUS! W is signalling the end of nationalism! The BITCH! (Gitmo, here I come!)

Sorry about the bogus track... (Below threshold)

Sorry about the bogus trackback -- some nights I don't multi-task well. Actually, I didn't get the impression President Bush knows where Jamil is, but that was still the wrong post to link to yours from.

Is this internatio... (Below threshold)
Is this internationalist S.O.B. allergic to Old Glory? No flag, gold-trimmed or not! Just 50 or so books with no name. On a wierd Rosemary's Baby red background! I know I'm not addressing the speech, but the subliminality is OMINOUS! W is signalling the end of nationalism! The BITCH! (Gitmo, here I come!) Posted by: bryanD at January 10, 2007 11:15 PM

Jeebus, you're trying way too hard.

The most interesti... (Below threshold)
Larkin:
The most interesting part to me was when he mentioned (finally) not allowing Iran and Syria to continue to bring arms and influence across the border.

And what do you think he'll actually do about it?

It's amazing to me that we can expect an impoverished and backward country like Syria to control it's long desert border with Iraq when we can't even control our own border with Mexico with our nearly limitless resources.

Larkin, Maybe he'l... (Below threshold)
Tony:

Larkin,

Maybe he'll say:
* there were no Iranians on board the planes on 9/11
* there were no Iranians in the leadership of Al Qaeda on 9/11
* there was no Al Qaeda presence in Iran before 9/11
* there was no substantial relationship between Al Qaeda and the Ahmadinejadregime at the time of 9/11

I don't know what the U.S. will do, but I know you're a troll.

I say turn our troops loose... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

I say turn our troops loose and let them get rid of all the scum that comes before them. They know who they are now but have get "permission" to shoot because of some bleedingheart lefty. Well now is the time to say "boo frigging hoo to you" and let them rip.

Don't blame me bec... (Below threshold)
Larkin:
Don't blame me because Big Mr. War on Terror blew his last I don't know what the U.S. will do, but I know you're a troll.

I can't be a troll because everything I say is the truth and you know it. You just can't stand that I'm right.

I said the day we disbanded the Iraqi army that an insurgency would rise up. I said that having an election without Sunni participation would make the insurgency worse. I said that adopting a Constitution that the Sunnis unanimously opposed would make the situation worse. I said that propping up a "democracy" in Iraq would not diminish support for the insurgency. I said that the Shiite groups who gained power because of the elections would pursue a policy of revenge against the Sunnis that has led to ethnic cleansing and endemic violence.

I was right about all that and the frat boy was wrong. And his "plan" is nothing but a bunch of hot air intended to give the illusion that he is in charge and knows what he's doing. He figures he can fool the American people just long enough to play out the clock on Iraq and avoid the inevitable and difficult decision to withdraw.

And another thing I'll be right about is that six months from now the situation in Iraq will be worse than it is today despite these extra 20,000 troops.


Tony, Bwahahahahahahahaha.... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Tony, Bwahahahahahahahaha...... good one.

And he's a dumb troll at that.

Lorie again attempts to kis... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Lorie again attempts to kiss the ring of powerful men with this: "Tom Delay has comments on the new plan here."

Tom who? Delay? Tell me it's not the same Tom Delay who said this...?

"Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills." -Tom DeLay, on causes of the Columbine High School massacre, 1999 (Source)

Working mothers who take birth controls cause youth violence? Tom Delay is a total idiot.

And another thing I'll ... (Below threshold)
marc:

And another thing I'll be right about is...
Posted by: Larkin at January 11, 2007 12:05 AM

Got links to all the assertions of being so right for so long Larkin?

They should make for interesting reading.

Got links to all the ass... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Got links to all the assertions of being so right for so long Larkin?

Yes here.


Just looking at one of my old posts I saw this quote from GW Bush:

And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave.

He was right then and he's wrong now.

I also argued in some of my old posts (2004) the original mission of this war (destroying the Hussein regime and ridding the country of WMD) had been accomplished and that we should declare victory and bring the troops home. I still believe that's true. The only thing preventing us from getting out of Iraq are the political considerations of those who got us into the war.

Steve of Norway, OK, My mus... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Steve of Norway, OK, My must-see-TV-buzz has subsided! So in the spirit of bi-partisanship, can we all agree that that was THE WORST SPEECH EVER? (Yes, I'm watching "highlights" with lots of "uh- uh"s from even his paid flacks. Reminds me of election day coverage.) And "where's the flag" still stands!

The only thing preventin... (Below threshold)
adamthemad:

The only thing preventing us from getting out of Iraq are the political considerations of those who got us into the war.

Um, yeah, no other consideration at all. Except for the whole allowing a new country to become a jihadi terror machine fueled by large oil reserves. And the projection of a Shia Cresent from Iran encircling Israel and the few "allies" in the region.

Oh, yea, I forgot one more.
We shouldn't worry one bit about something like this happening again.

Naa, no other considerations what so ever.

Yep, read the text on Drudg... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Yep, read the text on Drudge. Puts the onus on Iraq at the behest of the Iraq Study Group(!!!), meanwhile threatening our existance as a nation lest we choose another path. What a cocksucker!

Listened again at NRO (BLEC... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Listened again at NRO (BLECHHH! but duty calls) Vows to change the restrictive rules of engagement which he (W) calls "Iraqi"(rules of engagement). Right! The Iraqis set OUR rules of engagement!?!?!? Try again, Slick!

GOOD FUCKING NIGHT!!!!... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

GOOD FUCKING NIGHT!!!!

GFN Yurself.Man th... (Below threshold)
epador:

GFN Yurself.

Man the Left aisle comments are getting poorer and thinner.

Problem with the Bush appro... (Below threshold)
InJapan:

Problem with the Bush approach is that it looks like the old college football strategy of running up the middle... and when that fails to gain yards the next thing you do is... run up the middle. Repeat... then try again.

Too much religious hatred there, and ethnic scores to be settled. More troops mean more bloodshed. Less troops mean more bloodshed. Can we simply accept that there are a whole lot of people who just want to kill each other?

Although every decision by ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Although every decision by our President..starting with the reasons for the invasion given to us in 2003 have been right on and have resulted in a functioning, free Iraq...the majority of Americans are simply idiots to dismiss such results and his abilities....It was his best speech since his State of the Union Address in 2003.
Oh sure..the Dems..and the American voters who elected them..will whine..but screw'em and those who voted for them..

"It's amazing to me tha... (Below threshold)

"It's amazing to me that we can expect an impoverished and backward country like Syria"

On what do you base this claim?

If I had a quarter for ever... (Below threshold)
fschmieg:

If I had a quarter for every time Tim Russert and his ilk have said something like, "this is the most important speech Bush will ever make; he is betting his presidency on this speech; etc., etc.", I would be rich.

"The government bel... (Below threshold)
Fordrill:

"The government believes there is no need for extra troops from the American side," Haidar al-Abadi, a Parliament member and close associate of Mr. Maliki, said Wednesday. "The existing troops can do the job."

"The bi-partisan advisory g... (Below threshold)
John S:

"The bi-partisan advisory group [Bush] mentioned, which will include Joe Lieberman, will most likely be attacked vigorously by many Democrats"

Now that would be a dumb move. Joe Lieberman can hand the Senate to the Republicans any time he wants. Don't piss off Joe.




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