Excerpts of Bush's 01/10/2007 speech:
"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. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work."
"This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq.
The vast majority of them -- five brigades -- will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs."
"This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet, over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents. When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq's Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace. And reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible."
"We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped army, and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq. ...and Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq."
"In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us. These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary - and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty. We mourn the loss of every fallen American - and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice."
plez sez: At the end of Bush's speech, I could only wonder how much crack they had been smoking in the War Room when they came up with this plan! The obligatory Democratic responders and ex-military talking heads on CNN and PBS were basically wondering the same thing. They all talked about how an extra 20,000 troops would be like "spitting in the wind" to fight a fire and this plan will have a minimal effect on driving down the number of incidents of violence in Baghdad.
There were a few other things in his speech (or missing from the speech) that raised that raised my ire:
- Bush never talked about WHO we are supposed to be over there fighting, because the "insurgents" are a fluid group of Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, Al Qaeda terrorists with no formal structure. Our troops are in a quagmire of a civil ware without a defined enemy to focus upon.
- The President did admit that only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence. So why do we need to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq for a problem that our military cannot solve?
- Bush will never admit that even though Saddam Hussein was a murderous bully, he did keep the Iraqis in check! With the state that Iraq finds itself in these days, we'll NEVER be able to withdraw our troops or Iraq will fall into anarchy. Those 20,000 troops along with the 150,000 already there are in a Korea-like situation (we've been in South Korea for over 50 years).
- There is no timetable for withdrawal because we will not be able to leave... see my previous comment. I don't think we should have INVADED Iraq, but now that we are there, I see no possibility of an exit strategy. Bush's speech was his maintenance plan while we continue to prop up their paper government (remember what happened when the Shah of Iran cut our puppet strings?).
- George Bush has never been honest with the American people:
(1) he invaded Iraq on a false premise (and I believe he knew it was a false premise of WMDs when we started the bombing),
(2) he won't admit that he had a personal vendetta against the leader of a sovereign nation and had him removed from power (remember, Saddam Hussein tried to snuff out Bush 41 and Bush 43 vowed that he would avenge the failed attack),
(3) he let his "fat cat" friends profit from the war (start with Halliburton and work down from there),
(4) he said we were winning (and had won) the war when we weren't even close,
(5) he has allowed a formerly stable nation to wallow in instability for over 3 years,
(6) he has had a blank check (drafted by a Republican Congress) to be a warmonger with no tangible results,
(7) he hasn't even had a whiff of Osama Bin Laden since the World Trade Center crumbled on September 11, 2001 (question: why didn't we bomb and invade Afghanistan for harboring Bin Laden?), and at last count,
(8) he has sent over 3,000 Americans to die for NOTHING!