Carol Platt Liebau: "The Decisive Ideological Struggle of Our Time"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"The Decisive Ideological Struggle of Our Time"

Here is the transcript of the President's "surge" speech. Bad news for the terrorists -- and for the Democratic cut 'n run brigade. The President intends for America to stay and fight.

The speech wasn't inspiring, but it was frank, comprehensive, and clearly designed to address some of the most common criticisms levelled at the effort. Ultimately, as a number of commentators have of course pointed out, the quality of the speech doesn't matter. All that matters is whether the plan outlined in the speech works. The speech, however, may serve to reassure people that there is a chance for victory in Iraq, and we're going to try to win it.

The talk contained a number of important elements. One of the most vital was an explanation of why the stakes in the Iraq struggle are so high -- a point that isn't made often enough, and one which highlights the fact that victory shouldn't be a Republican priority, but rather a matter of national interest:

Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

It also outlined the elements of the plan, the importance of economic reforms, and the reasons that increasing the number of troops will actually result in the troops coming home sooner, rather than later. It was a solid, candid effort, and one can only wish such an address had been delivered before the election, rather than now.

The Democratic response to the speech was shameful. Presented by troop-slanderer Dick Durbin, it offered nothing but pessism and consisted simply of an emotional call for the withdrawal of troops.

Of course, the very fact that the Democrats have called so loudly for the withdrawal of troops eliminates the rationale for their symbolic resolutions opposing the President's plan, because it puts the Iraqis on notice, as the President also said, that the American commitment isn't open-ended. Given that the effort is going to go forward, the fact that Democrats would step forward before it's even been implemented to try to tear it down is amazing. It shows that the Democratic resolutions are nothing more than a political effort to hurt the President and Republicans -- and that the Democratic desire to do so is greater than their desire to see America succeed in Iraq.

Ultimately, the question comes down to whether the American people want to win in Iraq. I believe they do, and they'll give this plan a chance to see if victory is possible.


Blogger LQ said...

Durbin and most democrats feel Iraq is lost. Bush feels Iraq is not and must not be lost. I agree with the president. Frankly, I don’t know for certain if the surge and new rules of engagement will work or not, but the stakes are so high, it’s worth the effort.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for the link. I'm sad to say I didn't catch the entire speach live, so I'm glad to get to read the text.

I did get to see Bush address the issue most pressing in my mind - stopping the Iranian and Syrian influx of terrorists and terrorist support.

I got the feeling he was deadly serious on that topic! He means it. But then, even his harshest critics have to admit one thing about President Bush - he means what he says! Man, that's so refreshing.

5:56 AM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

FDR did not stop with D-Day nor did HST stop with Okinawa. Why should Bush stop now?

3:13 AM  

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