Analysis Of Bush’s Speech

I found Bush’s speech last night on the war in Iraq to be fairly interesting because he pointed out some things to the American public that conservative pundits have been talking about for months. In a sense, Bush’s speech last night was like the opening class of, “Conservative Foreign Policy 101”. Here’s some of the key points Bush hit…

After reminding Americans of why we removed Saddam, he pointed out that our perceived weakness before 9/11 encouraged the terrorists to attack us…

“For a generation leading up to September the 11th, 2001, terrorists and their radical allies attacked innocent people in the Middle East and beyond, without facing a sustained and serious response. The terrorists became convinced that free nations were decadent and weak. And they grew bolder, believing that history was on their side. Since America put out the fires of September the 11th, and mourned our dead, and went to war, history has taken a different turn. We have carried the fight to the enemy. We are rolling back the terrorist threat to civilization, not on the fringes of its influence, but at the heart of its power.”

Soon thereafter W. touches on the “reverse domino theory” (i.e., that a free Iraq will help encourage Democracy to spread across the region and discourage terrorism)…

“The Middle East will either become a place of progress and peace, or it will be an exporter of violence and terror that takes more lives in America and in other free nations. The triumph of democracy and tolerance in Iraq, in Afghanistan and beyond would be a grave setback for international terrorism. The terrorists thrive on the support of tyrants and the resentments of oppressed peoples. When tyrants fall, and resentment gives way to hope, men and women in every culture reject the ideologies of terror, and turn to the pursuits of peace. Everywhere that freedom takes hold, terror will retreat.”

Bush also pointed out that almost all of the attacks are happening in the Sunni Triangle and that the rest of the country is fairly stable…

“Most, but not all, of these killers operate in one area of the country. The attacks you have heard and read about in the last few weeks have occurred predominantly in the central region of Iraq, between Baghdad and Tikrit — Saddam Hussein’s former stronghold. The north of Iraq is generally stable and is moving forward with reconstruction and self-government. The same trends are evident in the south, despite recent attacks by terrorist groups.”

GWB then explicitly (and correctly I might add) tied Iraq into the war on terrorism…

“Two years ago, I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war, fought on many fronts in many places. Iraq is now the central front. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there — and there they must be defeated. This will take time and require sacrifice. Yet we will do what is necessary, we will spend what is necessary, to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror, to promote freedom and to make our own nation more secure. “

W. even addresses the idea that we have to go on the offense and kill the terrorists on their home ground…

“We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.”

Of course, W hit some other points as well during the speech including, our commitment to democracy in Iraq, that we don’t want anymore American troops in Iraq & only seem to be seeking another 20k foreign troops, we’re still talking to the UN, we’ll need 87 million for Iraq AND Afghanistan, etc, etc.

With this speech, Bush didn’t get into a lot of accounting, figures, or details. Instead he actually seemed to be trying to reaffirm what he stands for. In effect he was saying, “I’m not promising you this will be easy, but just as I said before, I’ll guarantee you that I’ll do what it takes to win the war on terrorism — and make no mistake about it, Iraq is part of the war on terrorism. Here’s what we’re doing in Iraq and why we think this has to be done to win. Trust me, stick with me, and we will win.”

I certainly liked the speech and I think it was a far more impressive foreign policy speech than any of the Democrats running for the Presidency have given (or probably will give). It’ll be interesting to watch the poll numbers and see if this speech resonates with the public.

Permalinks


Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!

Send this to a friend