The Right Side Of The Blogosphere’s Reaction To Bush’s Speech

The support for the war in Iraq and Bush’s handling of it has been slowly but surely dropping on the right side of the blogosphere for months, like the air hissing out of a balloon. However, the speech and the new strategy that went along with it seem to have reversed that trend, at least for the moment.

As I looked around the right side of the blogosphere, the supporters of the speech probably outnumbered the detractors or more accurately, those who thought it was too little, too late, by about 3 or 4 to 1. Perhaps more importantly, there were more genuine flashes of enthusiasm for the strategy Bush unveiled than I’ve seen in quite a while.

So, the speech was definitely a hit on the right and there does seem to be some hope that it will produce results. Of course, the proof is in the pudding, and this is going to have to work in the real world or support will start to drain away again. However, the flip side is that if Bush can produce progress, if we do start taking apart Mookie Al-Sadr’s forces, if the Iraqis start stepping up, if they do manage to take over the day to day policing of their country by November, it now looks possible that Bush could get public opinion on the war slowly inching up, instead of continuing to drop off. Time will tell.

In the interim, here are some of the more interesting quotations that I ran across today from the right side of the blogosphere.

“The President’s revised strategy for Operation Iraqi Freedom gives our country the best chance for victory and provides the Iraqi people their best chance for sustaining democracy. Senator Obama (along with many in Congress for that matter) does not approve of the strategy change. He told Larry King that he fails to see any “evidence” that the additional 21,000 troops will make a “significant dent” in Baghdad and I whole heartedly disagree. I have completed two combat tours in Iraq, most recently an 11 month tour as an Apache Helicopter company commander in Baghdad. I can tell you with confidence that if victory is to be achieved in Iraq, the additional 21,000 troops are essential.

…I agree with not disclosing a plan for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. A timetable for a planned withdrawal is exactly what the enemy is waiting and hoping for. The days leading up to the last U.S. boots departing Iraqi soil would be some of the most peaceful we have seen in years. However, I am confident that the days following our redeployment from the region would lead to a complete and total collapse of the progress we have made to date. That being said, I also believe that this should be our last effort in this fight. It is now clear to the world that our commitment to this conflict is not open ended. The Iraqi people are the only ones who can completely end the violence in Iraq, and I believe this latest strategy revision provides them the best opportunity to do so.” — C.J. Jacobs at Ankle Biting Pundits

“I saw nothing in President Bush’s demeanor to suggest that he really believes in this new plan or that it is at all likely to be successful. He has to know that the Iraqis will not follow through on their commitments either militarily, legislatively, or politically. What the President just laid out COULD work very well if it were executed properly, but we all know that is just not going to happen. Relying on these people for anything is a recipe for disaster as they are completely unworthy of our trust.

Unfortunately, I think President Bush knows this and is basically setting the Iraqi government up for the fall WHEN this plan goes sideways. The premise, as I see it, is that once the Iraqi units don’t show up/refuse to fight, or the Oil money legislation doesn’t happen, or Maliki’s favorite Shi’a get a pass, then the President will be able to point the finger and say, “We tried to help you out, but you squandered your last opportunity. Bu-bye, have fun with the genocide.” — Froggy at Blackfive

“The main indication that things have truly changed will be the dispatch of al-Sadr. He leads the Mahdi Army which is nothing more than an Iranian Death Squad. As long as al-Sadr lives, Iraq will be in trouble.

….It is this sort of speech, and his general attitude, which reminds me why I care about the president and support him–because he’s sincere and truly believes in our responsibility to defend ourselves and spread liberty around the world to that end.” — Tammy Bruce

“Leadership. That’s what it looks like. It’s not exercised by committee. It doesn’t waffle on polls. It does not take dictation.

A leader does take the counsel of grey hairs and the people’s representatives, among many others. But then a leader, all by himself, with no one but himself to turn to in the end, makes a decision. A sometimes very difficult decision. There is a reason why our founding fathers set it up this way. They had spent enough time arguing with each other in committee to know that ultimately, one man all alone has to make the hardest decisions. As one of their heirs said a century and a half later, “The buck stops here.”

There is not a lot that needs to be said about what George Bush said last night, except that it was the right thing. At long last, the key pieces are moving into play.” — Jules Crittenden

“In tonight’s nationally televised speech, President Bush informed the American people of his intention to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. This increase in our troop commitment represents, quite possibly, the last best hope for stabilization and, ultimately, achieving victory in the current war that we fight against the terrorists. President Bush has my full support.

…For political reasons all their own, the Democrats seem anxious to declare defeat. In point of fact, whatever euphemism they use: strategic redeployment, phased withdrawal, tactical relocation – we should not be deluded as to their true meaning.

…Unmistakably there is risk in further stretching our military capability, but there is also the sobering reality that a strained military is infinitely preferable to a defeated one. It is clear that the status quo in Iraq is no longer acceptable and given the circumstances, there are only two directions in which to move. Our Commander-in-Chief has chosen to advance rather than retreat and I wholeheartedly support him.” — Tom DeLay

“Detailed, forceful, candid, clear: It did everything it needed to do with a minimum of flowery language and a maximum of effect.

It also delivered a stiff warning to the Maliki government: Stop acting like a Shiite government – and start acting like an Iraqi government – if you want American help to continue.” — David Frum

“A lot of the anti-war Left is saying that Abizaid and Casey are out because they’re anti-surge, and Bush put another yes-man in place, blah, blah, blah. Unfortunately, the Left has also been saying that this has been a disaster since the beginning, that the light footprint plan was never viable, and that Bush should change course instead of “staying” it. So, he changes the plan, and immediately, that’s a bad move, too. They never wanted a change in plans. They just want Bush to fail, which unfortunately means America must fail.

As for the Democrat response to Bush, I simply LOVE how all the good things that have happened in Iraq, which Democrats have been trashing as worthless for four years, are now worthwhile only after they’re done and Democrats didn’t have to risk any political skin to support them or speak out for them.

…Some were saying this may be the most important speech of Bush’s career. I think this is the last bet Bush can lay on Iraq. The American people want victory, but they’re impatient. But the best sign that victory in Iraq is possible is that only a couple Democrats are fool enough to actually stand up against the new plan and threaten funding. They’re CYAing in case this works out, so they can retroactively praise the progress they denigrate for the next year.” — Mary Katharine Ham

“Bin Laden, DinnerJacket, and every other potbellied dictator is watching Iraq – and our premature departure is only going to encourage them.

I really believe that liberals/Democrats know this and they genuinely don’t care; they’re fine with America being struck again. Another 9/11, or worse, is fine because America has no right to be the only superpower, etc, etc. We’ve heard it, we know.

Like you, I’m exhausted with the war. I want it to be overwith. But if the choice is a 10 year war in Iraq vs. a 10 year war in New York or Chicago or even Los Angeles, I’ll opt for Iraq.” — Right Thinking Girl

“What Bush is proposing could lead to a limited success in Iraq; saving the Sunnis from annihilation and giving the streets back to the Iraqi government. Beyond that, any democracy that emerges from our involvement there will also be up to the Iraqi people. We’ve done just about all we can do in that regard as well.

I believe the President should get a bump in support from this. And support for the war may increase a couple of points as well. But the days of moving the American people en masse towards a belief in victory are long gone, crashed on the shoals of unfulfilled promises and the disheartening realities of the violence in Iraq. But if what the President proposes is the very best we can hope for – and I believe that it is – then perhaps it will eventually be seen by both the Iraqi and American people as having been worth the effort.” — Right Wing Nuthouse

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