President Must State The Obvious
So this is to what politics in the United States has been reduced. An American president having to point out to his detractors that we are winning the war in Iraq on many fronts, and defeat in the war on terror is not an option.
It is almost impossible to believe that major players in Congress believe cutting and running from Iraq is a plausible conclusion to our efforts. The fact that Ted Kennedy, John Murtha and others want to negate the sacrafice of 2,100 American troops just so they can say the president blundered by invading Iraq and score political points from the left. These people, along with John Kerry, keep insisting Iraq is nothing more then a rerun of Vietnam, just replace the jungle with the desert and you can't tell one war from the other. The only action the U.S. could take to make Iraq mirror Vietnam is if we abandon that country like we did Vietnam in 1975.
The president's speech was his best effort to date to make his case for Iraq. He primarily spent his time verbalizing what everyone already knew. That the job was tougher then expected, but there are concrete success stories that validate American efforts. Three national elections have taken place, each with a larger turn out then the last. The Sunnis are becoming involved in the political process, the terrorist have been unable to forment a Shia/Sunni/Kurd civil war and the locals are finally getting angry at being killed by foreigners whom have an agenda of their own.
All this news is available for public consumption, if the average person is willing to dig around for it and ignore the doom and gloom prophecies eminating from the Democratic half of Congress and the mainstream media.
Then, as if having to deliver such as speech wasn't bad enough, the Democrat response was particularly nearsighted.
Harry Reid immediately came out stating the president did not Bush's spell out our exit strategy. He bemoaned the fact that hard goals that, once reached would lead to troop withdrawals. Reid is blind and deaf. The president has set a firm goal. Once democracy is safely installed in Iraq and the new Iraqi is capable of defending itself we will leave. The problem for Reid and his supporters is these goals are open ended. It could take two years or 15 years for this situation to aris. What Reid wanted to hear was "we are leaving next week, see ya later."
Fighting a war that does not end in total victory is worse then not fighting at all. We fought for a negotiated end to Korea and ended up with 52 years of stalemate, we fought a partial war in Vietnam and were forced to leave due to poor public opinion resulting in a communist take over of that country. We fought for a limited goal against Iraq in 1991 and ended up at this point today.
Why do Reid, Kerry, Murtha and company want us to give up and lose? They must know that terrorists like Abu Musab al-Zarqawiand Ayman Al-Zawahiri have made clear that Iraq is just their first step in bringing Islam to the rest of the world by force of arms. If we don't crush them now we will be fighting them some place else down the road and that fight will have to be undertaken by our children.
Pass the buck to the next generation appears to be the Democrats mantra.