Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Analysis of Bush Speech

This was a serious speech for a serious situation. Even though the media and Democrats are focusing on the number of troops that may or may not be required, the real key isn't the number of troops, but the rules of engagement that our forces operate under. Change the rules of engagement to let our forces go after the jihadis and insurgents without worrying about the legalities or supposed sensitivities if we have to go into mosques or other areas, and the jihadis and insurgents will have no where left to hide.

That's part of the rationale for eliminating the supposed no-go areas. Having additional forces to make sweeps through those areas is one thing, being able to secure them is another.

I'm not sure I like the idea of giving our enemies where we intend to deploy our forces. It's a mistake to say that 4,000 troops are going to Anbar, because that means that if some jihadi does a back of the envelope calculation, they can figure out where fewer troops are located and concentrate efforts there.
From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists – or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?
From the way that the Palestinians have continued to support the acts of Fatah and Hamas, I believe that the President is wrong, but this is paying lip service to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Palestinians have to eliminate the terrorists from their own midst to see any benefits, but the Administration continues to play the humanitarian aid game, which gives Fatah terrorists more time.
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.
Putting a carrier task force in the region and specifically calling out Iran is a visible way to tell Iran that they're on a leash. Just how short that leash is remains to be seen. Adding a carrier task force to the region means that the airpower is in place to put a serious hurting on anyone that poses a threat to the US. The links between the violence in Iraq with the Iranians continues to grow on a daily basis as Iranian fingerprints are found all over IEDs, tactics, and training among the 'insurgents' in Iraq. The Iranians continue to work to destabilize Iraq to their own benefits. They continue to destabilize Lebanon to their own ends, and continue to pose an existential threat to Israel.

It also appears that there was some audio problems with the speech from the common feed, but nothing substantive.

Meanwhile, NBC and ABC have already returned to their regularly scheduled programming while CBS and Fox are continuing with analysis, as is PBS.

More to come.

Lots of reax. Poliblogger is skeptical and wonders why it has taken so long for the President to come to some of the conclusions reached in this speech. Good question. The issues of de-Ba'athification needed to be addressed two years ago, but this is an issue that can still be overcome. So can the oil revenue sharing legislation that Iraq is considering, which will help spread the revenues among the various groups.

Ed Morrissey live blogged the speech, and has follow up analysis.

Among others commenting: Don Surber, Stop the ACLU, Brendan Loy, The Anchoress, and Hot Air.

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