June 28, 2005
Live blogging during the president's addess at Fort Bragg. Bush lays out the really big picture, articulately with examples that this is truly a global war on (Islamic) terrorism. "Defeat them abroad before they attack us at home." Translation: get them before they get us. Bush reminds us of the price paid thus far and that it is worth it.
Iraq as the magnet for the wacko bad guys--they understand that the success of a democratic Iraq means a mortal blow to their ideology. Good use of the Bin Laden comment. Outlines the failures of the enemy.
Defines the mission: "defeat the enemy and help a friend". Hand over power to a sovereign government, hold elections, rebuild the economy, help the Iraqis take over their own security. "Progress has been uneven, but progress has been made."
Why bother mentioning the U.N.? The Iraqis see it as complicit in the crimes of the former regime. Same thing about Schroeder.
Sets out the road ahead: "as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down." Partnering coalition units with Coalition personnel. Embedding Coalition teams with the Iraqi combat units. Working with the Iraqi ministeries of defense and interior to plan and coordinate their anti-terrorist ops.
Slam on Kerry, the Gasbag in Winter, et al on setting a date for a withdrawal. "We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed and not a day longer." It will leave a mark.
Slam on calls for more troops. That will leave a mark too.
Political development of Iraq as a democracy. Majority rule, minority rights.
Ties military and political reform.
Back to the big picture--Libya, elections in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, stirrings in Egypt. Ties it to progress.
More sacrifice ahead because the enemy is a collection of real whack jobs.
"Our future will not be determined by car bombers or assasins." "We will stay in the fight until the fight is won." Damn straight.
"Fly the flag on the 4th of July, help out a military family down the street." Thanks the troops for their service and their families for the sacrifice. Thank you, Mr. President, for yours.
Strong finish.Posted by LMC at June 28, 2005 08:02 PM