March 22, 2006
Today in West Virginia President Bush delivered a speech in which he went into greater detail about the thought process behind our efforts In Iraq. After the speech, he took questions from the audience. This was the third Q & A session in as many days that the President has conducted.
For whatever reason, the American public, almost on a daily basis at this point, needs to have it explained to them; what is going on in Iraq, and why we are doing what we are doing. For better or worse, I actually agree with what an audience member pointed out; that this is what Bush needs to do. He has to continue to pound the message home by explaining the nuts and bolts of what is ocurring in Iraq as well as, and perhaps more importantly, explaining his overall big picture philosophy on achieving our objectives in the war on terror and beyond.
Yesterday we had the Bush and Helen Thomas press conference sparring session and today, a rousing speech. The Anti-Bush forces have their tired, incorrect, talking points such as declaring that Iraq had absolutely no connections to Al Qaeda (which Stephen Hayes has proven is categorically untrue) and to counter this constant pessimistic, doom and gloom drumbeat, Bush will have to constantly present his own talking points, of which there are many. If Bush explains his rationale on a daily basis as he has been doing, support for our efforts in Iraq will increase. Lately, he has been doing a good job on this front. As Bush pointed out, the enemy in Iraq cannot defeat us militarily, thier only hope is either to drive Iraq into civil war or wait for American resolve to crumble. For his part, we at least know that it won't be the President's resolve that will crumble. Today Bush presented his arguments in a clear and logical manner, not leaving any room for ambiquiity. The President's straightforward approach to all of this speaks to his 'transparency'. If Americans take the time to listen to what he is saying, then they will learn exactly what Bush's rationale and thought process is. Bush himself spoke of transparency when addressing why India should be allowed to posses nuclear technology and Iran should not. On this also, he made clear and logical argument. He said:
“My attitude is that over 30 years they [India] have proven themselves to be a non-proliferator, that they're a transparent democracy, that it's in our interest for them to develop nuclear power to help their economy grow. On the other hand, Iran should never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Their Government is not transparent and they're certainly not a democracy. They're sponsors of terrorism and they have violated safeguards imposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
He went on:
"They [Iran] have joined the IAEA, and yet we caught them cheating and they weren't upholding their agreements and they started to try to enrich uranium in order to develop a nuclear weapons program.”
In another interesting moment during the Q & A session following the speech, I felt a chill when an audience member said, “I have two sons serving in the military… and I Thank God that you are our commander in chief!” which encouraged a standing ovation. This particular audience member went on to express a sentiment that has been on the minds of many patriotic Americans: that Bush needs to continue to engage the public in a discussion about our efforts in Iraq, like he has been doing recently. Not so much a progress report, but a daily pounding into the stubborn minds of those who fail to understand what we are doing in Iraq; what it is that we are doing, why we are doing it, and that our efforts there represent a just and necessary cause.