George W Bush Addresses the Nation

Dubyah addressed the nation on the anniversary of the 911 attacks. (See here) a transcript of the address.

This address quickly progressed from marking the attacks on Sept 11, 2001 to a defense of the current War in Iraq. In the address Dubyah states:
I'm often asked why we're in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
He then immediately attempts to answer the question:
The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat. My administration, the Congress, and the United Nations saw the threat -- and after 9/11, Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take. The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. And now the challenge is to help the Iraqi people build a democracy that fulfills the dreams of the nearly 12 million Iraqis who came out to vote in free elections last December.
Well I do not quite understand which history book Dubyah is drawing from. He states "the United Nations saw the threat". Heh heh, I guess we are supposed to understand that the United Nations understood that Saddam Hussein was such a "clear threat" (like Dubyah did) that an invasion was required. OK George, then if this is so, why did they not sanction the invasion? Don't you remember all the flack about renaming French Fries "Freedom Fries" because our ally, France, dared to oppose this action? Don't you remember how you personally told us that if the United Nations would not sanction the invasion, you were going to do it anyway with the "coalition of the willing"? (Turns out much of this coalition has turned tail and ran on us - grin.)

Dubyah makes this point:
We're training Iraqi troops so they can defend their nation. We're helping Iraq's unity government grow in strength and serve its people. We will not leave until this work is done. Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. They will not leave us alone. They will follow us. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad.
Got that? "The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad." I think there is at least some truth in this statement. But did it have to be so? As I remember it, the polls showed a majority of Americans (if you joined those against the invasion under ANY circumstance with those who were in favor ONLY if it was sanctioned by the UN) were against the invasion. This was AFTER the Dubyah administration tried to scare the populace into approval by putting into play that Saddam obviously had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Remember Condi Rice's remark about not wanting the "smoking gun" proving this to be a "mushroom cloud"?

Truth is, Dubyah led America into the invasion of Iraq without having majority American public opinion behind him. He insisted it was the right thing to do and, with his power as Commander in Chief, and with the approval of Congress, he conducted the invasion anyway.

If it had turned out he was right, if a vast arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction were uncovered, if ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda were uncovered, it would have been worth it. But none of this happened.

Dubyah continues:
Osama bin Laden calls this fight "the Third World War" -- and he says that victory for the terrorists in Iraq will mean America's "defeat and disgrace forever." If we yield Iraq to men like bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened; they will gain a new safe haven; they will use Iraq's resources to fuel their extremist movement.

Got that? In other words, Dubyah is saying Iraq is now the front line in the "War On Terror". He is saying Osama agrees with him. In many ways I agree with him. Iraq is now the hot battle. The war might not be lost with the loss of one battle, however it will be harder to win the war with each lost battle. But did this battle need to be fought at the time and by the method Dubyah forced on us?

Don't get me wrong. Absent the War in Iraq, the war we are engaged in would go on. However absent the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan would be the front line. But there were at least a few strengths in limiting the front line trenches to Afghanistan. There was broad public support for the invasion of Afghanistan. Most of us were screaming for blood back then. It seemed damned near the entire world was willing to support us in our action. Our actions and goals in Afghanistan still enjoy broad international support.

In Iraq, the few nations that were with us are starting to abandon us. If "we" as a people are going to bring Dubyah's folly to a somewhat favorable outcome we are increasingly going to have to do it by ourselves. Majority support for our action was not present at the onset, and what little support there was is eroding. An unfavorable outcome to Dubyah's folly is not in the interest of America (or in my opinion the whole world) however a majority of Americans voted to keep that man in office last chance we had to pick someone else.

We had a chance to make a statement in Afghanistan. With the "entire" world supporting us and helping us to ensure victory, it would not perhaps been "simple", but it certainly would have been easier then the burden looking us in the eye in Iraq.

I'm still waiting to see just how Dubyah is going to lead us out of the folly he lead us into. On 09/11/06 I saw feeble attempts to do this. However, I did not see any apology for leading us down the wrong path. I only saw attempts to justify actions that led us down the path towards darkness.


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