What a yawner last night’s speech was. Did he really say anything new? At one point I came up with a new drinking game–take a drink every time he blinks three times in a row. Yikes, I’d be tanked after 10 minutes!
The best words I heard came afterwards, on MSNBC. Joe Scarborough had on a team of analysts, and they said a lot of great things. First, they replayed testimony to congress that pointed out that Al Qaeda is happy that we’re staying–in fact, as we all know, we are feeding them by staying. Second, that Saudi Arabia is happier with Iraq oil not on the market, as they are not part of OPEC and it would hurt the Saudis greatly to have a competing source of oil. Third, one analyst called Bush delusional if he thought any of this was going to make a big change, and NO ONE ARGUED. Pat Buchanan fussed a bit, and I thought the world was coming to an end when I heard him agree with Bush. That’s a rare sight. They were mainly talking about how we can’t handle the fronts we have, how are we going to open new fronts with Syria and Iran if we are only talking about 20,000 troops?
Last, everyone agreed this was a political move, not a military one. Most of the military experts, generals, would like to see more troops than this. Critics would like to see us pull out. He can’t pull off either one–we don’t have enough troops to do a major surge, and he can’t pull out for obvious reasons–so he took the middle ground. Now, normally in politics this is a good thing, compromise is good. But when you’re talking about a war, about putting another 20,000 lives at stake (and ours, for that matter, as Al Qaeda is getting stronger by the day), then a political compromise is not a good idea.
I am not a military expert–I leave that to those in my family who are. I won’t even pretend to have a defining opinion on what we should do. My only opinion is this, and you’ve heard it from me before–be willing to make a tough decision, then stand up and do it. Stick by it. Live with it. Own it. If you’re worried about your legacy, don’t be wishy-washy. That’s populism, and populism never wins you a legacy. Tough choices for the good or the bad, that wins you a legacy.