I'm Back from New York!
Buried on A19 of yesterday's New York Times was a mention of how Senators from both parties recently took a trip to Guantanamo and all gave it positive approval ratings. This in contrasted imbalance to the many frontpage "news" the NY Times gave the allegations of abuse. When will they report on the real abuses going on there? Will Al Jazeera dig through to A19 and make mention of it to their listeners? Not that they would have paid it any mind, even if the NY Times gave it the front page attention it deserves (only because the leftstream media has made a nonissue into such an overblown issue).
I thought President Bush's speech last night was fine. Hugh Hewitt points out the thrust of the speech:
"Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden: "This Third World War is raging" in Iraq. "The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation." - President Bush, June 28, 2005
That is the key point in the speech, the key point in the debate, and the president's clarity in making it made it a very successful speech. Over and over again he and his Administration, his supporters and the military must make that point again and again: It is all one war.
Democrats are criticizing his references to 9/11, mentioned 5 times in the speech. They say it drums up the "false" connection between 9/11 and Iraq. The Bush Administration never said Saddam's regime had a hand in the orchestration of 9/11 (many Democrats seem to suffer from selective hearing, these days). And if you take the time to actually read the 9/11 Commission's Report, even though its focus wasn't on the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection, it does make peripheral reference to it. For myself, I never felt "misled". In fact, I don't even recall being sold on going to war because there was a direct connection between those responsible for 9/11 and Saddam. What I understood is that we would no longer tolerate terrorism and those states who sponsor and breed terrorism. It couldn't really be stated for political reasons, but really, it's an unsaid focus on militant, Islamic terrorism, of which al qaeda has been responsible for deadly attacks on American soil and interests a number of times throughout the 90's, before September 11, 2001.
With so much negative coverage of Iraq, it's no wonder poll numbers showing support for Bush and for the War in Iraq are dismal. So it's important that President Bush continues to make these kind of speeches (although, I love the fact that President Bush does not make decisions based on the latest gallup poll; he does what is right; not what is popular). As important as domestic issues of social security and tax reform are, we've got a war to win here and President Bush has got to keep his eye on the ball. One of the things that has been most frustrating to me, is in how poor the Bush Administration has been in the PR department. If it weren't for alternative news outlets with political pundits and conservative thinkers stating the case on why this war on terrorism is every bit as significant as WWII, I fear to think where our country would be today.
Put into historical perspective, even with the job unfinished, the Iraq War is a military success of unprecedented proportion. It's beyond me how the slightest setback causes the nay-sayers to scream "quagmire" and insist we pull our troops out, that the insurgency is winning, etc. It's beyond frustrating. It's embarrassing. It's demoralizing, and I blame the media for those poll numbers. Iraq is not another Vietnam; yet the anti-war crowd and the peace-activists threaten to undermine the war effort and I even think, want to turn this into another Vietnam. If we fail in Iraq, they'd probably see it as another victory, just as they see themselves as "heroes" for supposedly bringing our troops home and ending the Vietnam War. So how many millions lost their lives as a direct result of our pulling out of Vietnam? Where is the compassion of those war protestors who ignore the consequences of their inane and irresponsible actions? The Left has learned nothing from the lessons of Vietnam. They hold up protest signs with images of babies being killed from collateral damage, yet it doesn't seem to register in their first-stage-thinking brains that those we are fighting have had years of slaughtering and destroying the lives of countless men, women, children, and babies....and should those regimes go on surviving because we didn't have the courage and fortitude to stand up to them, shall have many more years of killing babies. 80,000 babies are alive today because Saddam was removed from power.
How many Iraqis are being killed every day by terrorists, on average? Let's say a dozen on a bad day. Well that leaves about 24,999,988 Iraqis who are going on with their lives.
Remember: Things always seem to get worse, before they get better. Hardship is a natural part of life and it's time we show the world what Americans are made of by remaining steadfast in our refusal to allow terrorists to overrun Iraq. The 1,700 servicemen who have died thus far will have only died in vain if we allow defeat to be an option. That is intolerable.
If you want to read some of the good progress that is going on over in Iraq, read this. If you want a more insightful perspective on what's happening at Gitmo, go here. This is the second part in what I believe to be a series of articles being written by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu.