Wednesday, November 30, 2005

POTUS Speech Open Thread on Intel Dump

I've started an open thread at Intel Dump on the President's speech.

Here is what I had to say:

I just finished listening to the president’s speech. I think it was one of the better speeches of his administration. He did a good job of explaining some of what is happening in Iraq.

The first third of the speech was standard administration boilerplate. It’s the standard Iraq “chicken or the egg argument”. Was Iraq more of a thread before or after the invasion? Either way, we’re there, and we have to figure out a way to win. The middle part of the speech was the real meat of what he had to say, and he told me some things that I did not know about what the Iraqi security forces have accomplished. And that’s a problem. I’m a fairly well informed person. I should know these things. If the Iraqi security forces are doing as well as the president says, the administration better figure out a way to start showing that progress in order to instill confidence in both the Iraqi and American people. Why are there no embeds in Iraqi military units? We ought to be publicly pressuring media outlets like Al Jezzera to start showing what is happening. What the president had to say has an interesting juxtaposition to James Fallow’s story in this month’s Atlantic.

The final third of the speech was more boilerplate, but I did like what the president had to say about embracing the debate about Iraq. I also agree that the debate over Iraq is disconcerting for those in uniform. When I was deployed, there were protests in Austin, my home town. It made me angry, and I’m fairly left-leaning for a military guy.

My main fault with the president (hope I’m not violating the UCMJ here) is why did it take so long to start making these speeches? Why did it take so long for them to publish a public “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq”? Maybe the political bruising that they’ve taken in the last few weeks has convinced the administration to finally engage with American people over this issue.

I’ve downloaded the Iraq Strategy and will post on it after I’ve read it. That I just typed that sentence speaks volumes about the age that we live in and the freedom’s we enjoy.

What are your thoughts on the speech? Personally, I’m wondering how long it will take before somebody accuses me of “drinking the kool-aid”. And Phil Carter is actually engaged in training the Iraqi Army so I'm hoping that he'll be able to post about this as well.

Feel free to join the fray.


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