President Bush outlined his long awaited new tactics for the OCCUPATION of Iraq (and the largely coincidental war on terror) last night in a prime time television address. I thought his speech was well written and moderately well presented.
More importantly, I thought his strategy was well thought out and has the potential for some measure of success. Since, in the short term at least, he has the power to implement these tactics, I hope and pray for great success.
As I pointed out in a reply to comments to an earlier blog entry, peace and security are critical for the ultimate implementation of democracy and freedom. Bush's new tactics are an to attempt to provide security for the average Iraqi citizen and, therefore, could possibly be the key to ultimate success.
If you detect a tremor of doubt in my above statements, you are correct. I'm not at all certain that Bush's tactics will work. His tactics have been horribly wrong so far!
Of much greater interest to me this week was the impassioned speech by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) who insists that Congress MUST step up to the plate and bring Bush to heel. He sees his role is to turn the surge of troops around into a planned and programmed reduction of forces.
Kennedy's speech was played and replayed on all cable and network channels and I'm willing to bet more people saw Senator Kennedy than bothered to watch President Bush last night.
Thankfully more people were exposed to the eloquent and impassioned Kennedy than the largely uninspiring Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) who gave the "official" Democrat response to Bush's speech last night. Durbin.... Pelosi..... Reed...... This team is never going to the Super Bowl of political discourse, but I digress.
The key is that Congress is set to act! Those who always "claim" they want a lively, full, in depth and detailed debate of the issues should be thrilled! Over the last five days we've seen our finest leaders present facts, plans and issues to the press, Congress and, ultimately, the American public.
President Bush's presentation last night was clear, clean, logical and detailed. Senator Kennedy (and many, many others) have been equally clear, impassioned, and thoughtful in their discussion.
Right now it's clear that Kennedy and his forces are winning the hearts and minds of the American public and they are making inroads in Congress.
But the Democratic Process will continue. And while many, including some of the most impassioned readers and comment contributors here, will decry the Bush's short term ability to wage further war on the Iraqi people, the fact is that our system is working.
Here we have the ability and the forum to debate ideas and strategies and tactics. And we have the ultimate ability to allow the winners of these debates to enforce their will, even overturning the President on occasion.
That may happen sooner rather than later.
Compare all that is happening here to the story on National Public Radio yesterday (Wednesday, January 10, 2007), by Benjamin Tupper.
Listen as an embedded U.S. Army National Guard Captain in the Afghan National Army recounts hearing a midnight transmission over the military radio: men from his group involved in a pitched battle. Ultimately, one of his Afghan comrades is isolated and his throat is slashed.
I'm not at all certain that the ideas of the Taliban could stand up to debate in the arena of public opinion. They must resort to terror to ultimately control the populace. On the other hand, such debate isn't even possible today in Afghanistan.
Public debate and discourse like that practiced (to perfection) by Senator Kennedy isn't possible in huge sections of the world today.
Again, I urge you to listen to this report about the plight of women in Afghanistan on National Public Radio yesterday by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. Seeking to escape cultural oppression and economic hardship, an alarming number of Afghan women are taking their own lives.
I pray that someday these women will have a Senator Kennedy to help them.
TECHNORATI TAGS: AFGHANISTAN IRAQ EDWARD KENNEDY RICHARD DURBIN DEMOCRACY WAR ON TERROR PRESIDENT BUSH SOLDIERS DEBATE IDEAS
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