John mentioned to me today that I haven’t written anything lately.  Part of the reason for this is that we’ve been in transit to Marco Island and part of it is that I’ve been pretty sick.  But now that I’ve had this virus for a week, it seems to be slackening it’s hold a bit.

I did not watch President Bush deliver his speech last night.  I opted to read the full text today, it’s much less annoying.  In his speech, he offered what to him was a new direction in the Iraq – choose one, insurgency, civil war, conflict, debacle.  To me, it sounded like the same old strategy just with more troops.

In one part he said, ” The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad’s nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades committed to this effort, along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations — conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.”  So Shi’ite soldiers and policemen are going to go around politely knocking on the doors of Sunni residents  gaining their trust.  That doesn’t seem realistic to me.

Further, “If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.”  Note to President Bush, you’ve already lost the support of the American people.  Check the results from this past November.

President Bush justifies his stance by saying  “The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits.”  Yes, the policies of our government have created the perfect storm for more terror.  By relying on faulty intelligence or, worse still, selectively choosing the intelligence that fit his plan, President Bush has totally destablized and already unstable region.  He’s empowered Iran to pursue nuclear weapons and ignored the whole Palestinian Israeli problem. This war has alienated our allies and consolidated and added to our enemies. 

This  morning in a Gallup-Ipsos poll, fully 70% of Americans do not think that sending more troops is the right answer.  Let’s hope that the new Congress can rein in an out-of-control executive branch.




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