The President’s Speech – More than Remembrance – Does Not Supply Metrics For Winning the War

The President’s Speech – More than Remembrance – Does Not Supply Metrics For Winning the War

President tonight

The President gave another speech tonight concerning his efforts to wage a war on terror. The speech began as a remembrance for those who lost their lives on this fateful day 5 years ago, but it quickly turned into a speech intended to deflect criticism concerning his handling of the war in Iraq and the war on terror in general.

I doubt you will find any American that would not like to kill or capture those that would do us harm. Also, there are partisans on both sides that would like to turn the war into a victory for their party. I have not belonged to either party since the 1970s and don’t have an axe to grind with either one. In fact I was glad Bush beat Gore in 2000.

The President mentioned in his speech the war in Afghanistan, which most Americans supported. Then he mentioned the war in Iraq which is not quite as popular. In fact he has lost the support of many conservatives and Republicans in this endeavor. I think it has less to do with the strategy, but more to do with the cause. More troops would not make a difference. Comment on this Article at our Forum

The President likes to refer to the newly formed government in Iraq as our “friends”. But are they really our friends. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said that he favors amnesty for those Iraqis that killed American soldiers, but have not shed Iraqi blood. Other reports indicate that he favors putting American soldiers on trial in Iraq for war crimes.

The President’s goal is to supply arms to the newly formed government, similar to what the US did when Saddam Hussein was in power. “We're training Iraqi troops so they can defend their nation,” he said. Like in previous speeches, he does not tell us how many Iraqis need to be trained, or a timetable for the training.

Many Americans wonder if the war effort in Iraq is creating more hatred against the US. Are there more people now that want to do us harm than before? Not even Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld knows. In a memo leaked to USA Today, Rumsfeld said he isn’t even sure.

The memo states "Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?" The Secretary acknowledges that there are terrorists being created.

To be fair to Rumsfeld, that is a very important aspect to this war: Are our actions creating more terrorists than before? But the President makes an even more ominous statement. He said tonight that “The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad.” Let’s hope he is wrong. Comment on this Article at our Forum

By Tom Madison
Commentary Writer

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