So I listened to GW’s speech. I turned it off after the speech, and before Rich Lowry started to speak. Rich Lowry. On the war! I understand Lowry stopped being fully on board after he opened his eyes a few weeks ago, but that still puts him thirty some odd years behind the average kitten. Now, if they can put Rich Lowry on tv to talk about the President’s speech and the war, well then I’m qualified to talk about it too.
Anyway, given he’s not pulling out the troops, I hope GW pulls it off. I’m still not 100% sure what “it” is, but I hope something positive happens. Of course, its hard to expect something positive from Very Last People to Have Realized There’s a Problem, but we can hope.
A few things that jumped out at me:
1. There was something about loosening rules of engagement that doesn’t seem to be in the official transcript the White House released before the speech. I would think if the military is having issues against insurgents, loosening rules of engagement is a very tricky thing. The looser the rules, the more innocent civilians die, and the more innocent civilians die, the more insurgents you have.
2. “These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to keep up the pressure on the terrorists.” I’m curious who the President thinks tribal forces might actually be, and how he thinks they differ from the “sectarian” folks that he told us were one of the big problems in Iraq.
3. Apparently there’s going to be a new bipartisan committee to advise the President. This was Lieberman’s idea. I’m guessing Lieberman and a couple of Republicans is what qualifies as bipartisan these days.
4. The Marine Corps and the Army are going to increase in size. Considering the stories that we’ve been reading about how they’re barely making quota even though they’ve been dropping the standards required of new recruits, you gotta wonder how they plan to do that. (Could that be the new Foreign Legion thing?)
5. “The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve.” I’ll say… he didn’t even mention tax cuts at all. How does he think we’re going to pay for this thing with no more tax cuts? But seriously – who, other than the military and their family members, is more patience, sacrifice, and resolve being required from?