Thursday, January 11, 2007

The speech on Iraq...

Overall, it was very good. See the transcript at (don't use .com, you'll get something you'd rather not have seen).

A couple of quibbles, though. One, he should have made it clear the initial decision and the strategy to topple the regime was not a mistake. Given what was believed to be the case, the strategy of a rapid takedown was the right one to use. Remember:

* We did not know just how far along Saddam had gotten with his WMD, and we had underestimated his progress prior to Desert Storm in 1991.

* The Czech government had reported that the ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague. Several Czech officals have stated so on the record, and I am unaware of any retraction. It has instead been stuck to as late as November 2005.

* There were reports from defectors that the method of operation used in the 9/11 attacks was being taught at a terrorist training facility in Salman Pak.

* There were other terrorists Saddam harbored, including Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas.

* Then there was allowing some guy named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to get medical treatment as he fled Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden only named him the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Austin Bay's reasoning only adds to the correctness of that decision. But the WMD and the terrorist ties made taking him down fast essential. Would those who have constantly criticized Bush and Rumsfeld have been happier had they been forced to respond in kind to an attack involving WMD?

My other quibble - Bush should have said that he would not have any part in cutting and running, to the point of threatening that both he and Cheney would tender their resignations. If Nancy Pelosi is so bound and determined to order such a cowardly course, then she ought to give the orders as commander-in-chief herself - and let the voters judge that course.

This is just my opinion. Others may disagree. But those are my thoughts.

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