Tuesday :: Jan 29, 2008

Some thoughts on a thoughtless SOTU

by Turkana

In reviewing Bush's State of the Union speech, there is so much sewage to slog through that it would be impossible to respond to it all. For today, I'll pick just a few lowlights.

We've seen Afghans emerge from the tyranny of the Taliban and choose a new president and a new parliament.


In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country.

Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaeda is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school. New roads and hospitals are being built. And people are looking to the future with new hope.

These successes must continue. So we're adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan army and police.

Defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America's vital mission in Afghanistan.

As I've previously noted, in Afghanistan, the Bush Administration has been surging backward. Bush's incompetence allowed Osama bin Laden to get away, when he could have been caught or killed, at the battle of Tora Bora. Bush disastrously shifted his focus from those who had attacked us to those who never had, and because of that, the Taliban are growing stronger both in Afghanistan, where they control half the country and even recently pulled off a murderous attack inside the Afghan version of the Green Zone, and in Pakistan. Some say the war in Afghanistan is lost. Both the Afghan and Pakistani governments have even had to resort to negotiating with the Taliban, and bin Laden, himself, is even now well-positioned to launch another attack. In October, the Marine Corps asked to move its troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, but in December, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said no; but he has, of late, been blaming our NATO allies for Bush's failures.

We've seen jubilant Iraqis holding up ink-stained fingers and celebrating their freedom.

Iraq took up so much of the speech that it will require a longer response, but those Iraqi elections have led to this: failure to reach benchmarks set to gauge the "goverment's" success, a deal to create a permanent occupation, years of legal immunity from Iraqi laws for murderous American military contractors, and a tacit admission that we're really running the show, when it was recently announced that we're now going to let them start making more decisions about what is, ostensibly, their own country.

We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear.

Which principals would those be? Those upheld at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? Or maybe those secretly upheld through extraordinary renditions and black site prisons? Or maybe those that openly dismiss the Geneva Conventions as vague, or quaint and obsolete?

Yet, in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on. In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny.

On that we can agree.

Turkana :: 2:35 PM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!