Friday, October 07, 2005
Why was it such a good speech? Because it was the most tightly reasoned articulation of the nature of our enemy and the strategy behind our war that I have heard from the president's actual mouth in four long years.
Again, if you missed it on television and have broadband at home, take the time to watch the video.
Substantively, agreed. But timing is everything. Too little, too late. Had it been pre-Katrina, had it occurred 6 mos ago (as O'Reilly urged), it would've been a homer. Sadly, nobody's watching anymore. After months of malaise, his sudden interest in matters political seems forced.
It is a speech written and delivered in the spirit of Winston Churchill. History will judge.
What makes it especially effective is the articulation of the enemy's stated objectives. No antiwar advocate can refute the Bin Laden and Zarqawi statements. They are left with a tactical critique rather than a strategic critique.
By remaining relatively quiet for the last 6 mos, the President has lost the Big Mo. His opponents have successfully defined the War as Quagmire. His speech did nothing to stem that tide. The impatient American public wants results. The WH's silence reminds me of Dukakis' summer of 88 or Kerry's summer of 04. You can't sit back and let your opponents define you or the issues. Once it occurs, it's much harder to regain the offense.
Don't misunderstand. I'm not rooting for Bush's demise. I've just think he's a Clean Desk Man. He makes a decision (oust Saddam), delegates the details to his men, and then moves on to the next problem. But there's no such luxury in the WOT. He has to be a constant cheerleader. And he doesn't seem to grasp this; it's certainly counterintuitive for him.