by Bruce Barry
Let us not pretend that one speech will be sufficient in the conversation that we must have over our reconstruction efforts in Iraq, but as single speeches go, it was a good one....But still, it was one speech and in an effort of this magnitude, there are more speeches that must be given and more actions that must be taken.... We are Americans. It is our nature to gravitate towards Great Conversations....A good effort was begun towards a Great Conversation about Iraq. But Great Conversations must be conducted with almost as much persistence and diligence as wars are prosecuted with. And since this Conversation has only just begun, we should not think that our capacity for persistence and diligence is exhausted.
The speech was Bush's most cogent articulation of the strategy, difficulties and stakes in Iraq to date; the use of bin Laden's assessment of the importance of the conflict was particularly effective. The only thing that could have enhanced its political impact would have been a direct, personal appeal to the American people, above and beyond the declaration of resolve. That aside, certainly one of Bush's best speeches - clear and relatively substantial.
Excellent Speech: Clear, confident, substantive. There was nothing in it that we and our readers didn't already know, but the message is one that many rarely hear. And the networks all carried it after all. That's good; President Bush nearly always does well when people see him, instead of seeing Democrats talking about him, as they will on the evening news....The touch of emotion at the end was genuine and powerful. His appeal to Americans' pride and determination resonated, no doubt, with many who haven't spent much time understanding the strategic underpinnings of the conflict.
The biggest thing I got from the speech was the refreshing fact that President Bush is clearly determined to win the War on Terrorism. It is all too easy, hammered by the MSM echo-chamber, to lose heart and think that, just perhaps, President Bush is losing his - nothing of the kind...[A]t the head of our affairs is a man of true-hearted courage. President Bush wont back down; as long as he's in office, we can be certain that victory will be sought.
"There is no higher calling than service in our armed forces." That would ring a little less hollow if this country's ruling classes were better represented in the military. In fact the military is a lower-middle-class and working-class occupation, which U.S. elites avoid like the plague.