I watched President Bush's speech last night and for those who didn't see it, the President took the moment to outline his plan over the next year for Iraq. Basically, he told the American people that he has accepted the recommendations of General Petraeus. By Christmas, there will be 6,000 troops returning home, and by next summer the US presence will be drawn down from 20 military divisions to 15. General Petraeus feels this drawdown can be done while still maintaining an adequate level of security in Bagdad and Anbar province. Bush listened, and agrees. Kudos to the President for following the advice of his military commanders and not giving in to some knee jerk response to gain any kind of political favor.
Which brings me to the Democrats. Senator Jack Reed gave the Dem response to the President's speech. He stated, once again, that it is time for a "new direction" in Iraq, which includes a complete US withdrawal. He did not mention the military gains of the past 6 months. He did not mention the success of General Petraeus, the military members, or the troops surge. In fact, he mentioned nothing positive about what we've done in Iraq since the troop surge. He basically parroted the party line that a new direction is needed.
Frankly, I've had enough of this new direction garbage. To Bush's credit, after the '06 election, he took note of the voters' wishes and chose a new direction. Rumsfeld was replaced. Casey was replaced. And under the recommendation of his military leaders, he agreed to a troop surge with the objective of securing Bagdad and Anbar province. This was a new direction. This was a new plan, and so far it is working even though the Democrats fail to admit that. It seems to me that anything short of a complete and total retreat from Iraq will be unacceptable to the Democrats, no matter how succesful we become in Iraq. The military is succeeding in their mission, and the Democrats demand a change of course. That says a lot about their intentions.
I tip my hat to the President. He is doing what a President should do in a time of war. He is listening to his Generals, to those who know the situation and know what it takes to succeed, and he's not giving in to the easy way out no matter how low his approval rating is. That takes character. Next March, General Petraeus will appear before Congress again. We'll see what the cut and run sect has to say then.
Another tip of the hat goes to the General. This man conducted himself with esteem and character, even when the likes of Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy blatantly assaulted his integrity and his honor. This man is the commander of our troops in Iraq and a four star General with an impeccable service record, and the Senate spoke to him like a lowly Private who failed to clean the latrine properly. The lasting effects of their behavior towards him will never be known. I wonder what the troops felt when they saw their commander, the man they look up to, being treated in such a manner. How incredibly demoralizing for them. Can you imagine General Eisenhower being hauled before Congress in such a manner? But the Democrats have a vested interest in America's failure in Iraq and they really don't give a damn about troop morale. At least, that's how it seems. Yet, the General behaved as an officer and a gentleman should.
And then we see Rudy Guiliani step up and take impressive action. This man is slowly being challenged by Fred Thompson mainly because he lacks appeal to the conservative base. His pro-abortion, pro gun control, pro gay rights positions have cost him with that group. But yesterday he took out an ad with the NY Times going after Hillary for calling Petraeus a liar, and failing to condemn Moveon. This will appeal to the conservative base, and if he keeps it up he will surely win the GOP nomination, which is bad news for Hillary. If there's anyone who can rip Hillary to shreds in a debate, it's Guiliani.
So I applaud Rudy. I applaud President Bush, and I most definitely applaud General Petraeus. The Democrats have made a huge mistake in this matter, and considering the amount of money Moveon contributes to the party, it would appear as though they are backed into a deep corner. In my mind, they're getting what they deserve.