Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The President is on! He's on every channel, we're gonna miss Flipper!

George W. Bush is giving a speech about Iraq in the US tonight. Before I get to my commentary, thinking about the speech makes me remember my daughter...(before she stopped speaking to me after I walked out on the ex.........on her birthday.). There was a comedienne that she really loved who used to do a routine about TV abput the 60's, Of course in those days, there was no cable TV so you were at the mercy of the broadcast networks. This comedienne had a line that was great talking about those days. It shows ever child's dilemna:


I still remember her voice imitating that lady. Of course that was when she was 13. Now she is 21 and in college living her own life.

But she is right. Tonight the President will be on, trying to convince us that " it would not be prudent" to withdraw now, that we "should stay the course" and that this is the War on Terrorism to end all Wars on Terrorism. Where have we heard this before?

Good evening, my fellow Americans: -Tonight I want to speak to you of peace in [Iraq]. No other question so preoccupies our people. No other dream so absorbs the 250 million human beings who live in that part of the world. No other goal motivates American policy in South[west] Asia. For years, representatives of our Government and others have traveled the world -seeking to find a basis for peace.

Their attack[s] - failed to achieve its principal objectives. It did not collapse the elected government of [Iraq] or shatter its army - as the [terrorists] had hoped. It did not produce a "general uprising" among the people of the cities as they had predicted. The terrorists were unable to maintain control of any of the more than 30 cities that they attacked. And they took very heavy casualties. But they did compel the [Iraqi's] and [our coalition] allies to move certain forces from the countryside into the cities. They caused widespread disruption and suffering. Their attacks, and the battles that followed, made refugees of half a million human beings. The terrorists] renew their attack[ every] day.

They are, it appears, trying to make 2005 the year of decision in Iraq- the year that brings, if not final victory or defeat, at least a turning point in the struggle. Our presence there has always rested on this basic belief: The main burden of preserving their freedom must be carried out by them - by the [Iraqi] people themselves. We and our [coalition] allies can only help to provide a shield behind which the people of [Iraq]can survive and can grow and develop. On their efforts - on their determination and resourcefulness the outcome will ultimately depend. That beleaguered nation has suffered terrible punishment for more than 20 years. I pay tribute once again tonight to the great courage and endurance of its people. Iraq supports armed forces tonight of almost 200,000 men - and I call your attention to the fact that this is the equivalent of more than 10 million in our own population. Its people maintain their firm determination to be free of domination by the [terrorists.]

There has been substantial progress, I think, in building a durable government during these last [2] years. The [Iraq] of [2003] could not have survived the terrorist offensive of 2005. The elected government of Iraq [continues to survive] attack[s] and is rapidly repairing the devastation that it wrought. The Iraqi's know that further efforts are going to be required:
-to expand their own armed forces,
-to move back into the countryside as quickly as possible,
-to increase their taxes,
-to select the very best men that
they have for civil and military responsibility,
-to achieve a new unity
within their constitutional government, and
-to include in the national effort all those groups who wish to preserve [Iraq's] control over its own destiny.

Last month, 10,000 men volunteered for military service - that was two and a half times the number of volunteers during the same month last year. Since the middle of January,[lots] of Iraqi's have joined the armed forces - and nearly half of them volunteered to do so. In order that these forces may reach maximum combat effectiveness, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have recommended to me that we should prepare to send - during the next 5 months - support troops totaling approximately 13,500 men. A portion of these men will be made available from our active forces. The balance will come from reserve component units which will be called up for service. The actions that we have taken since the beginning of the year

-to reequip the [Iraq] forces,

-to meet our responsibilities in [Afghanistan], as well as our responsibilities in [Iraq], -to meet price increases and the cost of activating and deploying reserve forces,

-to replace helicopters and provide the other military supplies we need, all of these actions are going to require additional expenditures.

What follows next is what you wish you would hear...but

The tentative estimate of those additional expenditures is $[78 ]billion in this fiscal year, and $[80] billion in the next fiscal year. These projected increases in expenditures for our national security will bring into sharper focus the Nation's need for immediate action: action to protect the prosperity of the American people and to protect the strength and the stability(?) of our American dollar. On many occasions I have pointed out that, without a tax bill or decreased expenditures, next year's deficit would again be around $400 billion. l have emphasized the need to set strict priorities in our spending. l have stressed that failure to act and to act promptly and decisively would raise very strong doubts throughout the world about America's willingness to keep its financial house in order.

Yet Congress has not acted. And tonight we face the sharpest financial threat in the postwar era - a threat to the dollar's role as the keystone of international trade and finance in the world. But to make this system work the United States just must bring its balance of payments to - or very close to - equilibrium. We must have a responsible fiscal policy in this country. The passage of a tax bill now, together with expenditure control that the Congress may desire and dictate, is absolutely necessary to protect this Nation's security, to continue our prosperity, and to meet the needs of our people.

What is at stake is 7 years of unparalleled prosperity. In those 7 years, the real income of the average American, after taxes, rose by almost 30 percent - a gain as large as that of the entire preceding 19 years. So the steps that we must take to convince the world are exactly the steps we must take to sustain our own economic strength here at home. In the past 8 months, prices and interest rates have risen because of our inaction. We must, therefore, now do everything we can to move from debate to action - from talking to voting. There is, I believe-I hope there is-in both Houses of the Congress - a growing sense of urgency that this situation just must be acted upon and must be corrected.

My budget in January was, we thought, a tight one. It fully reflected our evaluation of most of the demanding needs of this Nation. But in these budgetary matters, the President does not decide alone. The Congress has the power and the duty to determine appropriations and taxes. The Congress is now considering our proposals and they are considering reductions in the budget that we submitted.

One thing is unmistakably clear, however: Our deficit just must be reduced. Failure
to act could bring on conditions that would strike hardest at those people that all of us are trying so hard to help. These times call for prudence in this land of plenty. l believe that we have the character to provide it, and tonight I plead with the Congress and with the people to act promptly to serve the national interest, and thereby serve all of our people.

You'll probably hear something like this:

Now let me give you my estimate of the chances for peace:
-the peace that will one day stop the bloodshed in Iraq,
-that will permit all the Iraqi people to rebuild and develop their land,
-that will permit us to turn more fully to our own tasks here at home.
I cannot promise that the initiative that I have announced tonight will be completely successful in achieving peace any more than the [others] that we have undertaken and agreed to in recent years.

But it is our fervent hope that [terrorists] , after years of fighting that have left the issue unresolved, will now cease its efforts to achieve a military victory and will join with us in moving toward the peace.

And there may come a time when Iraqi's - on both sides - are able to work out a way to settle their own differences by free political choice rather than by war.
As [the terroists] considers [their] course, there should be in no doubt of our intentions. It must not miscalculate the pressures within our democracy in this election year. We have no intention of [not winning] this war. But the United States will never accept a fake solution to this long and arduous struggle and call it peace.
No one can foretell the precise terms of an eventual settlement. Our objective in [Iraq] has [always] been the annihilation of the enemy. It has been to bring about a recognition in [Al Queida] that its objective - taking over the Iraq by force - could not be achieved. A number of nations have shown what can be accomplished under conditions of security. Since [2001], Eastern Europe , the fifth largest nation in all the world, with a population of more than 100 million people, has had a government[s] that [are] dedicated to peace with its neighbors and improved conditions for its own people. Political and economic cooperation between nations has grown rapidly.
I think every American can take a great deal of pride in the role that we have played in bringing this about in South[west] Asia. We can rightly judge as responsible South[west] Asians themselves do - that the progress of the past 3 years would have been far less likely - if not completely impossible - if America's sons and[daughters] had not made their stand in [Iraq]. At [the UN] , about 3 years ago, l announced that the United States would take part in the great work of developing Iraq , for all the people of that region. Our determination to help build a better land - a better land for men on both sides of the present conflict - has not diminished in the least. Indeed, the ravages of war, I think, have made it more urgent than ever.

So, I repeat on behalf of the United States again tonight what I said at the UN- that terrorists [must] take [their] place in this common effort just as soon as peace comes. One day, my fellow citizens, there will be peace in South[west] Asia.
It will come because the people of South[west] Asia want it - those whose armies are at war tonight, and those who, though threatened, have thus far been spared. Peace will come because [rabs]were willing to work for it - and to sacrifice for it - and to die by the thousands for it.

But let it never be forgotten: Peace will come also because America sent her sons[and daughters]to secure it. It has not been easy - far from it. During the past 4 1/2 years, it has been my fate and my responsibility to be Commander in Chief. I have lived - daily and nightly - with the cost of this war. l know the pain that it has inflicted. I know, perhaps better than anyone, the misgivings that it has aroused.
Throughout this entire, long period, I have been sustained by a single principle:
that what we are doing now, in [Iraq], is vital not only to the security of South[west] Asia, but it is vital to the security of every American.

Surely we have treaties which we must respect. Surely we have commitments that we are going to keep. Resolutions of the Congress testify to the need to resist aggression in the world and in South[west] Asia. But the heart of our involvement in [Iraq] - under three different Presidents, three separate administrations - has always been America's own security. And the larger purpose of our involvement has always been to help the nations of South[west] Asia become independent and stand alone, self-sustaining, as members of a great world community - at peace with
themselves, and at peace with all others. With such an Arabia, our country-and the world will be far more secure than it is tonight. I believe that a peaceful Asia is far nearer to reality because of what America has done in [Iraq]. l believe that the men [and women] who endure the dangers of battle fighting there for us tonight - are helping the entire world avoid far greater conflicts, far wider wars, far more destruction, than this one. The peace that will bring them home someday will come.

Finally, my fellow Americans, let me say this:
Of those to whom much is given, much is asked. l cannot say and no man could say that no more will be asked of us.

Yet, l believe that now, no less than when the decade began, this generation of Americans is willing to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Since those words were spoken by John F. Kennedy, the people of America have kept that compact with mankind's noblest cause. And we shall continue to keep it. Yet, I believe that we must always be mindful of this one thing, whatever the trials and the tests ahead. The ultimate strength of our country and our cause will lie not in powerful weapons or infinite resources or boundless wealth, but will lie in the unity of our people. This I believe very deeply.

That speech came from Lyndon Johnson over 35 years ago. Just goes to show that while the actors may change.....the script remains the same. My own prediction is that GW's speech will not change anyone's mind about the war at this point. His base will love it, Democrats will hate it, and the great majority in the middle will wonder when something concrete is going to happen......like firing Don Rumsfeld.

Till then, if you decide to watch the ball game, you can tell your friends you got the news first from Tokyo.....on the Skippy news network ( which is anything but, main stream media).



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