President Bush just finished one of the very few Oval Office addresses to the American people on the War on Terror and the Iraqi Theatre. I appreciate all of you who participated in “live comment blogging” in the posting below. Great comments!
First on style points, let me agree with PatriotPal and That Gay Conservative… Bush has always done better when he talks in front of an audience; maybe he feeds off of the energy of large crowds? I can relate to that. However, I noticed from a stylistic sense there was a change in this Oval Office (non-audience) speech. Bush was not confined by sitting on his hands — literally. He allowed himself to talk as he is comfortable — with this hands, leaning forward toward the audience and becoming animated as if he were in front of an audience. I have to say it was the most comfortable I have felt watching the President as a TV-watcher.
On substance, I think he did a very good job of laying out the connection between taking the War on Terror to the terrorists (in both Iraq and Afghanistan.)
Here are some key passages from my perspective from the speech:
The terrorists do not merely object to American actions in Iraq and elsewhere, they object to our deepest values and our way of life. And if we were not fighting them in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Southeast Asia and in other places, the terrorists would not be peaceful citizens — they would be on the offense, and headed our way.
My conviction comes down to this: We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. And we will defeat the terrorists by capturing and killing them abroad, removing their safe havens and strengthening new allies like Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight we share.
Yet there is a difference between honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.
Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts. For every scene of destruction in Iraq, there are more scenes of rebuilding and hope. For every life lost, there are countless more lives reclaimed. And for every terrorist working to stop freedom in Iraq, there are many more Iraqis and Americans working to defeat them. My fellow citizens: Not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq.
I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq: I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt. Yet now there are only two options before our country — victory or defeat. And the need for victory is larger than any president or political party because the security of our people is in the balance. I do not expect you to support everything I do, but tonight I have a request: Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom.
Finally, I think it is important that the President continue these updates to the American people. The more he talks directly to us, the more the lies of the Left Wing Media are apparent.
WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS!! TAKE A MOMENT AND BROWSE AROUND THIS LEADING GAY CONSERVATIVE VOICE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE!
UPDATE: Video of the speech is up from Ian at The Political Teen.