Eternal God, giver of life and health; comfort and relieve your sick child Tommy, and give your power of healing to those who minister to his needs, that he may be strengthened in his weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Tonight, the President will give a speech that is reported to be his attempt to regain the support of the American people for the war in Iraq; support that the polls suggest is slipping fast.
Faithful Progressive points us to a recent New York Times editorial that highlights three facts about Iraq that we need to keep in mind as we listen to Bush tonight;
1. The war has nothing to do with September 11.
I listened to Rumsfeld over the weekend, and he mentioned 9/11 at least three times while discussing Iraq. This administration is careful to never be caught saying bluntly that Saddam or the Iraqis were directly responsible for 9/11. What they do is slip a reference to that horrible day in here and there, and so infer a connection. I will predict that Bush will mention 9/11 at least six times.
2. The war has not made the world, or this nation, safer from terrorism.
Did you know that there was never a reported incident of a suicide bomber in Iraq before 2003? Last month, 400 people were killed by these martyrs. 75% of those who die from these attacks are American soldiers or Iraqi security forces.
3. If the war is going according to plan, someone needs to rethink the plan.
Rumsfeld, who in 2003 said the war would be over in a matter of months, now suggests the insurgency could last 12 years! (edited, thanks to an observant commentor). Over 1,700 Americans and over 20,000 civilians are dead, and the timetable has moved from months to over a decade.
The plan should be simple; two words. Get out. Our presence is what is bringing terrorists into the country in droves. This idea of "fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here" is pretty heartless, it seems to me. Only Iraqi civilians are expendable? I doubt that this kind of ethnocentric strong-arm approach to establishing democracy is winning any hearts and minds in that part of the world.
Returning for a minute to the "12 year" comment by Rumsfeld; even though he claims that the insurgency will have to be fought against by the Iraqis, and foreign troops will be gone (edit), could this be a bait and switch tactic? Could we be being prepared for a much longer deployment? (edit) I wondered why the military was building all those bases all over Iraq. Some of them look rather permanent. Could this have been the plan from the beginning; to use Iraq as a base of operations to control the Persian Gulf?
Since the reasons presented for this invasion have been proven to be lies, we can only speculate. I still think it was primarily because Saddam threatened to assasinate Daddy. But, most likely, we'll never know.
Ok, I say 6 mentions of 9/11 tonight. Any other predictions? The person who comes the closest to the actual number, and posts their guess before 8:00 p.m. will get to guest blog here at Jake's place within the next week.
Of course, if I win, you'll just have to continue to listen to my rants.