Podhoretz summarizes it best
John Podhoretz does a good job analyzing President Bush's excellent speech last night, and indeed the President has done an admirable job in the last few weeks in aggressively answering his critics and justifying his efforts towards the pacification and democratization of Iraq.
It is hard to understand why his administration waited so long to counter-attack, but just as the enemy is only emboldened by seeming passivity, so being passive in the face of relentless Democrat and media attacks only emboldens them to strive towards higher and higher (or is that lower and lower) heights of absurdity and even downright treason. But at last the administration has decided to play offense and the results are good.
Only a determined obstructionist could continue to say that we would be better off to pull out of Iraq now. As a a matter of fact, it becomes tedious to endlessly have to explain the obvious to an opposition which is not interested in dialogue and instead appears only interested in damaging the Bush adminstration, as if it is the President himself who is the greater enemy to their cause, and not the threat of Islamic terrorism.
How exhausting. No wonder Bush has chosen to simply do his job and carry out his plan without endless resort to defending himself. However, in wartime, exhorting the home front and continuing to encourage and lead are no less important than leading the troops and forging the military policy.
Democrat opponents seem for all the world like deliberately clueless children, who obstinately refuse to get the point and continue to whine and ask the endless "why" question. They aren't interested in answers -- only in finding pretexts to impeach the president -- a plan that has been in the works since before the 2004 election, as a pay-back for the supposed stolen election in 2000, the supposed fixed Supreme Court decision, and the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
Bush is waging two wars -- one in Iraq and across the world against global terrorism, and another at home against his domestic enemies. It is clear that to them, George Bush is the only enemy they recognize. But as President he took an oath to fight the enemy both foreign and domestic, and the democrat party and the media have shown themselves to be domestic enemies of the national good in every way, he is duty bound to respond vigorously. This battle he has now clearly engaged.
John Murtha's continued histrionics on this issue are but one example. He now appears to be taking credit for the already planned slow draw-down of American forces as Iraqis take over their own defense. That's like me taking credit for the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow. Just because I say it will, or it should, doesn't make it happen. And don't even get me started on the treasonous disclosure of the NSA wiretaps timed to coincide with the eve of the vote on the extension of the Patriot Act and to promote an upcoming book by the writer, not to mention an effort to bury the good news from the successful election in Iraq. It hardly seems worth it to waste breath, or ink, or thought or paper on such pointless attacks. It's like having a yappy puppy chewing on your pants cuffs endlessly with no way to get him to stop. I'm sick to death of the lot of them.
And then, having painstakingly constructed his relentlessly fair argument, he then turned it back on his critics with airtight logic.
"There is a difference," he said, "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."
Thus, the president was saying, I hereby acknowledge both my mistakes and my responsibility for the decisions I've made. You have every right to blame me and hold me liable if you think the choice was the wrong one. You may even make "partisan use" of the war if you wish.
But in the end, "the need for victory is larger than any president or political party." In the end, "the security of our people is in the balance." Hate me. But if you love America and its brave men and women in uniform, you will agree with me that "the road to victory . . . is the road that will take them home."
Checkmate, Mr. Murtha.