Today, President Bush delivered what was billed as a major address on Iraq. Instead, unfortunately, it was just more of the same "stay the course" rhetoric, moving us no closer to a resolution of the conflict.
We've all been waiting for many months for President Bush to come clean with the American people about the war in Iraq. But clearly, the President still fails to see and confront the truth:
- President Bush refuses to acknowledge that the Iraq war has nothing to do with the 9/11 attack on our country by al Qaeda, and it has diverted us from our appropriate response to that attack which was to go into Afghanistan and hunt Osama bin Laden.
- He refuses to acknowledge the fact that our long term presence in Iraq is fueling the very insurgency that he vows to end.
- President Bush refuses to acknowledge that any mistakes were made and that this war was based on false pretenses.
- He ignores the tremendous financial burden on our citizens, and he completely ignores the thousands of wounded that need to hear that they will not be forgotten and that they will receive the care they need.
- President Bush even refuses to acknowledge that Iraqi government officials believe that we can withdraw within a two-year time frame, while continuing to demean those members of Congress who disagree with him.
Today President Bush squandered yet another opportunity to level with the American people and bring the country together around a unified effort to end the war in Iraq. Instead, the President used this speech to lash out in a very personal way against those who believe the best strategy for success is an accelerated training of Iraqi security forces and a drawdown of American troops, starting with the National Guard. Once we clearly state that we do not intend to stay in Iraq forever, the insurgency will be diminished and our brave men and women can begin to come home.
The President's failure to address the concerns of the American people and the Congress is a devastating blow to everyone who hoped to hear the President articulate a clear mission and a projection of when our troops can return home.
With American confidence in his handling of the war in Iraq at an all-time low, when will President Bush get the message? It's up to us to keep standing up and speaking out until he does.