I'll cover the right's reaction to Bush's speech in more depth tomorrow - in my TWICO post - but here's a quick roundup of opinion from the Cornerscenti:
I liked a lot of the specifics of the speech ... [I]t sounded like our soldiers will get Rules of Engagement that haven't been neutered, that are not PC, but ROEs that are appropriate to winning a war rather than avoiding casualties. Maybe...In a couple of other posts, Ledeen speculates (rather giddily) on whether the subtext was that we might finally get to attack Iran and Syria:
[Bush:]"And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."A follow-up post quotes a reader letter that "pretty much sums up the reaction I'm getting":
I've read that last sentence maybe ten times. Those "networks providing advanced weaponry and training" certainly are based in Iran and Syria. It sounds like he said we are going after terrorist training camps and the IED assembly facilities, doesn't it?
"My bet is that it's Bush threatening to authorize hot pursuits over the border and Cambodian-style incursions, along with air strikes, to destroy the enemy's sanctuaries. If so, finally we're getting down to fight a better war. The 1970 Cambodian Incursion ... [blah, blah, blah, fap-fap-fap]"Other NROistas, though, are slightly less engorged with blood. George Conway wishes Bush would stop digging and go back to clearing brush:
Frankly, as he has over the past few weeks, Bush looked like a man who is in way over his head, which he is. The man who got the country into this hole, and whose neglect and incompetence dug us deeper into into it, looks like a man who would like nothing more than to get back to Crawford. We'd all be better off if he would.And John Derbyshire was having none of it: "a snow job," he calls it:
The central and most glaring contradiction is the implied threat to walk away... Yoked to the ringing declaration that, of course, we can't walk away. We seem to be saying to the Maliki govt.: "Hey, you guys better step up to your responsibilites, or else we're outa here." This, a few sentences after saying that we can't leave the place without a victory. So-o-o-o:As for Iran and Syria, Derbyshire finds the President's words almost incoherent:
—-We can't leave Iraq without a victory.
—-Unless Maliki & Co. get their act together, we can't achieve victory.
—-If Maliki & Co. don't get their act together, we'll leave.
It's been a while since I studied classical logic, but it seems to me that this syllogism leaks like a sieve.
The President: "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria." We haven't been doing this? We haven't been doing this? How many of the the 21,500 troops of the "surge" will be assigned to these operations? Leaving how many for Baghdad and Anbar? Shall we have a "hot pursuit" policy?I tell you what, though - at least Cliff May has a solution in mind:
And, returning to the issue of sticks: What, exactly, do Iran and Syria have to fear from us, whatever they do?
I wish Bush were sending in at least a couple of brigades of Ethiopians.Don't we all, Cliff...