I really tried to pay attention to the President's speech tonight, to listen carefully, but it was hard. My ears kept hearing, "blah blah blah, terrorists, blah blah, 9/11, blah terrorists, blah blah...", and so forth. My mind wandered a lot. So what did I get from his speech? I now have a strong suspicion that Mr. Bush doesn't know anything about terrorists. Terrorism is the last resort of a desperate struggle. He obviously doesn't know that terrorism in this country did not start in September of 2001. It didn't start with the Weatherman attacks in the 1970's. Or with those who resorted to violence in the struggle for civil rights. Or with the labor movement. Or John Brown. Terrorism in this country began with the colonial insurgency. It always begins with desperate people fighting for a desperate cause.
The terrorists in Iraq don't hate freedom, or democracy. They hate foreign invaders. So in dealing with them, it might help to look to our own history, to see what will make the terrorists stop their indiscriminate violence. They stop when the change they want happens, when they're no longer desperate. They want us out of Iraq.
I heard many commentators after Bush's speech who agree with me that we should have a plan to leave Iraq. I heard them also say, we shouldn't "cut and run". I say, if they can't build a government without our soldier's blood, they don't deserve peace, democracy, or freedom. We did more than enough already. We can make some war reparations, but the insurgents are fighting against us. They will continue to fight us as long as we're there. It does not matter that we have the greatest military in the world, we can never win. Just ask the British. We beat them with soldiers that were barefoot and starving. There will never be peace in Iraq until we leave. Having a plan for the withdrawal will not strengthen the insurgency, it will be the end of the insurgency. The sooner we leave, the more legitimacy their own government will have. It will be theirs, built by them, deriving it's power from the consent of the governed - not built on the bones of American soldiers.
Unfortunately, when given history, and the facts, all Bush seems to hear is, "blah, blah, blah."