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Disagreeable

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Entire article; link below; my emphasis.

"We've seen it before: an embattled president so swathed in his inner circle that he completely loses touch with the public and wanders around among small knots of people who agree with him. There was Lyndon Johnson in the 1960's, Richard Nixon in the 1970's, and George H. W. Bush in the 1990's. Now it's his son's turn.
It has been obvious for months that Americans don't believe the war is going just fine, and they needed to hear that President Bush gets that. They wanted to see that he had learned from his mistakes and adjusted his course, and that he had a measurable and realistic plan for making Iraq safe enough to withdraw United States troops. Americans didn't need to be convinced of Mr. Bush's commitment to his idealized version of the war. They needed to be reassured that he recognized the reality of the war.
Instead, Mr. Bush traveled 32 miles from the White House to the Naval Academy and spoke to yet another of the well-behaved, uniformed audiences that have screened him from the rest of America lately. If you do not happen to be a midshipman, you'd have to have been watching cable news at midmorning on a weekday to catch him.
The address was accompanied by a voluminous handout entitled "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq," which the White House grandly calls the newly declassified version of the plan that has been driving the war. If there was something secret about that plan, we can't figure out what it was. The document, and Mr. Bush's speech, were almost entirely a rehash of the same tired argument that everything's going just fine. Mr. Bush also offered the usual false choice between sticking to his policy and beating a hasty and cowardly retreat.
On the critical question of the progress of the Iraqi military, the president was particularly optimistic, and misleading. He said, for instance, that Iraqi security forces control major areas, including the northern and southern provinces and cities like Najaf. That's true if you believe a nation can be built out of a change of clothing: these forces are based on party and sectarian militias that have controlled many of these same areas since the fall of Saddam Hussein but now wear Iraqi Army uniforms. In other regions, the most powerful Iraqi security forces are rogue militias that refuse to disarm and have on occasion turned their guns against American troops, like Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.
Mr. Bush's vision of the next big step is equally troubling: training Iraqi forces well enough to free American forces for more of the bloody and ineffective search-and-destroy sweeps that accomplish little beyond alienating the populace.
What Americans wanted to hear was a genuine counterinsurgency plan, perhaps like one proposed by Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., a leading writer on military strategy: find the most secure areas with capable Iraqi forces. Embed American trainers with those forces and make the region safe enough to spend money on reconstruction, thus making friends and draining the insurgency. Then slowly expand those zones and withdraw American forces.
Americans have been clamoring for believable goals in Iraq, but Mr. Bush stuck to his notion of staying until "total victory." His strategy document defines that as an Iraq that "has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency"; is "peaceful, united, stable, democratic and secure"; and is a partner in the war on terror, an integral part of the international community, and "an engine for regional economic growth and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region."
That may be the most grandiose set of ambitions for the region since the vision of Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar, who saw the hand writing on the wall. Mr. Bush hates comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq. But after watching the president, we couldn't resist reading Richard Nixon's 1969 Vietnamization speech. Substitute the Iraqi constitutional process for the Paris peace talks, and Mr. Bush's ideas about the Iraqi Army are not much different from Nixon's plans - except Nixon admitted the war was going very badly (which was easier for him to do because he didn't start it), and he was very clear about the risks and huge sacrifices ahead.
A president who seems less in touch with reality than Richard Nixon needs to get out more."


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/01/opinion/01thur1.html?hp
 

SDSteve

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Bush should have come to the ranchers.net get together. One of the few places he could get such a crowd of die-hard supporters. I sometimes wonder just what Bush would have to do to get some of these supporters to wake up.
 

Disagreeable

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SDSteve said:
Bush should have come to the ranchers.net get together. One of the few places he could get such a crowd of die-hard supporters. I sometimes wonder just what Bush would have to do to get some of these supporters to wake up.

I think he's sunk about as low in the polls as he can go. There'll always be 30-35% who will stick with him no matter what. As much as anything, they're like him and just won't admit they made a mistake in supporting him and the war.
 

Soapweed

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SDSteve said:
Bush should have come to the ranchers.net get together. One of the few places he could get such a crowd of die-hard supporters. I sometimes wonder just what Bush would have to do to get some of these supporters to wake up.

Bush isn't perfect, but he's a darn sight better than either Gore or Kerry would have been. It's pretty bad when we end up voting for the lesser of two evils, but anyone real qualified to be President has tended to stay in private business. The job of President would be a terrible occupation, second only to having the thankless task of serving on a local school board. :wink: :? :)
 

Cal

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Disagreeable said:
I think he's sunk about as low in the polls as he can go. There'll always be 30-35% who will stick with him no matter what. As much as anything, they're like him and just won't admit they made a mistake in supporting him and the war.
Rasmussen has his approval rating at 46%. I thought a poll watcher like you might want to know. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Bush_Job_Approval.htm
 

wdcook

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by David Limbaugh

But the president's Naval Academy speech raised his counterattack to a new level. Without belaboring the tired WMD and torture claims, he delivered, essentially, a state of the union address on the War on Terror, Iraq Theater. He refuted the disinformation and clarified the state of our military operations and the much-debated readiness of the Iraqi forces.


He reiterated our objectives and strategy to achieve them, which, by the way, have been consistent since we began this phase of the war: the transition to Iraqi constitutional self-rule. While we've had to adjust our tactics daily in this unconventional, asymmetrical war, we have stayed true to our overall strategy.


Washington Democrats appear visibly nervous about the strength and substance of the president's case, and probably wish they hadn't pushed him so far that he had to come out and answer their bogus charges one by one.


At the end of the day, the Democrats are exposed as having no substantive alternative ideas to supplement their brutal assaults against this wartime president. They've even gone so far as to admit, on occasion, that they don't have a plan, much less a superior one, because, in the damning words of Democrat Party leader Howard Dean, it is not their responsibility to have a plan. You just can't make this stuff up.


The Democrats have done a masterful job, with unflagging assistance from the mainstream media, of undermining the people's trust in the president by calling him a liar every day for the last 10 months and more. But the best-kept secret is that in the meantime, they've done nothing to bolster their own image for trustworthiness or as capable wartime leaders.


That they have no solutions for Iraq and the War on Terror was brought into sharp relief when House Republicans called their bluff and forced them to put up or shut up on a withdrawal-timetable resolution. Only three hapless Democrats had the courage to stand by their party's reckless rhetoric.


The best thing about the president's speech is that it moves the debate forward into the realm of reality. It forces the Democrats to quit squawking about moot issues, such as whether President Bush lied about WMD. They can choose to revisit those fraudulent claims and lose another election over them if they want, but for now, they better realize we're in this war and they must get on board, offer reasonable alternatives, or get out of the way.


Between now and 2006 it will be interesting to see how they scramble and sputter, searching in vain for a coherent war policy. Pay particular attention to the ever-tortured positions John Kerry will adopt and the delightfully painful contortions and fence-straddling Hillary will inevitably engage in between now and 2008

read the rest at; http://jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh120205.php3
 

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