Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Second Comment on the SOTU

My eyes are still going crooked and my thinking is a little bit eggy. But this is mostly fun. In any case, here is some more of the president's speech, this time on the war against terrorism:

This war is more than a clash of arms — it is a decisive ideological struggle, and the security of our Nation is in the balance. To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and come to kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom — societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments. Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies — and most will choose a better way when they are given a chance. So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates, reformers, and brave voices for democracy. The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security … we must.

I guess George Bush doesn't coordinate opinions with Dinesh D'Souza who just wrote that it is the freedom we must get rid of over here so that the terrorists will leave us alone. I also guess that we are not supposed to mention the nationalities of those nineteen men, or to point out that Iraq is not where they grew up. But notice the freedom theme returning. I thought we were down to the flytrap theory of terrorism as the reason for the Iraq occupation.

The speech continues:

In the last 2 years, we have seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East — and we have been sobered by the enemy's fierce reaction. In 2005, the world watched as the citizens of Lebanon raised the banner of the Cedar Revolution … drove out the Syrian occupiers … and chose new leaders in free elections. In 2005, the people of Afghanistan defied the terrorists and elected a democratic legislature. And in 2005, the Iraqi people held three national elections — choosing a transitional government … adopting the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world … and then electing a government under that constitution. Despite endless threats from the killers in their midst, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote in a show of hope and solidarity we should never forget.

A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back. In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. And Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government. In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam — the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia — and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day.

This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in. Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. So let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory.

Isn't it odd how based on this speech the United States has had nothing to do with any of this? Except observing, watching and finding shocking developments? And isn't it odd how all sorts of quite disparate groups have now become one evil Enemy?