Have you ever wondered that too? Why would the most important speech the President makes all year be given that late on a work night?
I don’t know about you, but I have to get up and make breakfast before I start off to work. Maybe that is it. You listen to the President, look at the clock and see it is almost eleven, and you think, I got to take a shower and head to bed. No time to listen to the experts (pundits) tell you if the President said anything of substance or if he shaded the truth, and for sure no time to listen to the opposition’s take on the State of the Union.
Today I took some time and read over a transcript of George’s speech, and you know what, he did tell a few whoppers. Like "we are winning" and we have "a clear path to victory" That sounded good last night when George had more than half the chamber filled with his cheering section, but to sit down and read it without the applause light lit up, the truth stares you in the face.
In 2005 we lost just as many soldiers and Marines as we did in 2004, and I believe insurgent attacks were up. Every day we hear about multiple Iraqis being killed and constantly there are Iraqi bodies found, bound, sometimes headless, and dead.
For awhile this year, George Bush went around the country giving speeches at Army bases, trying to explain the path he has taken that will lead to victory. Each speech was filled with wonderful platitudes about those who serve in the military and the troops ate it up, but George never did get around to explaining how victory would come about. Those speeches faded like his talks on Social Security reform.
George went on with, "We’re on the offensive in Iraq." I don’t buy that. Who are we attacking? We have already taken the country, and now we are fighting a guerilla war. That means that there is no set army to attack, and the insurgents don’t take up fixed positions that we could attack.
There are multiple factions attacking our troops: some are former Baathist government/Saddam sympathizers, some are Islamic Fundamentalists, then there are the Iraqi nationalists, and some are foreign and Iraqi terrorists. On the same day as Bush’s State of the Union Speech, Knight Ridder Newspapers had a report stating that "Nearly half of Iraqis support attacks on U.S. troops." They went on with "U.S. officials have acknowledged in the past that the mere presence of American troops in Iraq has helped fuel the insurgency."
On this same subject of Iraq George Bush stated, we are "continuing reconstruction efforts." Constantly in the last year there have been stories about how badly the reconstruction effort in Iraq is going. Stories about construction companies pulling their workers because it is too dangerous, how three years into the effort, electricity and oil production have not yet reached pre-war levels, and how so much of the money (American taxpayer money) was squandered or stolen.
I could go on, but you get the drift. In Washington it is called spin. George talked about the economy and health care too. Next time you fill up with gas, cash your pay check, or send in your health insurance payment, think about what George Bush could have said to make you feel better.
George has a tough hand to play. No doubt he has tried hard in every topic he talked about, but in truth he hasn’t done a good job. I guess that answers my question about why we have a speech at 9 PM on a Tuesday night.
Jim Glaser [send him mail], a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and Commander of American Legion Post 499, works to educate the American public on the consequences of war. His personal website is James-Glaser.com.