GEORGE W. Bush just delivered what may be the most important speech of his presidency since he went before the United Nations on Sept. 12, 2002, and declared his intention to seek regime change in Iraq.
The time has come, the president all but said yesterday, to take the gloves off with Iran.
"The world's free nations will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon," he said flatly. He prefaced those words by saying that efforts were being made to find a diplomatic solution to the problem. Nonetheless, Bush has now said in the strongest sentence he has yet spoken on the matter that Iran will not go nuclear. He is unconditional about it.
In a carefully crafted speech, Bush laid out the parallels between the extremists of al Qaeda - Sunni Muslims - and the Shia extremists led by Iran. While they both use fiery rhetoric that may be easy to dismiss in certain quarters as an Islamic cultural affect, they are also uncommonly specific about their strategies and goals to achieve their aims.
Using captured documents, he showed how Osama bin Laden and the head of al Qaeda in Iraq have laid out with great precision their strategy to weaken and exhaust the United States and the free nations of the world - a strategy that is having some effect after three-plus hard years fighting in Iraq.
Read it all. Then go read/watch Bush's speech.
One thing I enjoy about President Bush is that he does not bother to pretend to be intellectually superior; and, he can easily make fun of himself. Nor does it seem to matter much to him that everyone doesn't totally adore him. Yet he is extraordinary in the world of politics because he is willing to tackle the hard problems head on (which most politicians lack the courage to do); and he perseveres in trying to fix them, particularly if he thinks he is right. He is not brilliant, but manages to muddle along; he misspeaks frequently; and even screws up from time to time. But he presses on and actually gets things done.
Or, to put it more clinically: George W. Bush is an adult living in the real world-- unlike most of his detractors. And I for one, am grateful that there is an adult in charge during these difficult days.
He means what he says; and Ahmadinejad and the rest of the world better believe it.
UPDATE: The President is on a roll. Here is his speech today which was excellent.
UPDATE II: Has it ever occurred to any of the children emailing me about what a "warmonger" (and other kind epithets) I am, that, giving a firm, consistent, unambiguous and clear message to the irrational fanatics who want to kill us, offers the best possible hope of keeping those fanatics from doing so? [Note: They could check any child-rearing manual if they have doubts about this strategy.]
Has it ever occurred to any of these confused "patriots", who present no alternatives except defeat and surrender; blame anybody except the terrorists for terror, and who recklessly wage war against the Bush Administration instead of Islamic totalitarianism, that their behavior is counterproductive and actually encourages and inspires the enemy and its plotting? Or that their rage and hatred is somewhat...displaced...from its obvious object?
Has it ever occurred to the supposed "leaders" in the Democratic Party whose only purpose appears to be regaining lost political power, that they are contributing nothing to the successful prosecution of this war, and are worse than "useful idiots"; and that, on the contrary, they have aligned themselves with those who want to destroy this country?
That would require just a little bit of insight and at least a minimal ability to connect with reality.