My Late Reactions to The Speech
1) To some degree, it wouldn’t have been necessary if the media were giving us better perspective on events in Iraq. (I was on a show with a liberal pundit who said it would be “hard to imagine” how things could be worse there. Hard to imagine? How about if the child prisons were brought back? Would that be worse?) What has worried me even more than the real problems we face in Iraq is the danger that we were headed toward Tet II: a pessimistic perception at odds with the facts on the ground that ended up becoming more important than those facts. The president could have done more to talk about the challenges before us, but it was necessary to talk about the progress. [1a) One silver lining about the assumptions of today's media is you don't need to worry about losing Walter Cronkite any more--you know you've already lost him going in.] 2) Interesting that there wasn’t anything about the WMD question. Doubtless this reflects an accurate political calculation that this question is less important to Americans than improving the security picture in Iraq. 3) It was a very good thing that Bush asked for a large, specific number–$87 billion. If it is part of an intelligent program to win in Iraq, it’s worth every penny. 4) I think the president was quite right to call Iraq the most important front in the war on terrorism today, a point which is true regardless of the wisdom of our initial commitment there.