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In his address last night much of what the president said had been anticipated by the media — the additional troops, the understanding that he has with the Maliki government as to their responsibilities and so forth. But I was struck by a couple of things he said that indicated not just a change in tactics but a whole new attitude with regard to what’s necessary. He’s taking the gloves off.
In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter those neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter those neighborhoods — and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.
And, contrary to the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, instead of talking to Iran and Syria the president is taking them on too.
Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops…we will disrupt the attacks on our forces, we will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advance weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
I’ll bet that a lot of folks who support the president on this are asking themselves “what if we’d taken care of business this way two years ago?”
– Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.
© PAUL HARVEY SHOW, ABC RADIO NETWORKS