George Bush made his case clear today in a largely uneventful speech at Annapolis today simply by repeated the same plan he has enumerated for the American public for over two years. Bush told the midshipmen at the Naval Academy that the war in Iraq can and would be won before we consider pulling out any of our troops, and that the only timetable for redeployment will be the success of the mission … period:
President Bush gave an unflinching defense of his war strategy on Wednesday, refusing to set a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals and asserting that once-shaky Iraqi troops are proving increasingly capable. Democrats dismissed his words as a stay-the-course speech with no real strategy for success.
Bush recalled that some Iraqi security forces once ran from battle, and he said their performance “is still uneven in some parts.” But he also said improvements have been made in training and Iraqi units are growing more independent and controlling more territory.
“This will take time and patience,” said Bush, who is under intense political pressure as U.S. military deaths in the war rise beyond 2,100 and his popularity sits at the lowest point of his presidency.
Bush’s speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, the first of at least three he’ll give between now and the Dec. 15 Iraqi elections, did not outline a new strategy for the nearly three-year-old war. Rather, it was intended as a comprehensive answer to mounting criticism and questions. Billed as a major address, it brought together in a single package the administration’s arguments for the war and assertions of progress on military, economic and political tracks.
He also released a book on the Iraq war strategy for those who just haven’t paid any attention over the past two years. Bush and the White House should have just subtitled it “FOR THOSE WHO STILL THINK THAT THE US MILITARY DEPLOYS HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD WITHOUT A PLAN FOR SUCCESS”.