MoonDawg's Den: A mixed bag

MoonDawg's Den

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A mixed bag

I heard some of what I wanted to hear in the President's speech last night regarding Iraq - it wasn't everything I'd hoped for, but it was adequate on the whole. I was especially glad to hear this bit (emphasis mine):
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
I only hope that deeds will follow these words...a couple of B-52 Arclight strikes against terrorist staging areas in Syria and Iran would be a good start. The following should also have been done a long time ago:
To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.
About. Frigging. Time.

I was also pleased with the sobriety of his statements regarding the impact of the changes:
This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents.

However, I'd hoped for about double the announced increase in troop levels, but this is better than nothing. Moreover, he actually mentioned the very thing I was calling for a couple of days ago:
We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century.
But when SecDef Gates announced the proposed increases, he put the number at a paltry 92,000. We need to increase the active duty strength by about 5 times that level, I'd say - but again it's better than nothing. This, by the way, is an issue wholly separate from Iraq, and if the Dems balk at this modest increase then they are even more stupid and irresponsible on national security than I'd feared.

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