The Bush Speech Tonight

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

Sadly, No’s predictions (with checklist) is right on the monry:


  • [ ] President walks out and makes the serious-and-earnest expression.
  • [ ] First long section of speech is timeline of successes in the War on Terror which does not resemble any known sequence of events in the world.
  • [ ] “But America is not yet safe,” says the President. “There are those who envy our freedoms and seek to destroy us.” (Phrasing is approximate.)
  • [ ] A list of measures that are being taken to ensure America’s safety, by the President and under his orders, that do not resemble any known events in the world.
  • [ ] Challenges ahead. Identify enemies foreign and domestic, according to requirements of the political moment.
  • [ ] Transition: variation(s) of the phrase, “I have a plan — and it’s a plan that will work.” Invoke generals, suggest having studied Baker-Hamilton plan, give impression of sober deliberations.
  • [ ] Lengthy passage on the troops, including at least one concrete invocation of a specific troop, specifying his place of origin. Alternately, this may be a family member. Perhaps a letter has been sent to the President, or he has met this person in his travels.
  • [ ] “Sacred duty of the Commander-in-Chief to ensure the safety of the troops,” or variation thereof.
  • [ ] Reveal escalation plan, with specifics of action that do not resemble any known strategic or tactical challenges in the world.
  • [ ] Brief refrain to one or more of above topics, stressing need for action, safety of troops, advice of generals, etc.
  • [ ] Folksy homily, uplifting message, other Reagan-style cadence suggesting that America, despite struggles in these perilous times, is in ascendancy with flag flying high.
  • [ ] Make weird face, scratch ass, walk offstage with hand already extended for tumbler of bourbon, or otherwise provide impression that President has already forgotten everything he has said.

Pentagon insiders say members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have long opposed the increase in troops and are only grudgingly going along with the plan because they have been promised that the military escalation will be matched by renewed political and economic efforts in Iraq.

And I agree with everyone else — it’s not a "surge".  The proper word is "escalation".