Showing Him The Way

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia delivered the Democratic response to President Bush’s State of the Union speech tonight. I think I can safely say that in eight minutes Senator Webb laid waste to President Bush’s "surge" fantasies.

There was confusion and there was leadership tonight on Capital Hill. Senator Webb provided the leadership:

With respect to foreign policy, this country has patiently endured a mismanaged war for nearly four years. Many, including myself, warned even before the war began that it was unnecessary, that it would take our energy and attention away from the larger war against terrorism, and that invading and occupying Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable in the most violent and turbulent corner of the world.

I want to share with all of you a picture that I have carried with me for more than 50 years. This is my father, when he was a young Air Force captain, flying cargo planes during the Berlin Airlift. He sent us the picture from Germany, as we waited for him, back here at home. When I was a small boy, I used to take the picture to bed with me every night, because for more than three years my father was deployed, unable to live with us full-time, serving overseas or in bases where there was no family housing. I still keep it, to remind me of the sacrifices that my mother and others had to make, over and over again, as my father gladly served our country. I was proud to follow in his footsteps, serving as a Marine in Vietnam. My brother did as well, serving as a Marine helicopter pilot. My son has joined the tradition, now serving as an infantry Marine in Iraq.

Like so many other Americans, today and throughout our history, we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues – those matters of war and peace, and in some cases of life and death – we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon us to go into harm’s way.

We owed them our loyalty, as Americans, and we gave it. But they owed us – sound judgment, clear thinking, concern for our welfare, a guarantee that the threat to our country was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defending it.

The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable – and predicted – disarray that has followed.

The war’s costs to our nation have been staggering.


The damage to our reputation around the world.

The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism.

And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.

The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military. We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq’s cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.

It is time for the President to listen to the American people, their elected representatives, and to reason. Play time is over.


This entry was posted in Foreign Policy, Iraq, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Showing Him The Way

  1. Fool me once says:

    Well done; thanks for posting this. Webb must really be getting the administration’s goat by now.

    It sounded like the word “demagoguery” tripped Webb up a little in his speech last night, but one can only imagine how W might have butchered that term. “Democracy” perhaps?

  2. Ingrid says:

    HA! I figured you’d have a post on this today;)
    I saw Webb last night (only in passing, missed both speeches) and I turned to my husband and said, Mash is going to love this, I bet he’s going to write a post on it..and so you did:d
    aaah, it’s good to know your friends (am back online btw..have been off line due to computer issues..phew:(

  3. Fool me once.. says:

    Nevermind my 1st post, after reading the transcript, Webb got it (demagogy) right. My apologies, it sounded like he was a bit nervous at a few points during his speech…

  4. Mash says:

    Fool me once, there was a point toward the end of the speech where he was fighting back a smile – I was afraid he was just going to crack up there and say something like “Listen, the guy in the White House is not very bright – that’s the real problem” – but he is a better man than me :d

    Bush, by the way, slipped in “Democrat majority” instead of “Democratic majority” as it was written in his prepared text. They just love to use that term as a swipe at the Democratic party.

    Ingrid, I put something up quick – it was a very powerful speech. Now, I have to get back to packing the rest of the week (we are moving to our new house next week


  5. Ingrid says:

    Oh Mash PACKING!! Been there done that TOO many times! And across continents and everything as well (I hear you loud and clear!)
    Good luck and just keep on doing the work.. it is just a matter of plugging away..but you know that!:)

  6. Fool me once.. says:

    Lou Dobbs has jumped on the Webb bandwagon as well:

    Mr. Webb seems to be rapidly emerging as a rather noticeable force in Washington and it might all be traced back to Mash at!

    Mash’s quick thinking and even quicker keystrokes made a tangible difference during the election-cycle, which ultimately helped Mr. Webb be elected, which will ultimately lead to a more positive outcome in the middle east.

    The world says: “Thank you Mash!”

  7. Thereal Dr Strangelove says:

    Mr Webb proves once again why the dumocrats can\’t buy a clue. Unlike him, and all of you, those of us who have actually spent the last 10-12 years chasing terrorists around the world know that he is wrong, dead wrong. Where is his tactical analysis? He does not have one. He will be the same failure as Senator he was as SECNAV (a position from which he was \

  8. Fool me once... says:

    Very interesting post TRDS; perhaps you could provide some evidence to back up your assertions?

    So, park your bravado at the door for a second, and tell us how, and where, is Senator Webb wrong? Since the Senator provides no “tactical analysis”, perhaps you could provide some?

    Looking forward to it….

Comments are closed.