Thursday, January 11, 2007

What The President Said, What The President Meant

Watching an address by the President of the United States to the nation means one must have the ability to read between the lines. Last night’s speech by President Bush regarding his new strategy for the Iraq war was rife with hidden meaning…what the President said and what he really meant. Let’s take a look:

What the President said: “The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.”

What the President meant: “I know you, the American people, are losing your patience for this war but this plan really can work this time, and don’t forget, even though there may not have been any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it is the central front of the war on terror. We’ve been putting this one over on you for years so please don’t stop believing us now”

What the President said: “When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation. The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together — and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.”

What the President meant: “I really thought those elections would make those Iraqis more like us Americans and we could start moving our troops out. That didn’t happen and I’m not sure why.”

What the President said: “The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people — and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me. It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq.”

What the President meant: “I heard what the voters said in the mid-term elections but I’m still the President and I’m going to give this thing one more try. Oh, and those mistakes that were made: I’m not saying I made them but, as Harry Truman said, the buck stops here”

What the President said: “Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.”

What the President meant: “Our troops are now going to kick butt like never before…the kid gloves are off. And I could care less what the Iraqi government thinks about it.”

What the President said: “Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents — but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. 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 these neighborhoods — and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.”

What the President meant: “Muqtada al Sadr is in big, big, big trouble.”

What the President said: “I have made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this.”

What the President meant: “Prime Minister Maliki better understand that I’m out of office in two years and I’m not going to let my legacy be tarnished because the American people thought I failed in Iraq. I’ve got a $500 million dollar library to build.”

What the President said: “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.”

What the President meant: “Iraq is going to get much bloodier before it gets better, if it gets better.”

What the President said: “Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity — and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. 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 will 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.”

What the President meant: “Don’t be surprised if I decide to bomb Iran and Syria. I know I can’t send in ground troops but I can sure bomb the living daylights out of them. That might get people’s minds off Iraq too.

What the President said: “We will use America's full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists — and a strategic threat to their survival. These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors — and they must step up their support for Iraq's unity government.”

What the President meant: “Those Middle East countries better start working a little harder to stop their citizens from financially supporting the bad guys in Iraq or else their countries might start to implode as well.”

What the President said: “Let me be clear: The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience, and they will make the year ahead bloody and violent. Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue — and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties.”

What the President meant: “100 American troops dying every month will look like a tiny number compared with what’s coming in the next year. It’s going to get ugly.”

What the President said: “Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.”

What the President meant: “I wish I had never given that speech on that battleship with that stupid “Mission Accomplished” banner hanging behind me.”

What the President said: “Our new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq. Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States — and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq's borders and hunting down al-Qaida. Their solution is to scale back America's efforts in Baghdad — or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces. We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale. Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.”

What the President meant: “Thanks you folks in Congress but I’m still the President and I’m going to do this my way.”

What the President said: “Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.”

What the President meant: “I sure like Joe Lieberman. I wish he was a Republican. Hopefully he can help me sell my new plan to some skeptical Democrats.”

What the President said: “Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a Nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed. Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can and we will prevail.”

What the President meant: “Stick with me folks; stick with me, just a little while longer. We can do this. We can win. And if we don’t while I’m in office, it will be the next guy’s problem.”

Now you know the real deal.


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