Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More on the Jim Webb SOTU

Yes, that's Old Hickory again

Jim Webb's SOTU deserves to be widely quoted. The Washington Post has
the prepared text:

"In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy - that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today." (my emphasis)
He's talking my language there. I've been saying we need to recapture the Jacksonian spirit for quite a while.

What he said about the Iraq War was brief, direct and on the mark:

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. (my emphasis)
Oh, if you want to read Bush's dreary rant about how he's the only thing standing between us and chaos from The Terrorists, it's at the White House Web site; they'll probably have a video up there soon.

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