The first was his speech before polite but clearly nonplussed military personnel at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on June 28th. It is my contention that the momentum of American public opinion had shifted against the war in Iraq a few days before this first ineffective speech.
(second and third speeches and postmortem below)
Yesterday, on Veterans Day, Nov. 11th, President Bush gave yet another, his third speech in recent months on Iraq. This time he fought back at critics of the war accusing Democratic leaders of revisionism and of being dishonest in saying that he knowingly misled this country into war. Again Mr. Bush claimed that the war in Iraq is central to the fight against terrorism. He said it is irresponsible to "rewrite the history of the Iraq war." He said critics of the war are undermining American forces on the front lines and are aiding the enemy who is counting on breaking the will of the American people.
President Bush also said that Congress had the same access to intelligence reports before the war that he did as President. This is simply not true and underscores the trouble President Bush has with telling the complete truth to the American people. The fact is that the Bush administration's prewar intelligence was more complete than that provided to Congress. Most Americans now say they believe that President Bush is not honest. After three major speeches on Iraq in less than 5 months it is clear to me that President Bush has shot his wad and is intellectually exhausted.
Meanwhile, the war in Iraq drags on along the course the President has determined. It reminds me of the old question, "What happens when an irresistable force meets an unmovable object?" Something has to give! Nixon and Kissinger drug the Vietnam war out for more than 4 years longer than necessary. Will this unnecessary, unjust, counterproductive, and unwinnable war be wisely and mercifully truncated, or will our apathetic and ignorant yet arrogant nation drag this insanity out for innumerable years to come? President Bush doesn't have a strategy for victory in Iraq anymore than President Nixon had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. The writing is on the wall for those who have eyes to see.