President Bush Speaks - First Impression And A Few Thoughts On The Matter

After watching President Bush's address to the American people, all I can say is “Bravo!”

Despite what his detractors may say, and I'm sure we'll be hearing from them in spades over the next few days, I believe he's got the right idea. Cut and run won't work and will only make matters worse. Using the additional troops will allow what I've heard called Clear, Hold, and Build to take root. Once an area has been cleared of insurgents – Ba'athist and jihadi/harahabi both – troops will remain in the cleared area to prevent them from returning. This will allow rebuilding of infrastructure and faith in the Iraqi government. It's long overdue.

A friend I've known for a long time, a Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran, said that too many parallels have been drawn between Vietnam and Iraq. Most of them are false, an attempt to turn Americans away from the job that needs to be finished. One thing he believes will happen if we abandon the Iraqi people will be a bloody purge that will rival that of post-war Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Millions died then. So it could be again if run away...again. I believe he's right.

As the President stated in his address, 80% of the insurgent and sectarian attacks take place within 30 miles of Baghdad. It is there these additional troops will focus their efforts, for Baghdad is the key to Iraq. If the insurgents there can be destroyed and the sectarian militias disarmed and dismantled, the Iraqi people have a chance. Iraqis, Sunni and Shi'a both, are tired of the attacks and the violence. They just want to live their lives in peace.

Let's give them that chance.

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