The President is due to speak to the nation on the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I’ll be liveblogging the speech as it happens in just a few minutes. Scroll down for analysis from other pundits across the blogosphere:
8:00PM CST: The President will be speaking from the Oval Office tonight. The mood of tonight’s speech is supposed to be “reflective”.
“Today we are safer, but we are not yet safe.”
8:03PM CST: The President is right about the nature of our enemy — one thing I wish he’d do is quote someone like Qutb. Let the American people understand that when he says that these people hate freedom, that isn’t just a charge: indeed, it is an accurate description of why they started this war.
8:05PM CST: The President is talking about victory. It’s about time that he did. We have no choice but to complete what was begun five years ago when the heroic passengers of Flight 93 won the first fight against radical Islam. We cannot allow the Middle East to fall into the hands of tyranny and terrorism.
8:07PM CST: Bush deals directly with the issue of Iraq. “The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power.” I don’t think Bush is persuasive here – Fareed Zakaria explained this so much better. Saddam Hussein wasn’t connected to the terrorists who hit us on 9/11, but Bush needs to make clear how he was part of the climate which fosters terrorists like those who attacked us five years ago.
Bush points out that bin Laden certainly thinks that this war is critical to our overall war. Indeed he does, and indeed it is.
8:09PM CST: Bush talks of the programs that have kept us from suffering another attack for the last five years. Programs decried by the Democrats and leaked by The New York Times. Bush is too polite to have said this. Part of me wishes that he would have.
8:11PM CST: Bush frames this conflict as struggle for civilization. He’s right. If we believe in the concept of democracy, our fight is now.
8:13PM CST: Bush’s rhetoric here is some of the best I’ve seen from him in a very long time. The speechwriter did a very good job here. We’re finally getting more of the wartime President that Bush was after the atrocities of September 11, 2001. Bush is always best when he is speaking of this war — he believes in what he says, and it shows.
8:17PM CST: I wish the President had been more explicit in tying Iraq to the overall war, and there were things that I wish Bush had said, but this was one of the best Bush speeches I’ve seen since 9/11. Bush is a President with many faults, but one thing is clear: he understands what the stakes are in this conflict. He understands that the only way we will achieve victory is to end the conditions that create groups like al-Qaeda.
Bush was clear in his belief and strong in his convictions. We’ve needed that side of Bush for a while, and it’s time that Bush made it clear what we’re fighting for and given the American people a reassurance that we will achieve that victory that will keep us safe from terrorism.
Red State has the complete text of Bush’s speech.
In related developments, Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has been captured by US troops in eastern Afghanistan. Hekmatyar was an anti-Taliban fighter who switched sides and has been helping the Taliban strike at Afghan and coalition troops. Hopefully we’ll get confirmation of the capture soon.
Typically, The Daily Kos is blaming everything on Bush. For some, it’s partisanship first, partisanship to the last, and partisanship always. Not a word of tribute.
UPDATE: Everyone must have been watching football… I’ll have more reactions tomorrow, if my schedule allows.