I was going to chastise President Bush for not speaking out on the issue of Iraq, but he now will address the nation on Monday night to speak about Iraq.
The news about Iraq has been relentlessly negative, while the actual situation on the ground is unchanged from what it was, and in some cases better. The media is trying to lose this war for us, and Bush must combat that perception of undue panic and fear. I agree with Tom McCobb who wrote into InstaPundit noting that Bush must make it clear that the media isn’t giving the straight story on Iraq. The American people know it, but Bush must go out and set the story straight.
Bush needs to hit a couple of points. First he needs to make it clear that the initial justification for the war – Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction do exist, and we’ve found one of them. The media has buried the story, Bush needs to push it into the forefront. He also needs to note that this shell is just one part of a larger arsenal, and the US will find and secure whatever remains.
Bush also needs to remind us why we’re fighting this war, and what the enemy we fight is. He needs to talk about the horrific murder of Nick Berg and why we cannot allow those murderers to go free. He needs to make the link betwen a free and a democratic Iraq and a reduction in terrorism. He needs to tell the American people why the sacrifice of nearly 800 US soldiers has been worth it. That will be a tough sell, but he can do it.
Bush must be resolute, clear, forceful, and strong in this speech. This speech will be the one that will either put him back in the lead over Kerry or reinforce the creeping doubts that have spread around him. He cannot afford to screw things up. This needs to be a speech as clear, as resolute, and as bold as his September 20, 2001 speech before Congress and the nation. His political career is on the line here, but most importantly the future of this war is on the line. If we fail in Iraq, we fail ourselves, and the consequences of that failure will be catastrophic.
I trust he can do this. Mr. President, don’t let me down.