Get the latest on Operation Phantom Thunder (the surge) here.
I’ll probably be taking a couple of calls but would prefer your questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She’ll be on at 7:05. Stream the show here.
John Bohner calls the Democrats, Smith, Snowe et al “wimps.”
The president spoke today:
In my address to the nation in January, I put it this way: If we increase our support at this crucial moment we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home. The real debate over Iraq is between those who think the fight is lost or not worth the cost, and those that believe the fight can be won and that, as difficult as the fight is, the cost of defeat would be far higher.
I believe we can succeed in Iraq, and I know we must. So we’re working to defeat al Qaeda and other extremists, and aid the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in the war against these extremists and radicals. By doing this, we’ll create the conditions that would allow our troops to begin coming home, while securing our long-term national interest in Iraq and in the region.
The fight in Iraq is part of a broader struggle that’s unfolding across the region. The same region in Iran — the same regime in Iran that is pursuing nuclear weapons and threatening to wipe Israel off the map is also providing sophisticated IEDs to extremists in Iraq who are using them to kill American soldiers. The same Hezbollah terrorists who are waging war against the forces of democracy in Lebanon are training extremists to do the same against coalition forces in Iraq. The same Syrian regime that provides support and sanctuary for Islamic jihad and Hamas has refused to close its airport in Damascus to suicide bombers headed to Iraq. All these extremist groups would be emboldened by a precipitous American withdrawal, which would confuse and frighten friends and allies in the region.
There is something else I want to ask you about as well. If the American people are so sick and tired of this war, and they are, if they’re sick of the wanton killing by al qaeda and extremists, don’t you think they would be even more disgusted, angered, and unwilling to have that kind of violence in the United States?
From the press conference this morning occured this exchange:
Q Mr. President, in addition to members of your own party, the American public is clamoring for a change of course in Iraq. Why are you so resistant to that idea, and how much longer are you willing to give the surge to work before considering a change in this policy?
THE PRESIDENT: First, I understand why the American people are — you know, they’re tired of the war. There is — people are — there is a war fatigue in America. It’s affecting our psychology. I’ve said this before. I understand that this is an ugly war. It’s a war in which an enemy will kill innocent men, women and children in order to achieve a political objective. It doesn’t surprise me that there is deep concern amongst our people.
Part of that concern is whether or not we can win; whether or not the objective is achievable. People don’t want our troops in harm’s way if that which we are trying to achieve can’t be accomplished. I feel the same way. I cannot look a mother and father of a troop in the eye and say, I’m sending your kid into combat, but I don’t think we can achieve the objective. I wouldn’t do that to a parent or a husband or wife of a soldier.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com