Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Time to Rally Around President Bush

By John W. Lillpop

In one of his finest speeches in recent memory, President Bush announced a new plan for fighting the war on terror in the Iraqi theater. The president appeared sincere, contrite for past failures, and firmly committed to winning the war.

Although the president announced the deployment of more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops to fortify Baghdad, he made it abundantly clear that the new commitment is not open-ended, and that the Iraqi government has been so advised.

Iraq will be required to meet several performance measurements, both military and economic, to secure the nation and to end the sectarian violence that has ripped the fledgling democracy to pieces for far too long.

American troops will be on hand for a limited time to help the Iraq government achieve its performance goals.

Importantly, the president reminded the American people that accepting defeat is unthinkable. Rather than stabilizing the Middle East, leaving Iraq without finishing the job would do the exact opposite.

Surrender would embolden and empower Islamic extremists seeking to destroy western civilization through the use of global terrorism. Imagine a Middle East dominated by the likes of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It is not a comforting thought, is it?

Almost without exception, Democrats are rigidly opposed to the president’s new plan. Most of them want the troop level in Iraq reduced, rather than increased. None of them have proposed a formula for winning; rather, “Retreat and Surrender” seems to be the operative theme for Democrats.

Aside from all the political posturing, wrangling, and partisan attacks from both sides of the aisle, there is a human element to this story that must be considered.

Namely, as a result of a change in plans by the U.S. commander-in-chief, acting to fulfill his constitutional responsibility and authority, more than 20,000 dedicated Americans will have their lives disrupted in the most dramatic manner imaginable.

Unfortunately, some of those patriots will go to Iraq, but will not come home alive; others will be injured or disabled for life.

Imagine being one of the Americans called upon to sacrifice his or her education, family, career, and even life in response to a call from the commander-in-chief.

Imagine also the emotions and hurt that must race through the hearts and minds of those brave Americans upon hearing elected politicians dismiss the plans of their commander-in-chief, and openly predict failure and defeat.

Everyone acknowledges that Democrats are entitled, even obligated, to question and provide opposition ideas and oversight. In our democracy, that is their responsibility.

However, this nation is engaged in the most serious and dangerous war in our history. And while many disagree with the new Bush plan, the plain truth is that the president is acting within the U.S. Constitution.

There is no debate about the president’s authority to act as he has.

Consequently, it is time for all patriotic Americans to unite behind the president and support his new plan.

If nothing else, do it to encourage the 20,000 Americans who tonight are facing a very difficult and uncertain future. Remember that they will be headed into harm’s way to protect and defend we Americans and the freedoms and way of life we cherish.

John Lillpop is a recovering liberal, "clean and sober" since 1992 when last he voted for a Democrat. Pray for John: He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people like Nancy Pelosi are considered reasonable!