Pardon me for pointing this out, but shouldn't he have had a Strategy for Victory when he STARTED the bloody thing? I mean, since it WAS "at a time and place of our choosing," after all, he MIGHT have laid down a plan or two from the get-go. But no. That would require competence.
A couple of things I noticed, though (actually from the text of the proposal, not the speech. The speech said the same thing in nearly the same words, though):
"Iraq would become a safe haven from which terrorists could plan attacks against America, American interests abroad, and our allies."
You know what that is? It's an admission that this was a completely disastrous thing to do. Because there was no danger that Iraq could become a such a safe haven before we invaded.
We CAUSED the place to become a possible "safe haven from which terrorists could plan attacks against America." We TURNED it into another Afghanistan. We invaded, and we left the borders unguarded and we let the terrorists in.
Now Al Qaeda has the chance to establish a beachhead in the Middle East, and Bush ADMITS that. Thanks to him.
"The enemy is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida. Distinct but integrated strategies are required to defeat each element."
In that part of his speech, Bush pointed out that the largest group was Sunnis - NOT terrorists. The largest group that makes up what Bush calls "the enemy" is Iraqis. And they are being driven to fight by the fact of our presence. Our presence in the country is CAUSING an uneasy alliance between terrorists and Sunnis, on the principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
You know what I think will happen if we leave? There may well be a civil war. But - and some of you may find this a bit unsettling - if Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds finally start fighting each other, like they've been wanting to for the last century, well, let them. Not our business. It isn't worth US having a war to prevent THEM from having a war. They want one, anyway.
But what will also happen is that the Sunnis will start fighting Al Qaeda, which they aren't doing NOW. They don't like those people. Al Qaeda are maniacs who keep setting off suicide bombs and killing civilians. The Iraqis HATE them. But right now, we and the Iraqi Army are fighting the Sunnis AND Al Qaeda. But if we leave, resistance to our occupation will be removed as a rallying cry and a point of alliance, and the Iraqi Army AND the Sunnis AND the Shii'ites AND the Kurds will ALL start fighting Al Qaeda.
I don't think there is a chance in hell of Al Qaeda actually taking over in Iraq - they are grossly outnumbered and hated by the whole country. UNLESS WE STAY. Because our presence there forms a flashpoint of unity for groups that would normally be at enmity, and is enabling Al Qaeda to gain support - or at least a lack of opposition - from those who would normally hate them.
This is a disaster. Bush caused the disaster. Our invasion caused the disaster. Leaving will END the disaster.