State of the Union – Let Me Extend My Bayonet in Friendship
"With malice toward you, with charity towards contributors, let us bind up my wounds and swear allegiance to the new Supreme Court, and continue our Holy Crusade..."
As so many Americans have had to, during this president's tenure, let me try to sort through the rubble--this time, the rubble of the State of the Union Address. Let me isolate a few key moments. The quotes are directly from the text of the speech.
First, the "uniter, not a divider" part--
"In a system of two parties, two chambers and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another, and I will do my part."
Okay, cool, let's not examine how the tone in Washington got so uncivil in the past few years. Fine...so you, Mr. President are going to show more civility and--
"...however we feel about the decisions and debates of the past, our nation has only one option. We must keep our word, defeat our enemies and stand behind the American military in this vital mission. "
Buuuut that suggests there's only your side to this story. Also, it's your
word we're keeping. Is there a way to keep our word, defeat our enemies, and not lose more lives
in this conflict? Suppose we believe in a free democratic Iraq, but face the fact that they are years and years away from defending themselves, and establishing order, if ever? They can't protect the participants in the Saddam Hussein trial, a small population that they know is in danger. And gee, you never did mention Bob Woodruff, the ABC anchor man who was critically injured while riding in an Iraqi army vehicle, instead of riding in a more secure U.S. military vehicle.
And I'm confused about "standing behind the American military." Is this a junta? These men and women are risking their lives for us. They
didn't decide to attack Iraq. They're just following your policies. I respect their commitment, sacrifice and patriotism.
Does that mean any time a soldier gets in harm's way, we are obligated to endanger all of them?
"Marine Staff Sgt. Dan Clay was killed last month fighting in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here"s what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to. Never falter. Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who had the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."
Let me check my hearing. Did you just use the death of a fallen Marine to justify your policy? Terrific. Did your name come up? Did he mention a good Republican candidate for 2008?
Sheesh. All that's missing is a reference to 9/11.
"It is said that prior to the attacks of Sept. 11"
There we go--
"It is said that prior to the attacks of Sept. 11 our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to Al Qaeda operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late. So to prevent another attack, based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute, I have authorized a terrorist-surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected Al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority."
Okey-doke. Three questions: 1. Does this mean that, next time, you’ll pay attention to briefings that say, “bin Laden to strike in U.S.” and “terrorists to fly airplanes into buildings”; and 2. Why do you care what the federal courts think? This whole eavesdropping controversy stems from the fact that you wouldn’t go to the courts to get a warrant in the first place. 3. Can you guarantee us that you view this as looking for a needle in a haystack, and not looking for a needle in a needlestack? I mean in a country with “only one option,” isn’t all dissent suspicious?
"The Palestinian people have voted in elections, and now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism and work for lasting peace."
Great idea. When do you want to do that? Is Thursday good for everybody, or do you think it'll take 'til after the weekend?
"We show compassion abroad, because Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with H.I.V./AIDS or an infant with malaria or a refugee fleeing genocide or a young girl sold into slavery. "
Fantastic. Does this mean we're going to spend the money you promised to spend on AIDS? What's a fair lag time before we do what you say we're going to do.
That's just a few lowlights of one of the most partisan speeches in the history of the State of the Union.