If You Were There

Deborah Venable



Concentrating an additional 20 plus thousand U.S. troops in and around Baghdad could work to turn the negative tide of violence in the Iraq War.  That is the most optimistic opinion we will hear from those being freely flung in the news media in the days after “the speech” by President Bush last night.  The most pessimistic, of course, is the liberal, Democrat, enemy, (take your choice) broken record denouncement of anything that comes out of Bush’s mouth.  What you won’t hear is an alternative to this plan that would insure America’s continued safety, prosperity, or freedom from any of the aforementioned armchair “experts” who continue to pummel this administration’s efforts to accomplish anything positive.


The man looked tired to me last night.  He looked sick and tired, in fact, and I can’t say as I blame him one little bit.  To tell you the truth, the only negative take I had on the speech was the lack of any element of surprise in what he had to say.  I guess I was hoping for something out of “right field” – a gotcha that would once again tell the whole world and all the enemies here at home that we are not going to be the whipping post for all the world’s idiots any more.  I had a dream scenario going on that went something like this:


Bush:  Good evening.  I know a large portion of my fellow Americans think I have made a bungling mess of things since I took office six years ago.  Most of you think I can’t speak worth spit, that I have no idea what the hell I’m doing here, that I am just a dummy puppet for the rich oil industry and elite special interests, not to mention the shadow government and those controlling the military industrial complex.  I know you have no respect for me, my family, my education, my military service, my choices or decisions for everything from domestic policy to fighting terrorists world-wide.  You don’t understand enough to know that I was elected by you and not selected by underhanded political tactics, so none of you who hold me in such contempt will believe that you have any responsibility toward seeing that I do anything but fall flat on my face and take the country down with me. 


That’s okay. 


The fact is that you did elect me.  The fact is that I do love this country, and I know that I am running out of time to do something that will insure its protection after I have served my last two years.  I’m not gonna kid you here – I would like to insure that my legacy will not be in as much question as my predecessor’s still is, but that can not and will not be my top priority in the twilight of my presidency.  I must do whatever I can to insure that the majority of people in the world, including and especially my fellow Americans, will not fall to an overpowering evil because too many of you seem to think that America sucks!


So, I’ve generated a list here: (He holds up a steno pad size sheet.)  These are countries that I have the power to wipe off the face of the earth right now before anybody can do anything to stop me.  When I do this, somebody might get lucky enough, if they are stupid enough, to take a crack at us and do a little damage here at home – but I have determined that the risk is worth it.  It will sure beat the definite alternative to following the armchair experts’ advice, so that’s the way it is.


By the time I’ve finished speaking, Tehran and Mogadishu will be vaporized, and by the time my Democrat counterpart has finished ripping this speech apart, Pyongyang, Damascus, and Islamabad will have faded into a bad dream.  If Beijing or Moscow or anybody else in the world wants to so much as call me on it, they will all be next – long before I turn in for the night. 


Oh, and by the way, I’ve sent an eviction notice to those occupants of that building in New York with all those foreign flags around it.  I think you get my drift. 


Now, if you people in my own party and all the others have a problem with any of this, you figure out how to handle the mess after you’ve forced me out.  One thing is for sure though.  The press won’t have to invent any news tomorrow. 


All you high paid analysts will have your hands full trying to fill all the orders for appearances to explain how the world views America in the morning.  All you religious zealots that have been second-guessing what this War on Terror is all about and how Iraq has played a central role in it better get in touch with your inner selves and decide whether your religious ideas about killing innocents or defending evil are worth kissing your future existence good-bye. 


You folks in Europe and Iraq get a pass this time, but you’d better darned well decide to do what it takes to defend yourselves against anything that threatens what freedom you have because of America’s past sacrifices for you.  We’ll probably be out of the salvation game for awhile.  It will be up to you to take care of your own demons.  All of our guys and gals are going to come home to their families and protect our own shores for quite some time to come – at least until we can oust all the undesirables in this country.  


If anybody messes this up after I’m out of office, frankly, I don’t give a damn because I have been and are going to be blamed for everything negative that happens in the world as long as there are liberals to write it up in the history books. 


In parting, I would just like to suggest that anyone who has no idea what to do at this point should get off their butts and go on a manhunt for bin Laden and all the other surviving members of the various terrorist groups that will still be skulking around the four corners of the earth until they are all rounded up and killed.


Good night and good hunting.


Yes, that would have been a pleasant surprise at this point.  If you don’t think that would make the bad guys sit up and take notice, then you still just don’t get it.  If you think America needs respect, then you realize that respect must come from a showing of strength – not weakness. 


But there remain so many who do not understand the central role that Iraq has played in the fight against terrorist rule in the world.  To say that we are at war on terror does not state the case specifically enough.  We are at war with anyone who would utilize terror or the threat of terror to subjugate individual freedom.  You cannot fight such people with the diplomacy of speech alone.  It’s like trying to raise good children using only the “time out” theory.  It just seldom if ever works. 


Now, I haven’t seen any of the Democrat hecklers of Bush’s speech last night take any responsibility for the way that the war has been waged in Iraq.  Instead they are back peddling on their agreement with the decision to go to war there, (if they did agree) or they are saying that too few troops have been used and that’s why we aren’t winning.  (These are probably the same folks that will try to sell you on the idea that you need more teachers for fewer students to make a positive impact on education too.)  The fact is that more is not always better – but discipline and respect will always work in the absence of civility.  The reason we have the trouble in Iraq today that we have is because the troops were sent there to fight that war hobbled.  They were expected to bow down to the sensibilities of the enemy.  It is still amazing to me that we have enough volunteers willing to fight such a war!  But God Bless them!


Now, to the crux of last night’s predictable speech; the president has decided to send more troops into Iraq to beef up the policing authority of the new Iraqi government in their effort to clean out the dung heap of terrorists and feuding radicals who have no interest in seeing their country succeed.  So, if you were there, trying to do this hard, dangerous, dirty work, how would you feel about what the president had to say? 


Do you think our troops already on their second or third deployment to Iraq, or about to be sent on a fourth possibly are arguing the necessity for trying something different like this?  Do you think the good and honest people of Iraq are complaining that more U.S. troops will be striving to make it safer for them to leave their homes in Baghdad and go out to make a living?  Do you think anyone except those we can easily define as our enemies will be dancing in the streets to the tune of “Yankee Go Home”? 


If you were there, how would you react to Senator Durbin’s attack immediately following the president’s speech where he said, “The Iraqis must understand that they alone can lead their nation to freedom. They alone must meet the challenges that lie ahead. And they must know that, every time they call 911, we are not going to send 20,000 more American soldiers.”


Even if you were there as an enemy, what would that tell you about America’s credibility?


Finally, if you were there in the White House as the president of the United States, how long could you stand the job if you were trying to deal with so much that the public is totally unaware of, that the politicians and the media continue to spin for some ungodly agenda that has nothing to do with retaining or restoring America’s honor – much less the security of her people?  How would you come across as you went before the cameras of a much publicized address to do what everyone has insisted you do whether or not it is actually true – own up to making mistakes in the war against terrorists?  I personally, don’t think there can be any fault found with what he had to say.  If you were really all there, I doubt you could find any fault either. 


As the contest heats up for those who want to be there – in his shoes in a couple of years – I hope they all realize that if they happen to get the job, they may be wishing that my scenario had played out last night.  The job would probably be considerably easier, no matter which party the new pres belongs to. 



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