In the Wall Street Journal, Historian John Q. Wilson writes the speech he thinks George Bush should deliver on Iraq:
We are winning, and winning decisively, in Iraq and the Middle East. We defeated Saddam Hussein’s army in just a few weeks. None of the disasters that many feared would follow our invasion occurred. Our troops did not have to fight door to door to take Baghdad. The Iraqi oil fields were not set on fire. There was no civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. There was no grave humanitarian crisis.
Saddam Hussein was captured and is awaiting trial. His two murderous sons are dead. Most of the leading members of Saddam’s regime have been captured or killed. After our easy military victory, we found ourselves inadequately prepared to defeat the terrorist insurgents, but now we are prevailing.
Iraq has held free elections in which millions of people voted. A new, democratic constitution has been adopted that contains an extensive bill of rights. Discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, or politics is banned. Soon the Iraqis will be electing their first parliament.
An independent judiciary exists, almost all public schools are open, every hospital is functioning, and oil sales have increased sharply. In most parts of the country, people move about freely and safely….
The progress of democracy and reconstruction has occurred faster in Iraq than it did in Germany 60 years ago, even though we have far fewer troops in the Middle East than we had in Germany after Hitler was defeated.
We grieve deeply over every lost American and coalition soldier, but we also recognize what those deaths have accomplished. A nation the size of California, with 25 million inhabitants, has been freed from tyranny, equipped with a new democratic constitution, and provided with a growing new infrastructure that will help every Iraqi and not just the privileged members of a brutal regime….
We made no mistake ending Saddam’s rule. We have brought not only freedom to Iraq, but progress to most of the Middle East. America should be proud of what it has accomplished. America will not cut and run until the Iraqis can manage their own security, and that will happen soon.
I got into lots of blog hot water once when I said that much of Bush’s problem is a PR problem. Yes, that was too glib. But I am still amazed that for all the spinning he does, he’s still bad at it. He should hire Wilson as his speechwriter.
: Meanwhile, Dave Winer points to a speech his father, Leon Winer, says Bush should deliver (both blogging and bluntness are hereditary, one way or the other). It is matter to Wilson’s antimatter:
1. I have put my expected gain ahead of the well-being of the people of the United States. In seeking to maximize my wealth and the wealth of my family and close friends, I have ordered our military to invade Iraq. My objective was to grab half the Iraqi oil – worth $50 billion per year, and rising.
2. In implementing my attempt to grab Iraq’s oil, I have caused the deaths of more than 2000 Americans and uncounted tens of thousands of Iraqis. I have also caused the maiming of thousands of Americans and Iraqis. I have also wasted hundreds of billions of dollars of US Treasury funds in fighting the war in Iraq.
This is why wikitorial was doomed to fail. This is how far apart we are on our interpretations of what is happening in Iraq.