T-MINUS 48 HOURS TO WAR
If there was any doubt about it before the speech, now there is none. If Saddam Hussein and his sons do not leave Iraq by the day after tomorrow, then President George W. Bush is ready to roll.
- The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.
But better still was his message to the Iraqi people -- acknowledging that some could hear him on a radio translation, he addressed them directly. (He did not, as I guessed earlier, address Saddam in the second person -- I should have considered an important fact: By now if not before, Bush considers Saddam a non-person.) He assured the Iraqi citizens that as American forces enter the country they will bring food and medicine. Bush did a similar thing in his Axis of Evil SOTU last year: He spoke past the corrupt leadership to the people (in that speech it was to the pro-American majority of Iranians), and stood with them against their hated dictators.
Bush also spoke to the Iraqi military:
- If war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your life.
- Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people.
Within a few hours, pundits with a transcript, better education and more sleep will expand on these points. But this is my initial reaction, and it was a magnificent address. It was a stark choice for Saddam and a sincere promise to Iraqis; we are now less than two days' time from the commencement of a historic battle, one whose consequences may be greater than any military engagement since Vietnam, and whose results may be more beneficial than any war since WWII.
That's all for Armed Prophet tonight. This is the bloggingest day so far in the two-and-a-half months since the site's launch, and until the war is over, expect to see a similar level of posting. Armed Prophet pledges to be your first source of information about the war as it unfolds. See you in the morning.