"The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi army and national police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts." Translation: As they stand up.The plan, as being implimented, is using Kurdish Peshmerga forces for Baghdad security, because Shi'ite forces are not trusted to fight against Shi'ite militia. But, Kurdish troops will hardly be seen as beat cops. Kurds are not Arabs. They are as much a foreign, occupation army as the American soldiers.
"These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations; conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents." Translation: They will be friendly, neighborhood beat cops.
"These (American) troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis...." Translation: They will be babysitters, or is that observers, or maybe commanders?In the latter days of the Roman Empire, Roman commanders would place their barbarian mercenaries in the front of the battle. Crack Roman legions would be behind them, ready to kill the mercs if they ran instead of fought. There is nothing "well defined" in this. A major unanswered question is what will be the role of the embeds? Are they leaders, followers, or disengaged watchers? Will the Iraqis expect the Americans to do all the dangerous missions or will the Americans angle their weapons at their Iraqi allies and tell them to go in first? What will happen the first time an Iraqi captain issues an order to an American private embedded in his unit?
"This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods (home to those fueling the sectarian violence)." Translation: Expect bloody, street-to-street fighting that will make Fallujah look like a Sunday picnic.There are two million people living in Sadr City, the home of Muqtada al-Sadr's Madhi Army. That is twice the population of the city of San Diego. This is going to get ugly.
"To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs." Translation: We are going to make them spend money they don't have.The Pretty Pink Pony moment of the Bush speech. In theory, Iraq gets $35 billion in oil revenue. The reality is significantly less. Billions are lost to official corruption. Billions more to organized criminal gangs. Even more will be lost when the United States forces the Iraqi government to give foreign oil companies up to 70% of Iraq's oil revenue.
"We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped army..." Translation: God knows they need it.Iraqi forces complain they have no vehicles, no body armor, not even enough bullets. But, they have been kept in that state for a reason. The US military does not trust Iraqis with guns.
"We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq." Translation: Be prepared to expand the war into Iran and Syria.This is the "My God, He's Crazy" moment of his speech. Bush followed up these words with an attack on Iranian sovereign territory, the Iranian diplomatic consulate in Irbil, Kurdish Iraq. The US-Iraq War is leading inexorably to a US-Iran War.
"We must expect more Iraqi and American casualties." Translation: There is no hope.No further comment is need, God save us all.
"The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will." Translation: When there is no hope, there is always prayer.
"We carefully considered these proposals (for withdrawal). And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear the country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale." Translation: After me, all hell will break loose.Note the use of the Royal We. Apres mous le deluge. The words of Madame de Pompadour, mistress to King Louis XV of France, and George III of the United States.
There were many words that translate to the same thing: "Stay the course" and "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down," only much more of the same. There was a promise of more blood and more death. I didn't watch the speech (see footnotes) but I have seen a couple of short clips and read several reviews. The delivery was stiff and awkward. It was as if he had been hectored to "be serious" and "don't smirk so much." Even his true believers in the rightwing blogs gave him low marks for presentation. If the goal was to inspire the nation, Bush failed miserably. A delivery that looked like a classroom presentation by a nervous 12 year-old will probably fail to reassure the country that Bush knows what he is doing.
Bush labored mightily, and brought forth a mouse. At least two nations, maybe more, will continue to suffer for his lack of imagination and lack of common sense.
Footnotes: 1) From this moment forth, I refuse to grant George Bush the title of President.
2) I no longer watch Bush's speeches. Watching and listening to him literally dissolves my brain cells, I can feel intelligence leaking away. And, when he gives that half-smile smirk of his when talking about dead American servicemembers, I want to commit a federal crime punishable by death - and do it with my bare hands. I used Eason Jordan annotated transcript as my reference for the speech.