Thursday, January 27, 2005

An Ideal, Not a Shift in Policy

In a press conference yesterday, President George W. Bush cleared up the intent of his Inaugural Address.

Q Sir, your inaugural address has been interpreted as a new, aggressive posture against certain countries, in particular Iran. Should we view it that way?

THE PRESIDENT: My inaugural address reflected the policies of the past four years that said -- that we're implementing in Afghanistan and Iraq. And it talked about a way forward. I think America is at its best when it leads toward an ideal. And certainly, a world without tyranny is an ideal world. The spread of freedom is important for future generations of Americans. I firmly believe that free societies are peaceful societies, and I believe every person desires to be free. And so I look forward to leading the world in that direction for the next four years.

Q Do you see it as a policy shift?
THE PRESIDENT: No, as I said, it reflects the policy of the past, but it sets a bold, new goal for the future. And I believe this country is best when it heads toward an ideal world. We are at our best. And in doing so, we're reflecting universal values and universal ideas that honor each man and woman, that recognize human rights and human dignity depends upon human liberty. And it's -- I'm looking forward to the challenge, and I'm looking forward to reaching out to our friends and allies to convince them of the necessity to continue to work together to help liberate people.
Prediction: We will shortly begin to see opinion pieces coming out with a general theme of "If only the Inaugural Address was a shift in grand strategy and was resourced properly, starting with a 100,000 ground force end-strength increase...."


Blogger Josh Jasper said...

What I look forward to is leftists suddenly importing dissidents from nations Bush is in delicate negotiations with, and making a big deal about what he said in his Inaugural Address.

The amount of embarrasment they could cause by simply siding with Taiwanese nationalists is huge.

12:21 PM  
Blogger J. said...

You mean like this one?

"Increasing our ground forces, Wash Times - Official Washington is quickly reaching consensus that U.S. ground forces need to be bolstered by a significant margin over the long-term. The proposals are in the range of 40,000 to 150,000 more troops. We're inclined toward the high end of those proposals, and maybe even higher."

I respect Maj Gen Scales' views and like his books. There is a certain logic to increasing the number of triggerpullers on the ground as opposed to building more planes and carriers, especially if you see more insurgency fighting ahead, but try arguing that in Congress.

Molly Ivins has a good editoral out also, saying basically the left needs to say YES we agree with you Mr. President. Then we can watch as this administration does nothing to promote the very ideals that Bush has voiced.

1:06 PM  
Blogger J. said...

Oops it was Ellen Goodmant that made the comment of agreeing with Bush's speech and holding him to the particulars, not Molly. Both great editorialists.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Herb Ely said...

I still wonder about the implications of Bush's equating America's vital interests with its deepest beliefs. Today'sWaPo has a story about restrictions of freedom of the press in Venezuala. Could Bush meen that we would put soldiers in Venezuela to defend our belief in freedom of the press? While Bush went on to say that not every belief should be defended by the force of arms, his statement about vital interests seems to me to be ominously open ended.

9:40 AM  

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