President Bush's speech today was nine parts rhetoric to one part reality – the same recipe that has left the American people more at risk from terrorists today than when the U.S. invaded Iraq one year ago.
Delusion and deception have marked the White House's approach to this war from the start – and today's remarks continued in that tradition. But the American people are not buying his line. They know that invading Iraq was the wrong priority when our primary aim must be tracking down terrorists with a global reach.
No amount of spin can change the facts nine months after the President announced "mission accomplished." More than 560 Americans are dead, 3,200 are wounded, and our military is over-stretched. The bill to American taxpayers is $170 billion and counting and our allies are in retreat. With 90 days to go before the handover in Iraq, we still have no plan.
The presidentps remarks were also notable for what he did not mention – gone was any talk about weapons of mass destruction, mushroom clouds, imminent threats, or Saddam's ties to al Qaeda. The president's refusal to come to grips with the past is alarming, but his failure to offer up effective policies for the future is downright dangerous.