Showing him the way

I couldn’t listen to the State of the Union speech live.  I needed to be able to hit the pause button and run and take some Pepto Bismol. Once my stomach settled I was able to continue.  As I mentioned earlier, the President really didn’t say anything surprising.   Evil, 9/11, extremists, wicked, liberty, terrorists.  Ideological struggle.  Same thing different day. 

When are we really going to take the fight to the terrorists?  We know that there are Al Qaeda cells in Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, probably Pakistan and Afghanistan.  When are we going to take the fight to these guys?  Yes, we did strike a small group of folks in Somalia a couple of weeks ago.  We need to do more.  The president did not propose anything new in this area.

So, he did wade into the Iraq thing.  He wants us to believe that everything was fine until the attack on the mosque.  Unfortunately nothing to be further from the truth.  Everything was not fine.  Sectarian violence existed before and after the attack on the mosque.  Sunni leaders had stated (and have stated again) that they do not want to live under Shiite domination.  They have stated clearly that they want to rule Iraq.  Well, this poses a problem.  President Bush did not mention anything about the problems that the militias have caused.  He did not mention anything about Iraqi politicians supporting the United States during the day and militias the at night.  He did mention that the Iraqi government needed to stand up and defend itself.  As a whole, we heard nothing new here.  We did hear a plea for our support.

Here’s what I will support, a comprehensive plan to quell violence in Iraq, rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq, to repatriate Iraqis who have fled into Jordan and other surrounding countries, and to help Iraq build a functioning economy and government.  So far, I’ve not seen such a plan.

Senator Jim Webb’s response was right on target.  He closed with these words — “if he does, we will join him.  If he doesn’t we will show him the way.”  Of course, Senator Webb was talking about leadership and the right kind of leadership.  Watch the video.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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