This week the topic of President Bush’s radio address was funding for the Iraq war. First the president talked about his meeting with Congressional leadership on Wednesday, “On Wednesday, I met with congressional leaders from both parties here at the White House. We discussed ways to pass a responsible emergency war spending bill that will fully fund our troops as quickly as possible. It was a positive meeting. Democratic leaders assured me they are committed to funding our troops, and I told them I’m committed to working with members of both parties to do just that.”

The president also expressed an understanding of why the Democrats passed the bill that they did. “I recognize that many Democratic leaders saw this bill as an opportunity to make a statement about their opposition to the war. In a democracy, we should debate our differences openly and honestly. But now it is time to give our troops the resources they are waiting for,” Bush said. He then played the terrorist card again, “I know that Republicans and Democrats will not agree on every issue in this war. But the consequences of failure in Iraq are clear. If we were to leave Iraq before the government can defend itself, there would be a security vacuum in the country. Extremists from all factions could compete to fill that vacuum, causing sectarian killing to multiply on a horrific scale.”

“If radicals and terrorists emerge from this battle with control of Iraq, they would have control of a nation with massive oil reserves, which they could use to fund their dangerous ambitions and spread their influence. The al Qaeda terrorists who behead captives or order suicide bombings would not be satisfied to see America defeated and gone from Iraq. They would be emboldened by their victory, protected by their new sanctuary, eager to impose their hateful vision on surrounding countries, and eager to harm Americans,” the president said.

The interesting thing is that he conveniently fails to mention that it was his botched and unnecessary preemptive war that planted and fertilized the seeds of hatred towards America in Iraq. I still am befuddled at how the president blames al-Qaeda for everything bad in Iraq and overlooks the role of Iraqi Sunnis in the insurgency. The president still wants to believe that he is at war with al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Qaeda really isn’t an organization anymore, it has morphed into an ideology, and it is foolish to think that we can find a military solution to an ideological war. Since the president can’t seem to grasp the reality that the vast majority of those trying to kill American troops are Iraqis, no one should be surprised that he also won’t grasp the ideological elements of this war. The Bush presidency has become a case study in poor executive decision making, with the war in Iraq it’s most glaring example.

   Full text of Bush’s radio address

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at
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