Well, I missed the beginning of it but what I’m hearing is about what I expected to hear.

Iraqi Oil Wealth Sharing? About time. [UPDATE: Instapundit notes this too and says “A bit late, but perhaps not quite too late“.]

This seems to be a rather mediocre delivery. Which is pretty good for W. Once again I’ve got the feeling that if Tony Blair were the US President and was giving this same speech using the exact same text, folks in living rooms across America would be standing and cheering every point.

He notes that if we announced phased withdrawals, the killings will be on a “scale unimaginable”. Actually, they’re not all that unimaginable. We’ve seen them before. When we’ve left before we should have. When we never went in the first place. They are all too imaginable.

UPDATE: Related to the Bush’s speech, though, I’d like to point out something that I noticed earlier today on the excellent Defense Tech post I pointed out:

Good analysis in this video from Paul Rieckhoff and Lt. Gen. Rick Francona. “This is not like a Haily Mary pass on the part of the President,” Paul says. “This is like calling a draw play when you’re down big in the 4th quarter.”

You can see the interview (with the lovable Chris Matthews) on YouTube. The analysis, as Noah on DT says, is good. But the football analogy is godawful.

Who, anywhere at any time, is comparing this “surge” to a “Hail Mary pass”? Hail Mary passes are last-second, last-ditch, nothing-left-to-lose all-or-nothing play at the end of the game when you are leaving your fate in the hands of Providence because there’s no other option. This “surge” is nothing like that at all. In any way. And I don’t know of anyone who has said that it is.

However, the “draw play when you’re down big in the 4th quarter” isn’t close to the mark, either. Why? Because it isn’t like a draw play. We aren’t down big. And it isn’t the 4th quarter. Otherwise it’s a very solid analogy.

Murdoc’s quick football analogy: We are leading 13-12 with about ten minutes to go in the second quarter. We have the ball on our own 30-yard line, 2nd down and 8 yards to go. This play is a simple hand-off to our running back.

He’s likely to run for 3 or 4 yards. Maybe more, maybe less. Pretty safe play. A good cutback could spring him for a long-gainer, but likely only if the defense screws up. Probably sets up a third down. If we fail, we punt. But there’s a lot of time left in the half. And there’s another half to go.

Oh. And it’s only the second game of the season.

Iraq is crucial. But there’s a long, long way to go.


  1. As far as comments that concern the militias and that walking toadstool Sadr… about time. As far as the statement concerning Syria and Iran. Hmmm am I wrong in assuming that it was very very open to interpretation? This could get interesting. I agree with the concepts though. I would have turned most of the Iranian and Syrian border areas into free fire zones two years ago. As far as Sadr and his clique…well they could have been usefull in determining if a Javelin missile could lock onto a running human…(or maybe even some old Dragon missles, they were allways so cute going down range with those jato rocket girdles for course correction 🙂

  2. Its true the speech was hardly inspiring, but Americans want action now, and less talk. Results not rhetoric! And I think this is going to work. If you remember the First Word War, its 1918 in Iraq, and this may be the allies last chance. Also look for a last ditch go-for-broke attack by the terrorists, or the Media, or both.

  3. Now that you’ve got that off your chest, could you please translate it into English? Or if you must use a sporting analogy, could you either use cricket or real (i.e. unAmerican) football, so the rest of the world has a chance of working out what on earth you’re talking about?

  4. P.M.: LOL. Come on! Everyone loves American football. I don’t know why some people insist on calling soccer ‘football’, as it doesn’t even use a real football. It uses a soccer ball. Duh. Translation of Murdoc’s quick sports analogy: It’s close right now but still early in the game. Our current effort might be on the verge of stalling, but we’ve got a few opportunities to keep it going. The play we called was a safe, rather predictable one, and basically a continuation of current strategy rather than a sudden change of pace. If we perform well it should yield some results, though not necessarily as much as we need right now. On the other hand, if we catch a break or two, or the opposition makes a mistake that we can take advantage of, the play has the potential to change the game. Most importantly, and worth repeating, is the fact that it’s not late in the game. It’s true that some are calling for the game to end, but if they prevail it won’t be because the game reached its conclusion, but because we quit. (Threw in the towel, to use another sports metaphor…I take it they have boxing in the non-civilized parts of the world?) Just the realization that its still the first half and that we aren’t getting beat badly would do a lot to get expectations in line with reality, and realistic expectations based on realistic assessments (and realistic sports analogies) would go a long way toward us getting to where we want to be. Or at least getting us closer to meaningful discussions.