For 33 minutes and 27 seconds, President George Bush addressed the nation about the war in Iraq Monday night. He said 3,644 words. Those words meant a lot to me. They are his course for the future.
But let me explain some things.
Those words did not stop the tears that have been shed and will be shed over troops who are battling across the sea to stop terrorism and make peace in an unmerciful place. It will not stop tears from mothers, fathers and loved ones who have stood and will stand over caskets of fallen soldiers who gave their all. I often think and tear up when I think of "our" hometown soldier Jerry Wilson who was killed in Mosul, Iraq, November 23, 2003, while most of us were sleeping in a land free from bombs and terrorism. The speech did not stop tears from injured soldiers who are maimed by the conflict and whose life will never ever be the same. The speech will not stop the horror that our soldiers will face in the quiet of the night when they recall what they had to do to bring freedom to those not free. Our soldiers have to take lives. Do you know what that means?
And sadly, the speech will not stop the detractors who think they know more and can do better. That is just one of the things about living in America.
Personally speaking ... it's like this. On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, between 8:46 a.m. and 10:10 a.m. four hijacked planes slammed into America. The nation gasped and far-reaching decisions had to be made in moments.
A self-professed man of God leading this country gathered his best and brightest and set about dealing with what occurred.
Some will say that there were warnings of what would happen. OK, perhaps so. Have you ever gotten an e-mail or chain letter that tells of what you must do to stop a tragedy from befalling you? You make a decision based upon your best information. That is what the president did.
Steps were taken in the following hours, days, weeks and months to deal with what had occurred and would occur. This country was and is under attack and the man in charge is doing, with God's guidance I might add, what he is led to do. I am sorry that men and women and innocent people have to die because of the spread of freedom from rape, killing and terror that our country and her allies are trying to purvey. We are the greatest country in the world. Sometimes we have to strap on that responsibility and do what we can to foster the greatest good for the greatest number.
Sure, I know that there are those who will bellyache and enjoy the pleasure of Monday-morning quarterbacking. They have that luxury because they are not in the hot seat. Makes it real simple doesn't it?
What will happen? Who knows?
Dick Fellers, a friend of mine, and I think we have the solution. It was his idea ... and it works for me. When the presidency is in hand, (if it is to be in hand for Bush-and face it, the president wants to be president again-he has some unfinished business) Bush should notify the soldiers to step back from the hot spots shortly after gathering those innocents who will heed their warning.
Next should come razor sharp attacks which would exterminate those who have no conscience of knowledge of right or wrong. There are those that will clamor about why he wouldn't do that now. He won't do that now because it isn't time now. Dick and I think there will be steps taken to settle this thing other ways. None of those ways will be satisfying to all.
I am sad to say more soldiers will die before this crisis is settled. That is horrible. But so was 9-11. So are those terrorists that killed and murdered thousands in Iraq. So were the threats of countless other hijackings received moments after the initial attacks on the U.S. along with many other acts that have been fostered by the rape of our country by terrorists.
The president had to and has to act.
He did and is doing so.
Get over it.