State of the Union Recap, part 2

Posted: February 10, 2007 by April Watkins in Current Events, Issues, Our Government, Politics, Small Towns
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We continue our recap of the State of the Union address, focusing on The President’s International Agenda where the emphasis is the War on Terror.  Bush correctly states that this world-wide conflict is “the decisive ideological struggle of our time.”  I have spoken with several high-ranking military analysts who all confirm that this war with radical Islam is much more dangerous than the threats faced in WWI, WWII or even the Cold War.   

Both sides of the aisle in Congress know that America and other western nations face an extreme threat from radical Islamists.   However, it seems to have become increasingly impossible for our politicians to put aside their own personal aspirations in order to do what is right for our country, rather than what will appeal to more voters.  The partisanship we see in Washington is appalling.  It disgusts the American people who, in turn, simply tune out of the debate and allow these same self-concerned politicians to deal with the problem.  (Hmm…maybe that’s the objective…but I digress.)

Neither side of the political leadership is willing to tell us the true, and horrifying, facts of this terror situation.  The Democrats want to downplay the problem, some even suggesting such lunatic ideas as simply talking to the bad guys to make them understand.  While the Republicans, afraid of losing what little control they now have, give us watered down versions of tactics and plans that have been through so many edits that they are ineffective.  Where are the statesmen/women in today’s government?   

I suppose my biggest frustration has been the Bush Administration – not because I disagree with their politics, but because they have delayed too long in taking the unpopular, polarizing step to declare that the problem is Islam.  We are now beginning to see the terrifying product of ignoring radical Islam with Iran’s defiant demonstration of its military threat. 

Bush’s International Agenda focuses on stabilizing the situation in Iraq by securing Baghdad through the influx of additional US troops to the arena.  The new plan for securing Iraq involves embedding key US troops and operatives into Iraqi units to help train and guide strategic operations.  Creating a secure capitol city is the foundation for achieving a functional Iraqi government.   In addition, at the recommendation of Defense Secretary Bob Gates, The President has asked Congress for authority to strengthen our military by increasing its ranks by 92,000 by 2012. 

The other focus on the International Agenda is helping to deal with the epidemics of HIV-AIDS and Malaria on the African continent – a devastation of massive proportion.   Let us all pray that these new initiatives work – because what happens abroad will affect us at home…and that is Why It Matters. 

 

From The White House / Office the Press Secretary
J
anuary 23, 2007
Excerpts from:  “2007 State of the Union Policy Initiatives”
President Bush’s International Agenda 

WAR ON TERROR / IRAQ
President Bush discussed his determination to defeat the terrorists who are part of a broader extremist movement that is now doing everything it can to defeat us in Iraq. If the extremists prevail in Iraq, the American people will be less safe and our enemies will be emboldened and more lethal.

  • The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict – IT IS THE DECISIVE IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE OF OUR TIME. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. It is in our Nation’s interests to stand with moderates working for the cause of freedom across the Middle East.

  • For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq. The consequences of failure are clear: radical Islamists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions.
    Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people.

  • Now is the time for the Iraqi government to act. Iraq’s leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks to achieve reconciliation – to share oil revenues among all of Iraq’s citizens, to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq, to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, to hold local elections, and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province.

  • To achieve progress in Iraq, we must first secure Baghdad. The President’s plan to deploy more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq will help the Iraqi government take back its capital and make good on its commitments.

  • The President believes his new Iraq plan is the best way to succeed. The President proposed the establishment of a special advisory council on the War on Terror made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties. It is important for our country to come together in this hour of war and to give the President’s new plan an opportunity to succeed. More information on the President’s
    Iraq strategy is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-3.html .

STRENGTHENING OUR MILITARY
Acting on the recommendation of Defense Secretary Bob Gates, President Bush asked Congress for authority to increase the overall strength of our active Army and the Marine Corps by 92,000 Soldiers and Marines through 2012.  A larger, all-volunteer Army and Marine Corps will expand the capabilities of our Armed Forces while reducing the stress on the force and the war fighter caused by deployments in the Global War on Terror. It may take some time for these new troops to become available for deployment, but it is important that our men and women in uniform know that additional manpower and resources are on the way. 
PRESIDENT’S EMERGENCY PLAN FOR AIDS RELIEF (PEPFAR)
President Bush discussed how the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) is meeting his commitment of $15 billion over five years to support treatment for 2 million people, prevention of 7 million new infections, and care for 10 million people. PEPFAR is the largest international health initiative in history dedicated to a single disease. PEPFAR works worldwide, but targets 15 focus countries that are home to approximately half of the world’s 39 million HIV-positive people: Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, and
Zambia.
 MALARIAPresident Bush discussed how the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is saving lives. Announced by President Bush in June 2005, PMI is a five-year, $1.2 billion program that challenges the private sector to join the U.S. government in combating malaria in 15 of the hardest-hit African countries. In December 2006, the President and Mrs. Bush hosted the White House Summit on Malaria, bringing together experts; corporations and foundations; African civic leaders; multi-lateral groups; and voluntary, faith-based, and non-profit organizations to join PMI in the goal of cutting malaria’s mortality rate by 50 percent in these target countries, freeing the citizens of these African nations from the grip this of debilitating disease. CIVILIAN RESPONSE CAPACITY
President Bush called for the development of a strong Civilian Response Capacity to provide critical assistance to the development of civil society and reconstruction efforts.  

You may find the full script of The President’s State of the Union Address online at:  www.whitehouse.gov.   

 

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