RUSH: I mentioned earlier President Bush kicking butt at a speech this morning in South Carolina on the war on terror and the war in Iraq, and we have three bites, and I want to play them for you. Here’s the first of the three.
THE PRESIDENT: Our top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has said that Al-Qaeda is public enemy number one in Iraq. Fellow citizens, these people have sworn allegiance to the man who ordered the death of nearly 3,000 people on our soil. Al-Qaeda is public enemy number one for the Iraqi people. Al-Qaeda is public enemy number one for the American people, and that is why for the security of our country, we will stay on the hunt, we will deny them safe haven, and we will defeat them where they have made their stand.
RUSH: Can you imagine, ladies and gentlemen, how this irritates the kook fringe base of the Democrat Party and Pelosi and Harry Reid? They are trying to disrupt George W. Bush’s confidence; they’re trying to shred it; they’re trying to get everybody in the country isolated from him, including other Republicans, and he doesn’t care. Second bite here.
THE PRESIDENT: Some note that Al-Qaeda in Iraq did not exist until the US invasion and argue that it is a problem of our own making. The argument follows the flawed logic that terrorism is caused by American actions.
RUSH: Right on, right on.
THE PRESIDENT: Iraq’s not the reason that the terrorists are at war with us.
RUSH: Right on, right on.
THE PRESIDENT: We were not in Iraq when the terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.
RUSH: Right on, right on.
THE PRESIDENT: We were not in Iraq when they attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
RUSH: Right on, right on.
THE PRESIDENT: We were not in Iraq when they attacked the USS Cole in 2000, and we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001. Our action to remove Saddam Hussein did not start the terrorist violence. An American withdrawal from Iraq would not end it.
RUSH: Amen. The only thing that I know many of you are saying, ‘Where’s this been? We’re all saying it. It needs to have been said by the president.’ He said it today. It was at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina. Here’s the last bite.
THE PRESIDENT: Our troops are now working to replicate the success in Anbar and other parts of the country. Our brave men and women are taking risks, and they’re showing courage, and we’re making progress for the security of our citizens and the peace of the world. We must give General Petraeus and his troops the time and the resources they need so they can defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
RUSH: (clapping). Right on, right on. As long as he’s at the helm, that will happen.
RUSH: Now, talking about President Bush and following up his remarks, the New York Times has a story today, and it’s basically a poll. You just know it had to pain them to publish this. The headline: ‘Support for Initial Invasion Has Risen, Poll Shows. — Americans’ support for the initial invasion of Iraq has risen somewhat as the White House has continued to ask the public to reserve judgment about the war until at least the fall. In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted over the weekend, 42 percent of Americans said that looking back, taking military action in Iraq was the right thing to do, while 51 percent said the United States should have stayed out of Iraq.’
Now, that’s down to 51%. It was much, much higher than that. So the trend on this is public support for the initial invasion, and therefore staying there has risen. They go through all kinds of qualifiers here. For example, ‘However, the number of people who say the war is going ‘very badly’ has fallen from 45 percent earlier in July to a current reading of 35 percent, and of those who say it is going well, 29 percent now describe it as ‘somewhat well’ compared with 23 percent just last week.’ So public attitudes about the war are improving. Now, how can this be? How in the world can this be? How could this happen, if the Drive-By Media aren’t slowing it down, and burying the news of the success? They have had four years, or more, of daily, deadbeat, drumbeat after drumbeat of how rotten this is, how horrible it is, the pictures, the burning cars, the obligatory scenes after the IEDs go off. How in the world can it be that the public opinion of the initial invasion and that we should be there is rising? How can it be? Oh, Snerdley, come on, you know better than that. Snerdley is telling me it’s because the burning cars aren’t on TV every night. That’s a factor, but there’s two words to explain this. One or two words, depending how you wish to reserve expression. It’s either me or Rush Limbaugh.
We’ve been on the case here for the past two to three weeks on this, trumpeting the surge. Democrats can’t de-fund the war. They can’t get resolutions passed with large enough majorities. I don’t care how you break the poll apart, the Democrats, I guarantee you today, Democrats, because the New York Times is their house organ, the New York Times is their Bible, and they’re calling emergency meetings to deal with the surge’s success. They have to figure out how to either undermine the reporting of the surge success or either undermine the surge itself. Guarantee you. Folks, I tell you, they have got everything for 2008 wrapped up in this. They have already proclaimed this a loss. Harry Reid has waved the white flag. We can’t win, we shouldn’t win. You go to the debate last, Obama says get the hell out of there, have the Syrians and the Iranians handle the mess and the genocide that happens later, tell them they have to do it? They’re the ones causing it in the first place. They want to cause it, just as they are in Lebanon. They cannot afford for this to be victorious for the American people to perceive it as such because they have got everything invested — fundraising, everything else — invested in failure and defeat.
If this turns out to be a demonstrable victory or with demonstrable progress that continues prior to the 2008 elections — I told you this was going to happen — they have locked themselves into a position where they aren’t going to be able to claim credit for it at all, not real credit. Now, they’ll tell you how they’ll try to massage it. This is hypothetical. Let’s assume that the surge continues to work and Petraeus continues to come up with successful plans, and let’s say at some point it becomes undeniable that it is working, that Al-Qaeda is falling apart. The evidence is growing , folks. I told you yesterday, 25 tribes, Sunni and Shi’a joined forces with us to fight Al-Qaeda in Iraq because they’re sick and tired of the barbarism. Even low-level Al-Qaeda terrorists are caving and becoming informants, telling us things we need to know to root these guys out. So let’s say it continues and it becomes inarguable that there is much progress being made and it’s worth sticking it out and it can be won, what are Democrats going to do? The only way they can claim any credit that I can see now is to say that their unrelenting pressure on the president to get this done right is what tipped the scales. Then they get credit for all the authorizations they get credit for to send body armor — it isn’t going to fly but that’s what they’ll try to do. Mark my words.
But I guarantee you after this New York Times story they are buzzing in the cloakrooms behind closed doors, emergency meetings. ‘What can we do? This is not going our way.’ They probably have a little failing confidence in the Drive-Bys because the Drive-Bys apparently do not have the overall power still and ability to shape massive public opinion.