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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|My Kingdom For An "Orator In Chief"|
Below is the text of the President's statement this morning regarding the foiled terrorist plot.
The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.
I want to thank the government of Tony Blair and officials in the United Kingdom for their good work in busting this plot. I thank the officials in Washington, D.C. and around our country who gather intelligence and who work to protect the American people. The cooperation on this venture was excellent — cooperation between U.K. and U.S. authorities and officials was solid. And the cooperation amongst agencies within our government was excellent.
This country is safer than it was prior to 9/11. We've taken a lot of measures to protect the American people. But obviously, we're still not completely safe, because there are people that still plot and people who want to harm us for what we believe in. It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America. And that is why we have given our officials the tools they need to protect our people.
Travelers are going to be inconvenienced as a result of the steps we've taken. I urge their patience and ask them to be vigilant. The inconvenience is — occurs because we will take the steps necessary to protect the American people.
Again, I appreciate the close cooperation between our government and the government of the United Kingdom. The American people need to know we live in a dangerous world, but our government will do everything we can to protect our people from those dangers.
I was able to listen to this statement as it was being delivered this morning, and it struck me as, well . . .
Sure, there was the soon-to-be-controversial use of "Islamic fascists," but, come on . . . And the text does not quite convey the haltingness or lack of passion in this statement. Seriously, this is supposed to be this guy's strong suit, the staff had almost 9 hours to prepare the text of this statement, and this is what he comes up with.
How about "With the full cooperation of members of the American government and law enforcement at all levels, our British friends and brothers have averted a massive plot to kill hundreds of innocents. MI5, Scotland Yard, and the government of Tony Blair deserve our thanks and admiration for their diligence, vigilance and courage.
"There are those who seem to have forgotten the constant threat that the United States is under; that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of militants in the world who work every day to find a way to penetrate our defenses. In part, that is because of the continued success of our efforts and the efforts of our allies. Unfortunately, this success today by British authorities only diminishes that threat by a small part. We can be sure that other groups are trying, as we speak, to position themselves to kill huge numbers of free peoples.
"The British government used the tools at their disposal to great effect today; unfortunately, in our own country, some of the tools we use to protect our citizens have been compromised. But the American people need to be reassured that we in their government are doing everything in our power to protect them from the hatred and violence of a foul ideology. In some instances, this will cause great inconvenience; that is, unfortunately, the price a people pay when they are at war with vicious men who have no moral qualms about murdering the defenseless and the innocent.
"Again, I wish to congratulate and thank the British people and government for their great efforts in defense of democracy today. And while we rejoice at the preservation of life represented by today's arrests, we pledge to redouble our efforts to work cooperatively around the world with every government and people who strive to be free of the shadow of evil.
"God Bless the Queen, and may God continue to bless the United States of America. Thank you."
Of course I allow a myself a little conceit here that I have any clue how to write--it's my blog, so, dammit, I'll go ahead and allow that conceit.
But what my writing lacks, whatever the President said today was still weaker, in my opinion. GW is at his best speaking directly, honestly, and from his own convictions. Today's statement was like a laundry list of things he "has to say."
And, unfortunately, this isn't just about politics; after an event like this, the country cries out for leadership. Strong, direct, unwavering leadership. And I doubt anybody felt ready to jump up behind the President after this morning's statement.
Another missed opportunity.