Not a day more
Posted by aogThursday, 27 February 2003 at 08:33 TrackBack Ping URL
Andrew Sullivan, while overall praising President Bush's speech last night, expresses concern over the statement "We will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more":
I'm a little troubled by the phrase: "not a day more." It's as if the president still believes that a real commitment to Iraq and to the region as a whole will be unpopular at home. It needn't be - if the president makes Iraq a corner-stone of this country's commitment to a freer and therefore more stable world.
Personally I am encouraged by that statement. I interpret Bush's "not one day longer" as applying to the occupation of Iraq, not the presence of US troops or other influence. It is critical that we make it clear that the US intends to occupy Iraq for a limited time to achieve a specific purpose and that afterwards we expect Iraq to be once again an independent nation. Note that Bush specifies that we will not leave behind "occupying armies". Exactly right. Note also that Bush cites specific historic examples where we still have "armies" present in the territory of our defeated enemies, but armies of alliance, not occupation. I think that same fate for Iraq is to be devoutly hoped for.