I listened to President Bush’s speech at Annapolis.
The thing with the Midshipmen and the Academy Band and a predictably warm reception is amusing. If he really wanted to hear them cheer, he should have given them "amnesty" for any disciplinary penalties they may be "enjoying." There is nothing like a general release from confinement to barracks to "pump" cadets, midshipmen, or OCS candidates.
What was said that was of interest?
We "learned" today that Zarqawi is not the commander of the revolt in Iraq. This is great since the administration and its "claque" has been insisting that the war is between foreign terrorists under Zarqawi and the forces of the coalition on the other side. Everyone seriously involved in other than propaganda and manipulation of public opinion has long known that to be untrue, but the Bushies seem to have felt compelled to "stick" with that in order to maintain the fiction of the supposed Iraq-Jihadi alliance.
Now, someone has gotten the prez. to say that there are three, THREE, parts to the insurgents population:
1-The "Rejectionists." Read "ordinary Iraqis" for that "Mostly Sunni Arabs," (his words) He says that these are people who want to restore their previously dominant role in Iraqi society. Absolutely.
2- Baathist hold-outs for a Restoration. (This would be nothing like Charles the 2nd’s return from France, trust me.) Presumably, these guys have the money.
3-Jihadi religious fanatics, some local, some foreign. Not more than 10% of total but responsible for most suicidal activity. No problem there, either.
He did not mention the awkward implication of (1) above that there are a hell of a lot of supporters maintaining this force in existence, but based on the speed with which the administration acknowledges the truth, we should see an admission of that in a year or so.
Is this important? You bet it is! Up until this morning, the "Zarqawi Madness" insisted on by the government was a straitjacket within which the intelligence people and the command in the field had to operate.
This changes a lot in both the operating environment and the political parameters within which a solution must be found.