The State of the Union address is on of those time honored traditions that allows the president to stand before Congress and blow smoke up their (and our) behinds. Take the one last night.
"we are all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this Nation's prosperity ... to spend the people's money wisely ... to solve problems, not leave them to future generations ... to guard America against all evil, and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us."
Let me count the ways this statement is absent of reality--Iraq $$$$$, 3,063 dead soldiers/22,951 wounded, a foreign relations fiasco that has China, North Korea, the whole of the Middle East, South American nations, ramping up their forces.
"we must balance the federal budget. We can do so without raising taxes. What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009 - and met that goal three years ahead of schedule. Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years. I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the federal government, and balance the federal budget."
How do we do that when we are waging war? Our Defense budget is 19% of our GNP and 35% of our national budget.
If American forces step back before Baghdadis secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country - and in time the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.
Isn't it already? Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia all rattling sabers and funding militias in Iraq.