Last night George W Bush gave his final State of the Union address. The full text is here.
My favourite speeches use simple and direct language. There is nothing flashy about these words on the surge of troops into Iraq but they capture the importance of what General Petraeus has delivered for the Iraqi people:
"One year ago, our enemies were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. So we reviewed our strategy and changed course. We launched a surge of American forces into Iraq. We gave our troops a new mission: Work with the Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people, pursue the enemy in its strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country. The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened. Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their country. They saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists, and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return."
The sentence "Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them
instead saw tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their
country" is particularly powerful and I would like to think that Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind the president and one of the politicians who campaigned for the abandonment policy, was feeling just a little bit uncomfortable, even regretful.