A lie, or misleading statement is not altogether unforgivable. Even when outright and completely intentional, most can dig deep enough to accept an apology and move on. But the key to healing is an admission, or at least the ability to adjust with the times, and show that one has learned, and intends to continue improving towards a great good.
While some people believe Bush tried last night to reconcile differences, and ask for the country to unite in a common and, what he thought was a mutually acceptable goal for our military, tell-tale signs that Bush hasn't really changed, learned, or even attempted to stop speaking and thinking in distorted realities. And the saddest part is, his words are so thinly veiled attempts at a positive outlook that even the most enthusiastic optimist begins to grimace.
We are bringing troops home because we cannot afford to: a. Extend their tours, and b. Pay them. We have made slight military gains, but that was all a part of a larger diplomatic goal, one of which the Iraqi governance has not come anywhere near meeting, and in fact - the government is right now standing on the precipice of full collapse. Yet Bush never mentions these reasons. I understand he is trying to be a champion of the American cause, and he should be standing up for morale. But troops and the American people's morale's will tip if they sense they are being lied to, or are somehow not worth the effort of straight talk. If we, as a nation, are as brave and wonderful as Bush touts, we can take it.
When dealing with a problem, or talking about the problem, you usually attack the main aspects of the problem, and then work down towards the less prominent ones. Well, no one disputes their are terrorists in Iraq. But the numbers show that clearly the main problem is sectarian violence and general upheaval in a country in the midst of civil war. When Bush mentions Al Qaida and 9/11 for the umpteenth time, we can see the rhetorical lights flashing on the screen -- this time in all the glory of high definition. And clearly, you'd have to be high to except this as the definition of our main issue right now while fighting in Iraq. If we were there solely to eradicate the terrorist cells, we should have moved onto Iran by now (but thankfully we havent yet, because that is definitely not a good idea, anyways).
What really is interesting to analyze from a speech-giving, diction-choosing standpoint is the way in which this war has been described, and the words used in denigrating the opposition's view. All this denigration of the phrase "pull out," or leaving prematurely, and lack of strength against the enemy -- it all sounds like a strange sexually charged rhetoric, as if somehow we, as a nation, will be emasculated. Whenever the president refers to "cut and run," the only image that comes to mind is that of a man ejected from the bedroom, tripping over the unzipped pants still around his angles. Pardon, but what kind of abusive relationship are we involved in here? And how did we read the signals so incorrectly? No one is the Middle East has been giving us the military equivalent of come hither glances. However you define it, this complicated relationship with Iraq and the Middle East is way past couple's counseling.
The seemingly smallest problem with the speech can also be expanded to explain the largest problems. Bush still doesn't understand that their is only one "u" in nuclear. The fact that he is so obdurate, that he can't be bothered to change "nuke-u-lar" to "new-cle-ar" shows his inability to be flexible with anything else. He will not change course unless forced by insurmountable circumstances, and he will not admit mistakes, not phonetically or politically. So how can we forgive, and even worse, how can we possibly heal?