Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today's Reading Assignment

Courtesy of Spy the News and a reader at Tigerhawk, who offer excellent dissections of the Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union Address, delivered by freshman Senator "One Term Jim" Webb of Virginia. As O-be-Wise observes, Mr. Webb offered a false comparison of the situation in Iraq, and President Eisenhower's efforts to end the Korean War. In his speech, Senator Webb suggested that Eisenhower recognized Korea as a bloody stalemate, and used diplomacy to bring the conflict to an end.

"As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end. [Eisenhower] took the right kind of action... for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action.... If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way."

But, as an anonmyous poster at Tigerhawk points out, President Eisenhower used a much more forceful approach to hammer out a cease fire in Korea:

Interesting that Webb invoked Eisenhower ending the Korean War. According to this cached google report (and multiple other sources), "Nearly three years later, Truman's successor, President Dwight Eisenhower, also wielded the threat of U.S. nuclear use. In May 1953, Eisenhower authorized an expanded Korean bombing campaign, prompting the North Koreans and Chinese to respond by increased ground action. As part of the heightened military activity, the Joint Chiefs presented six different scenarios for ending the war, "most envisioning the possible use of atomic weapons," according to an official Pentagon history. "After the NSC reached a seeming consensus on May 20 to employ atomic weapons both strategically and tactically--that is within and outside the Korean Peninsula--the administration communicated its resolve to the Chinese and North Koreans. . . . Both Eisenhower and [Secretary of State John Foster] Dulles believed the message had the desired effect" of ending the war, the history reads." So, is Webb saying the US should threaten the use of nuclear weapons to end the Iraq war?

Naturally, One Term Jim didn't include those historical facts in his State of the Union response. But then again, Mr. Webb has become quite adept at "adjusting" the truth to fit Democratic Party talking points, as we observed shortly after his election victory last fall.

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