Well enough of chili and cornbread and
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make “a last big push” to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration’s internal deliberations.
Mr Bush’s refusal to give ground, coming in the teeth of growing calls in the US and Britain for a radical rethink or a swift exit, is having a decisive impact on the policy review being conducted by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker, the sources said.
Although the panel’s work is not complete, its recommendations are expected to be built around a four-point “victory strategy” developed by Pentagon officials advising the group. The strategy, along with other related proposals, is being circulated in draft form and has been discussed in separate closed sessions with Mr Baker and the vice-president Dick Cheney, an
war hawk. Iraq
Lastly, the sources said the study group recommendations will include a call for increased resources to be allocated by Congress to support additional troop deployments and fund the training and equipment of expanded Iraqi army and police forces. It will also stress the need to counter corruption, improve local government and curtail the power of religious courts.
It sure seems to me that this is basically what “the plan” has been for the last three years. I sure don’t see any “new” strategy for changing the dynamic. Put more troops on the ground and get the Shia and Suni to play nice. Give me a break.
Funny thing…yesterday Gen. John P. Abizaid told the Senate that the phased troop withdrawals being proposed by Democratic lawmakers would not be good and that an increase in troop strength might have a “temporary” positive effect. Then he also said that the American military was stretched too thin to make such a step possible over the long term. And he said such an expansion might dissuade the Iraqis from making more of an effort to provide for their own security.
“We can put in 20,000 more Americans tomorrow and achieve a temporary effect,” he said. “But when you look at the overall American force pool that’s available out there, the ability to sustain that commitment is simply not something that we have right now with the size of the Army and the Marine Corps.”
This is going to be the big test for the new Democratic Congress. Are they going to be willing to stand up to Bush on the Iraq war and put their foot down when it comes to increasing troop levels and throwing more money into the cesspool? If they falter here I can guarantee you that they will not be back after 2008. The message from the American people was loud and clear. Change the
When I saw the Newsweek cover with Daddy Bush muscling toward the front with Dubya cringing in the background, my first thought was: How is GW going to react to this? It is no secret that GW resents his father and is way too vain and insecure to take this meddling from his Daddy’s men.
Bush has, more than once, tried to diminish and belittle his father's influence and political record. Truth be told, the Newsweek cover was probably a bigger slap at his self image than the election results. As a matter of fact, I was surprised that there wasn’t more of an uproar over his obvious contempt for the American people during his post-election press conference with his blatant put-down: "I thought when it was all said and done, the American people would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security." The implication here is that the American people were too stupid to realize their good fortune during his reign as
Bush's reaction to Newsweek and the rest of the media pushing the line that Daddy's men are moving in to rescue his administration was just a week after the election. He didn’t wait long to try and take back the initiative and prove he was the “decider”. What is amazing to me is that the new conventional wisdom seems to be that somehow through the magic of television or something an incompetent and very corrupt gang of thieves is suddenly transformed into a wise, moderate and accomplished bunch of saviors of the American dream and can rescue this presidency from its own disastrous failures. Truly amazing.