Monday, January 08, 2007

Bush Announces Brilliant New Plan For Iraq

Tonight President Bush pledged a "New Way Forward" for America's troubles in Iraq and vowed to somehow find 20,000 troops that aren't already in Iraq and send them there. This Troop Surge will fix Iraq and we will be victorious!

Oh, wait, that's tomorrow night's news.

No, tonight, we just get to sit around and wait for Bush to wheel out his already-tired-before-he-announces-it scheme for Victory in Iraq. A strategy all but already repudiated by the Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate. This brings to mind the question of "What the Hell is wrong with George Bush?" Why is he so stubborn, so unwilling to change ANYTHING that he does?

In the final paragraph of the New York Times' Jan. 2 story about the impending new Iraq strategy, President Bush is quoted as telling members of the Baker-Hamilton commission that "victory" was still his goal in Iraq: "It's a word the American people understand, and if I start to change it, it will look like I'm beginning to change my policy."

So... does Bush not want to change his policy? Or just not LOOK like he's changing his policy? Either way, Bush's obstinacy portends nothing good. It suggests that any reduction of American troops is impossible while he's in charge. Forget a pullout, forget a reduction, and forget even a simple lowering of American troops' profile, nothing in this realm is on this president's agenda. As Bush warned his commanders, "What I want to hear from you is how we're going to win, not how we're going to leave." Good to see you're open to all options, Mr. President.

Bush's obstinacy also suggests that he believes the American people don't want reductions and pullouts to be on his agenda, and that we don't want him to change his rhetoric or his policy. He's wrong, and the November elections should have proven that to him. I expect public reaction to Bush's Iraq Surge™ to be blisteringly nasty.

Besides, it's not like this is the first time we've heard from Bush that he's got some Secret Plan For Victory™. He wheeled this same exact speech out back in January 2006, remember? And 2006 was a BANNER year for America in Iraq, right? Why on Earth would anyone expect that he'd change his mind now when the facts are so clearly on his side that his team knows what they're doing?

I fully expect Bush to be the last man on Earth to admit that he's been wrong about Iraq from word one. His unwillingness to acknowledge mistakes, however profound or trivial, is legendary. Bush has an unwavering commitment to his beliefs, which can be an admirable trait... or it can be the hallmark of the delusional; it depends on the vision. In Bush's case, we can safely expect him to reiterate a new version of the same old plan that's not winning in Iraq.

What I don't expect tomorrow is for America to continue to follow him headlong over his cliff. Just that bothersome 25% who think he can do no wrong.