Bush Sees Possible Troop Cuts in Iraq
President Bush raised the possibility Monday of U.S. troop cuts in Iraq if security continues to improve, traveling here secretly to assess the war before a showdown with Congress.
The president was joined by his war cabinet [when did the press start calling it his "war cabinet"?] and military commanders at an unprecedented meeting in Iraq over eight hours at this dusty military base in the heart of Anbar province, 120 miles west of Baghdad.
Bush did not say how large a troop withdrawal might be possible or whether it might occur before next spring when the first of the additional 30,000 troops he ordered to Iraq this year are to start coming home anyway. He emphasized that any cut would depend upon progress.
I say to the President, respectfully, pick whatever number you wish. You do not want to lose the momentum. But certainly, in the 160,000 plus — say 5,000 — could begin to redeploy and be home to their families and loved ones no later than Christmas of this year.
So, here's how I see the narrative: The surge is working so well that we can bring home 5,000 troops to fight the war on Christmas. But we mustn't set forth any timetables beyond that because things are really starting to move politically over there. Haven't you heard? Everybody's saying that the Prime Minister is on the rocks. That signals political change --- just what we've been waiting for! Hallalujah. All we need to do is hang on just a bit longer to see how that all pans out.
In February 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell, addressing the United Nations Security Council, claimed to have proof that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. He did not, in fact, present any actual evidence, just pictures of buildings with big arrows pointing at them saying things like “Chemical Munitions Bunker.” But many people in the political and media establishments swooned: they admired Mr. Powell, and because he said it, they believed it.
Mr. Powell’s masters got the war they wanted, and it soon became apparent that none of his assertions had been true.
Until recently I assumed that the failure to find W.M.D., followed by years of false claims of progress in Iraq, would make a repeat of the snow job that sold the war impossible. But I was wrong. The administration, this time relying on Gen. David Petraeus to play the Colin Powell role, has had remarkable success creating the perception that the “surge” is succeeding, even though there’s not a shred of verifiable evidence to suggest that it is.
Our country's authoritarians are glorifying the Leader today like it's 2003, all for his very brave (and covert) sneaking into Iraq. Jules Crittenden (cousin of David Frum) uses language typically reserved for Jesus to describe Bush's every movement:NPR reporting he's landed, enroute to an econmic summit in Australia. Web reports now coming in.He is risen. This is the same Jules Crittenden who, back in January on the day of the President's speech unveiling the Surge, began his post this way: "George Bush will address us tonight, and show us the way forward." He will show us the way forward.
AP: He's in Anbar, landed at Al-Asad. . . . he's expected to meet with al-Maliki and Sunni tribal leaders who've joined the United States and the Iraqi government against al-Qaeda.
Similarly, Blue Texan notes that Glenn Reynolds -- in addition to linking to the Crittenden post above -- also linked to a post which began this way: "Unlike the last Commander-in-chief, is there any doubt that the men and women who serve our country love President Bush." Finally, Fred Kagan, writing in National Review, declared that Bush's trip "should be recognized as at least the Gettysburg of this war" -- at least -- and that the Leader's Glorious Visit "could well mark a key turning point in the war in Iraq and the war on terror."
He is Jesus. He is Lincoln. He is beloved by Our Troops. He "shows us the way forward." He is Our Leader.
This is an under appreciated aspect of the working the refs tactic. By contrast to this delusional clap-trap, the MSM believes itself to be harsh and skeptical. Neat, huh?