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May 01, 2007

Mission Accomplished

By Carl Goldstein

We can't allow the fourth anniversary of Bush's Top Gun moment to pass unmentioned. Wasn't it a fine moment in our history when our flyboy president rode onto the carrier Abraham Lincoln and proclaimed the end of main combat?

Perfectly appropriate of the Democrats to drape the newly-passed Iraq War spending supplemental around his shoulders, deadline and all. Bush vetoed it, as promised, but it's beyond me why they should be signalling a willingness to remove timelines in favor some fairly ill-defined benchmarks.

Bush meanwhile draped himself in generals as he denounced the Democrats. He said the measure would “impose impossible conditions on our commanders in combat” by forcing them to “take fighting directions from politicians 6,000 miles away in Washington, D.C.”

This from the man who fired Army Chief of Staff Gen. Shinseki before the war when he had the temerity to tell Congress it would take "several hundred thousand" troops to secure Iraq. 'Nonsense,' quoth all the sage men. Not to mention the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors who predicted the war would cost $50-100 billion. (The most recent war spending bill pushes the total well past $500 billion.)

And the man who fired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers last summer because he refused to endorse the "surge." Myers and his top general on the ground in Iraq both got retired before their time, replaced by the more pliant David Petraeus. Bush then imposed the so-called new approach -- more accurate to call it a desperate punt.

The Karl Rove strategy is obviousy to harp on the F-word, as in Failure: “Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible,” Mr. Bush said. “Failure in Iraq should be unacceptable to the civilized world.”

Harry Reid was only stating the obvious last week when he called the war "lost." Meaning it's long past the time that the US is capable of influencing the situation in Iraq in a positive direction, much less control or direct it.

Bush knows his war is lost. His whole strategy now is to kick the can down the line until he leaves office, whence he can proclaim for the rest of his life that all would have been well if Congress had only listened to him.

Posted by Carl at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)