Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush's speech

The expected:

  • -No real change in strategy, not really even a shift in tactics, just a few more bodies. I mean seriously is this news, that instead of just securing trouble areas we're going to really, really secure them?
  • -He's still referring to 9/11, jeez!
  • -He'd really prefer to start new wars with Syria and Iran.
  • -So, he'll give the al-Maliki government until November to get they're act together, then he'll need another 18 months to get his act together. After which he'll just have to admit failure and leave office I suppose. Hey wait a minute...!

The unexpected:
  • -No swagger.
  • -Hardly any Democrat bashing.

Joe Gandelman has a nice survey of blog reaction here. But as I commented at Joe's site:

Funny, it seems to me one of the most cogent comments on Bush’s change in “strategy” (it’s really a shift in emphasis in tactics, but why quibble over the president’s abuse of english at this late date?) comes from someone not even commenting on the speech. Juan Cole citing a SacBee story:

The Americans keep putting their eggs in the basket of “standing up” the Iraqi army. Nancy Yousself reports on how difficult that is, given sectarian divisions. The problem with using armies to settle civil conflicts is that the army inevitably becomes infected by the same sectarian or ethnic passions that inflame the general population, so then it cannot be the solution. [Emphasis mine-CK]

In effect, standing up further Iraqi regiments only better arms and trains future, or current for that matter, militia members.

Nope, all we're doing is bringing the Cheney Doctrine to its logical(?) conclusion: we can't leave until we "win", and since we can't win, we can't leave.

Please believe me when I express my sincerest hope that I am dead wrong about all of this.

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