I suppose you could read the President’s insistence that “victory” in Iraq was still possible, whatever that means, and that “we need to increase the size of the military”– as a repudiation of public opinion and will, particularly as expressed in the recent mid-term elections. Because the public has said it wants out. In no uncertain terms. In overwhelming numbers. And the public means out NOW. Bush’s approval on Iraq is around 24% and 70% affirmatively disapprove… “No mandate” is quite the understatement. So… when Bush pouts like the spoiled child he is and insists that nothing much will change re: Iraq (or worse… as in he’ll send more Americans to die or be maimed in this counterproductive seemingly quixotic quest)… one wonders what the game is.
Josh Marshall has a pretty good take on how “the surge” is just a “run out the clock” game for the next two years … which is consistent, because everything– and I mean everything between George W. Bush’s alarm clock going off in the morning and Laura tucking him at night– is just a politically motivated game.
So… we have a public that has now overwhelmingly (and finally, years too late, of course) concluded that everything Bush touches is per se a mistake, and that, ergo, his Iraq policy is wrong simply because it is his policy (which was not far off from my original reason for opposing it….)
Anyway, FWIW, the public wants at least lip service paid to the Iraq Study Group report… just because, well, at least it seems a little different from blind “stay the course and keep the flag-draped coffins and head traumas coming.” There was, at least, some glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel in its conclusion that things are going badly so we should do something different (insanity being defined as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.)
But for the umpteenth time, boys and girls… something else is going on … the very chaos and violence in Iraq was the mission all along… and anything that ends it, even if it saves hundreds or thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars… is just not in the program.
It’s just not. The public and its opinions be damned.