From Frank Rich's column in today's NY Times:
America cannot regain its pride by refighting a war that is finished as far as America is concerned and, for that matter, as far as Iraq is concerned. By large margins, the citizens of both countries want us not to escalate but to start disengaging. So do America’s top military commanders, who are now being cast aside just as Gen. Eric Shinseki was when he dared assert before the invasion that securing Iraq would require several hundred thousand troops. It would still take that many troops, not the 20,000 we might scrape together now.That sounds about right for this perma-failure of an MBA president, to f*ck up and then leave the mess for someone else to fix or clean up. In the past, it's been his dad who has served the savior role. Daddy tried again this time with the ISG but his efforts were spurned by Junior. Apparently, Iraq is going to be dumped on the next president.
The “surge,” then, is a sham. It is not meant to achieve that undefined “victory” Mr. Bush keeps talking about but to serve his own political spin. His real mission is to float the “we’re not winning, we’re not losing” status quo until Jan. 20, 2009. After that, as Joseph Biden put it last week, a new president will “be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof.”
Two months after Americans spoke decisively on Election Day, the president is determined to overrule them. Our long national nightmare in Iraq, far from being over, is about to get a second wind.
It's now plainly obvious that this president is all about passing the buck. For his first six years, he refused to make difficult choices that would require using his veto power. (Of course, only now with the Dems in power does he threaten to use it, demanding a line-item veto). But for pressing problems such as the growing federal deficit, global warming, and our energy dependency to name a few, his lack of any sense of urgency or action speaks volumes. He'd rather simply punt, and that's what we now see with the Iraq situation.
All of these important concerns require hard work, hours and hours of study, careful consideration and thought -- draining and trying effort that's not fun.
And thus, this frat-boy, dim-bulb president has no interest in taking them on in earnest. Easier to just take a gutless pass.
His own party can't be happy about this tendency. The surge, or rather escalation, will surely fail and it will not bode well for any GOP presidential contender. If the public was pissed off in 2006, imagine what they'll be like in 2008. It could set the stage for the most dramatic single-party purging in decades.