Golden boy turned presidential sock puppet General David Petraeus is in the midst of his big week; the super-sweet sixteen of his military career, the part he was born to play baby! For six months Bush was able to hide behind this man's warrior-poet pedigree with the mantra "wait and see." All debate and thus decision-making regarding Iraq policy would be effectively suspended until September for that is when the success of The Surge would be made plain to all and sundry. This was going to be the masterstroke that would silence peace-loving douchebag pundits like myself once and for all...
Except that there has been no real change in Iraq... DAMN IT!!! I thought their baseless assurances would have stuck this time!
The coverage of this congressional non-event is exhaustive but what I've walked away with is that progress will occur slowly, there is no end in sight, and no predictions can be made as to when that situation will change. Oh yeah, and if America pulls out it quickly it will be a disaster! Can't have an honest discussion about the war without bringing up the point that muzzles all open discussion. Never mind the fact that this administration's track record on Iraq War predictions range from corny to nutty with a whole lot of bullshit in-between.
Also please note the 30,000 Surge troops 'might' be home in a year, just in time for when military experts claim that the U.S. cannot possibly maintain current troop levels any longer. What's the point of a democratic nation debating such weighty matters when reality is truly the authoritarian tyrant of us all! Just send your troops out and God will let you know when they're past the breaking point... by breaking them!
Both the Washington Post and the New York Times have done a fine job regurgitating the administration's well-polished party line today.
How does it come to this? How can total inactivity on any given policy (in this case the Iraq War) over months and years be endorsed and officiated like this? The answer may lie in the leaders and their inability or unwillingness to address mistakes and thus learn from them.
This is an interview for a man who just completed a Bush biography complete with Dubyah's assistance. For a guy who seems to part-time it as a presidential apologist he comes across with a fairly even-handed and rather complex description of the man; charismatic and intelligent, but insecure, doesn't like to be challenged, and isn't one to be bothered with inconvenient facts.
This one is even better, though it's a long one. Donald Rumsfeld did a lengthy, softball interview for GQ magazine up at the old dairy farm he calls his home away from home. His personality along with his titanic ability for self-denial is somewhat charming in a Josef Mengele fashion.