Monday, November 28, 2005



Even as his poll numbers tank, however, Bush is described by aides as still determined to stay the course. He resists advice from Republicans who fear disaster in next year's congressional elections, and rejects criticism from a media establishment he disdains.


Bush "remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq," according to The New Yorker magazine.
Deaf To The Truth..... President Bush will hear no evil on the Iraq war - even when the bad news comes from military brass and top government officials, a new report says.


In or Out of Iraq?

If no more troops are going in, and the only question is, how many U.S. and coalition troops are coming out, starting after the December elections, the conclusion seems inescapable: The United States is disengaging from the Iraq war before victory is at hand, or even in sight. Hence, a defeat, not of American arms, but of the U.S. policy in Iraq, is now a distinct possibility.

The signs America has had enough are everywhere. Bill Clinton now calls the war a "big mistake," an opinion shared by 60 percent of the nation. Thirty-nine Senate Democrats voted for an exit strategy, with timetables. Half the country wants withdrawals to begin. Only a third of the nation approves of Bush's war leadership, while 42 percent, in a Pew poll, want America to start minding her own business.

Bush has three years left, but the time is approaching when debate on a new U.S. foreign policy for the post-Bush era must begin. One lesson from this war is already clear: Americans will not long support spilling the blood of their soldier sons in a war for ideals like democracy in the Arab world unless they are convinced national security or U.S. vital interests are imperiled.

Months back, as opponents of the war became the majority, I predicted a Gene McCarthy would rise to lead the antiwar movement. No one expected it to be Rep. John Murtha, a combat veteran with 37 years in Marine Corps service. But Murtha's emotional call for withdrawal has proven a catalyst for Congress and the country.

The argument suddenly seems over and the nation appears to have reached a consensus: earliest possible withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, consistent with the avoidance of a strategic disaster.

But here is the rub: We are not going to get out of Iraq without suffering terrible consequences for having gone in. And when we come out, we no longer control what goes on within.

Once we depart, there is no guarantee the insurgents will be defeated, no guarantee that thousands of those who cast their lot with us will not be massacred, no guarantee Iraq will remain one nation, no guarantee there will not be chaos and civil war.

There is no guarantee that after having invested $200 to $300 billion and the lives of thousands of splendid young Americans, we will not end up with an Iraq that is a strategic ally of Iran and a Sunni Triangle that is a base camp and training camp for terrorists larger than the one we destroyed in Afghanistan.

The impending U.S. troop withdrawals are a roll of the dice, demanded by the American people and now acceded to by the Bush administration. No one can know for sure what the dice will deliver.


Scott McClellans Credibility Gap

But even if McClellan resigns, the White House will still need to offer a public accounting of the circumstances that led to the October 7, 2003, briefing where McClellan said Rove and Libby "were not involved" in the leak.

Without a full explanation, McClellan's successor could face a similar credibility gap. "I hope the credibility is restored because the next person is going to be in a pretty tough position if [it's not]," Byars says. "They'll be responding to the same questions that Scott was responding to. Until a White House official comes out and restores that microphone's credibility, that job will always be responding to that question."

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