Well, it's becoming clear to almost everyone: we are completely screwed.
[Bush] can once again order a rearrangement of American forces inside the country, as he did in August, when American commanders declared that newly trained Iraqi forces would “clear and hold” neighborhoods with backup support from redeployed American forces. That strategy collapsed within a month, frequently forcing the Americans to take the lead, making them prime targets.But the real stunner, is this one:
There is no assurance, though, that another redeployment of those forces will reduce the casualty rate, which has been unusually high in recent weeks, senior military and administration officials say. The toll comes just before midterm elections, in which even many of his own party have given up arguing that progress is being made or that the killing will soon slow.
Or Mr. Bush can reassess the strategy itself, perhaps listening to those advisers — including some members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, the advisory commission charged with coming up with new strategies for Iraq — who say that he needs to redefine the “victory” that he again on Thursday declared was his goal.
One official providing advice to the president noted on Thursday that while Mr. Bush still insists his goal is an Iraq that “can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself,” he has already dropped most references to creating a flourishing democracy in the heart of the Middle East.
Or, he could take the advice of Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is expected to run to replace him in two years, who argues in favor of pouring more troops into Iraq, an option one senior administration official said recently might make sense but could “cause the bottom to fall out” of public support.
But whatever choices he makes — probably not until after the Nov. 7 election, and perhaps not until the bipartisan group issues its report — they will be forced by a series of events, in Iraq and at home, that now seems largely out of Mr. Bush’s control, in Iraq and at home.
“There’s certainly a stepped up level of violence, and we’re heading into an election,” he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Wednesday. “George, my gut tells me that they have all along been trying to inflict enough damage that we would leave.”And why else, pray tell, would they be inflicting violence on us? Could it be this is a logical response to the invasion of their country, one almost anyone could have foreseen?
What was that Jefferson said, about "absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism...."? The majority of Iraqis don't want us there. Why doesn't that make us the despots?