As I've said before: there is no power without resistance:
President George Bush has told senior advisers that the US and its allies must make "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq and that instead of beginning a troop withdrawal next year, he may increase US forces by up to 20,000 soldiers, according to sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations.And what's that saying about insanity and doing the same thing over and over again?
Mr Bush's refusal to give ground, coming in the teeth of growing calls in the US and Britain for a radical rethink or a swift exit, is having a decisive impact on the policy review being conducted by the Iraq Study Group chaired by Bush family loyalist James Baker, the sources said.
Point one of the strategy calls for an increase rather than a decrease in overall US force levels inside Iraq, possibly by as many as 20,000 soldiers. This figure is far fewer than that called for by the Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain. But by raising troop levels, Mr Bush will draw a line in the sand and defy Democratic pressure for a swift drawdown.
"You've got to remember, whatever the Democrats say, it's Bush still calling the shots. He believes it's a matter of political will. That's what [Henry] Kissinger told him. And he's going to stick with it," a former senior administration official said. "He [Bush] is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he's got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall."So, is Bush trying to prove he's a mensch? That he doesn't need his father to get him out of this jam, and just more effort will do it? And how are those goals of the Baker report "more realistic"? Isn't that just "stay the course while moving the goal posts," the very thing we were hearing from Tony Snow before the November elections? And sadly, that's still what it's all about, because while Dennis Kucinich is calling for Congress to simply cut funding for the war, that ain't gonna happen. The anonymous source here is right: it's all about power, and the only concern is who runs the White House next time around. For the time being, as long as Bush is determined to live out the theme song to "Malcolm in the Middle," he's not going to give up on his grand scheme to prove he's twice the man his father was. There is no power without resistance, and Bush is determined to resist both reality and the will of the people, just to prove he still has some power left.
The "last push" strategy is also intended to give Mr Bush and the Republicans "political time and space" to recover from their election drubbing and prepare for the 2008 presidential campaign, the official said. "The Iraq Study Group buys time for the president to have one last go. If the Democrats are smart, they'll play along, and I think they will. But forget about bipartisanship. It's all about who's going to be in best shape to win the White House.
The official added: "Bush has said 'no' to withdrawal, so what else do you have? The Baker report will be a set of ideas, more realistic than in the past, that can be used as political tools. What they're going to say is: lower the goals, forget about the democracy crap, put more resources in, do it."
Life is unfair. Maybe the calls for impeachment aren't such a bad idea after all...