Bush: just whistling in the dark.
What a sad, pathetic creature Mr. Bush has become. He doesn’t even appear to believe his own lies anymore. He is the quintessential schoolboy walking through the graveyard at midnight whistling away in the hope of proving to himself, and anyone else watching, that he’s not afraid.
It isn’t as if he didn’t know that Gen. Petraeus would give the Bush “surge” a thumbs up. That was a given long before it was written. The problem is that Bush advisors know they have to tell the man what he wants to hear. The truth is not the issue. Loyalty is. And to Bush loyalty means telling him that his decisions were right and are working regardless of any factual information to the contrary. That’s how Bush got America into this messy war in the first place. He heard precisely what he wanted to hear and ignored anything to the contrary. Worse yet he made it clear that provided evidence to the contrary was grounds for dismissal. A petty man with the mind to match.
In his speech Bush claimed the “the Iraqi army is becoming more capable”. Gee, that doesn’t say much. But a report on the state of the Iraqi army said it will take another year or two before it can contribute much of anything. The report said the police force was corrupt and and should be disbanded.
A symbolic withdrawal of a few troops is only meant as a sop to the voters who are sick and tired of this war. Considering that the troop levels were recently boosted the withdrawal, in reality, may well end with more troops in Iraq than before the “surge”. This is like doubling the price of meat at the grocery store before advertising a 25% off sale. Bush admits the war is going to drag on for years and years to come.
No doubt support for Bush’s perpetual war policy will increase slightly. That will come for the voters who only know what the government tells them. These are the kinds of people who really do think weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq or that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attack. The problem is that these people have notoriously short attention spans. And since Bush gave nothing dramatic in his speech verifying real progress there is no single event to keep their attention. The increase in support is most likely to be a short one. And it certainly won’t last until November of next year.
The real legacy that Bush will leave America, beyond the increasing dead and the deficit will be a Democratic majority and Hillary in the White House. George Bush has singularly destroyed the “small government” principles -- admittedly very weak principles -- in his own party. But this is a man that pretty much botched up every “job” he has ever held.
I suspect Mr. Bush is fully cognizant of his own astounding inabilities to get anything right. That, no doubt, is behind his constant demands that his advisers only tell him what he wants to hear. To disagree is to remind him of how inept he is. One thing you can say about the man -- he is unskilled on a borader range of topics than one normally would expect.
The great misfortune of political power is that it allows the mistakes of one man to impact the entire country. Despise the market if you want but when a businessman makes a mistake the damage is limited to himself, his employers and stock holders -- if any. When politicians make mistakes we are all forced to suffer because of it.