Must read in today’s NY Times. It explores the failures of the Bush Iraq policy. Considering this war is the top priority for the Bush team, it’s is truly remarkable — and absolutely frightening — how screwed up it is:
The original plan, championed by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top commander in Baghdad, and backed by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, called for turning over responsibility for security to the Iraqis, shrinking the number of American bases and beginning the gradual withdrawal of American troops. But the plan collided with Iraq’s ferocious unraveling, which took most of Mr. Bush’s war council by surprise.
In interviews in Washington and Baghdad, senior officials said the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department had also failed to take seriously warnings, including some from its own ambassador in Baghdad, that sectarian violence could rip the country apart and turn Mr. Bush’s promise to “clear, hold and build” Iraqi neighborhoods and towns into an empty slogan.
This left the president and his advisers constantly lagging a step or two behind events on the ground.
This was a war of choice. Before the war, many experts predicted that what has happened would happen. But, our President was on a mission from God. And, Bush and his team have always looked at this war through a political lens. They put the politics of war before the policy of war.
While the rest of the nation is looking for a way out, your President is still looking for a victory in his war:
Mr. Bush came to worry that it was not just his critics and Democrats in Congress who were looking for what he dismissed last month as a strategy of “graceful exit.” Visiting the Pentagon a few weeks ago for a classified briefing on Iraq with his generals, Mr. Bush made it clear that he was not interested in any ideas that would simply allow American forces to stabilize the violence. Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine commandant, later told marines about the president’s message.
“What I want to hear from you is how we’re going to win,” he quoted the president as warning his commanders, “not how we’re going to leave.”
What Americans understand is that we’re not going to win. We want to hear from Bush how we’re going to leave.