Mission Accomplished Again!
George Bush and Tony Blair are set to make an announcement regarding the war in Iraq later today. After reading Tony Blair’s statements in the Guardian, it seems likely that the duplicitous duo will be announcing some sort of draw down of US and British troops. Just in time for the mid-term elections, is anyone surprised?
"It has been three years of struggle to get to this point and has been longer and harder than any of us would have wanted it to be but this is a new beginning."
It sure sounds like Mr. Blair is saying that the end is near.
Bush has said over and over that “when the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down” and I imagine that he will give more of the same. Whether or not the Iraqi troops are really ready to “stand up” in the way that Bush has been selling is not relevant. His dismal approval rating needs some help and bringing some troops home, he thinks, will boost those sagging numbers. Democrats should have gotten behind John Murtha when he called for immediate withdrawal months ago, but they were simply too afraid to do what they knew in their hearts was right. Many of them thought that pulling out US troops would result in more violence and possibly a civil war, at least that’s what they said publicly, and felt it would be irresponsible to pull out prematurely. In reality, it was a political decision for most of them. They were afraid to advocate for what would surely be labeled by Republicans as a “cut and run” approach. What Democrats failed to realize was that Bush would advocate the same if it became politically necessary. And now it has.
Unlike Bush’s address on immigration that failed to boost his poll numbers, an announcement of a withdrawal of troops from Iraq may very well help him politically. Don’t expect him to frame it as a political issue though. It will be framed as US troops accomplishing exactly what Bush has been shooting for all along. Of course it’s not true, little he says ever is, but in the end, when Americans start seeing our troops arriving home, greeted at the airport by friends and family will happy smiles, flowers, banners and balloons, all will be forgiven.
Many Bush supporters that have left his side are looking for a happy ending. If Bush can give them that, complete with happy homecomings televised for all to see, they will be all too happy to come back and support this President. Bush understands that his approval is tied to this war. If he can put a happy face on it, he will. Now, Democrats will be in a position of having supported the President’s plan when it would have been smarter to force his hand. If Bush were making this announcement under relentless pressure from Democrats in Congress, it would be viewed as a sign of weakness on the part of the President and a victory for Democrats. This is yet another example of Democrats failing to do the right thing that would have also been the best political strategy. As it is now, the Democrats have nothing to be proud of, can take no credit and will be forced to sit idly by while the President reaps the benefits of a cut and run policy. Ironic, no?
Update: More news on the pending announcement can be found at Raw Story. This is the most cynical use of our military, a tool in the President’s bid to win a popularity contest. While I do think that withdrawing our troops is the only thing that we can do to help bring peace to Iraq, I do not trust this President to do it properly. He will bring home just enough troops to put on a show here at home and leave enough to cause further chaos in Iraq and the Democrats seem poised to let him get away with it. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.