It now appears that the decider has decided. According to a number of sources, President Bush’s “new way forward” centers on a “surge” of additional US troops to Iraq. The surge would include more than 30,000 additional troops and could last as long as two years, according to ABC news. That would bring the total number of troops in Iraq to at least 164,000. This last-ditch attempt to stabilize Iraq would likely start in Baghdad and then moved to Anbar. The strategy goes against the advice of Bush’s top generals who claim the such an escalation would not only risk more American lives, but likely discourage Iraqis from taking charge of their own security.
So much for those who thought this President might actually be willing to listen to the advice of the bipartisan “Iraq’s study group.” And so much for those who thought this President might have learned something from the midterm elections or from polls like the latest NBC/WSJ poll indicating that 71% of respondents disapproved of the President’s handling of Iraq. And finally, so much for those who thought he might listen to Generals in the field or military experts like former Secretary of State Colin Powell who said this morning on “Face the Nation” that the United States is losing what he described as an “civil war” in Iraq and that he doesn’t believe in increasing US troops there would reverse the situation.
For Bush, the new way forward is simply more of “stay the course.” The Washington Post asked a question this morning that most of us answered quite some time ago, “At what point does determination become self-defeating folly?” Living in his world of dilusion, the President seems unconcerned. According to the Post, Bush is still the “What me worry?” president:
At holiday parties for friends and family in recent days, he has found himself bucking up others depressed by the turn in his political fortunes. “Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it looks.”