I didn’t watch, as the Mountaineers were busy shelling the Terrapins. At any rate, why would I? Is there anyone who is under the impression he would say something new or interesting or honest? Take it away, Fred Kaplan:
President Bush’s TV address tonight was the worst speech he’s ever given on the war in Iraq, and that’s saying a lot. Every premise, every proposal, nearly every substantive point was sheer fiction. The only question is whether he was being deceptive or delusional.
The biggest fiction was that because of the “success” of the surge, we can reduce U.S. troop levels in Iraq from 20 combat brigades to 15 by next July. Gen. David Petraeus has recommended this step, and President George W. Bush will order it so.
Let’s be clear one more time about this claim: The surge of five extra combat brigades (bringing the total from 15 to 20) started in January. Their 15-month tours of duty will begin to expire next April. The Army and Marines have no combat units ready to replace them. The service chiefs refuse to extend the tours any further. The president refuses to mobilize the reserves any further. And so, the surge will be over by next July. This has been understood from the outset. It is the result of simple arithmetic, not of anyone’s decision, much less some putative success.
No Way! Liberal Media! How dare you attack the decider! The NY Times:
Last night’s speech could have been given any day in the last four years — and was delivered a half-dozen times already. Despite Mr. Bush’s claim that he was offering a way for all Americans to “come together” on Iraq, he offered the same divisive policies — repackaged this time with the Orwellian slogan “return on success.”
Mr. Bush’s claim that things were going so well in Iraq that he could “accept” his generals’ recommendation for a “drawdown” of forces was a carnival barker’s come-on. The Army cannot sustain the 30,000 extra troops Mr. Bush sent to Iraq beyond mid-2008 without serious damage to its fighting ability. From the start, the president said that the increase would be temporary. That’s why he called it a “surge.”
You can’t trust them! They cut sweetheart deals to leftie groups while SILENCING groups on the right! LIES! The Washington Post:
PRESIDENT BUSH’S explanation of his latest plans for Iraq last night was marred by a couple of important omissions. First, the president failed to acknowledge that, according to the standards he himself established in January, the surge of U.S. troops into Iraq has been a failure — because Iraqi political leaders did not reach the political accords that the sacrifice of American lives was supposed to make possible. Instead he focused on the real but reversible military gains achieved in and around Baghdad and on the unexpected decision of Sunni tribes to take up arms against al-Qaeda, a development facilitated but not caused by the surge.
Mr. Bush also failed to mention one of the principal reasons for the drawdown of troops he announced. The president said that the tactical military successes meant that American forces could be reduced in the coming year to pre-surge levels. What he didn’t say is that the Pentagon has no choice other than to carry out the withdrawals, unless Mr. Bush resorts to politically explosive steps such as further extending deployments. Another way of describing Mr. Bush’s plan is that it leaves every available Army and Marine unit in place in Iraq for as long as possible. If the war were going worse than it is, the deployment schedule probably couldn’t have been much different.
Yeah. I didn’t miss anything by skipping the president’s speech- we all knew what he was going to do. He would get up in front of the camera, lie his ass off, spew some ridiculous bullshit about us winning, tell us things were getting better, and then go to bed, leaving the task of covering up his foolishness to a willing group of sycophants. Mission accomplished.