are manipulating Bush to continue their war, not U.S.! All is dictated in theirmanifesto and their letter to Clinton in 1998.
War strategy in shambles
EVEN AS President Bush tries to assure skeptics that his war policies are on track, developments in Iraq suggest just the opposite.
Facing a possible Republican debacle at the polls less than two weeks from now, the president apparently has decided that it is time to be a lot more honest with the American people about the war.
It's about time, Mr. President.
Bush acknowledged the 93 GIs who have died on the battlefront in Iraq this month, along with 300 Iraqi civilians. He said it will be a long time before the United States is able to extricate itself from the deadly mess that Iraq has become.
"There is tough fighting ahead," he warned "The road to victory will not be easy. We should not expect a simple solution."
He acknowledged that we're "in the midst of an incredibly violent period." He even came up with a fresh rationale for why we can't withdraw. "If we do not defeat the terrorists or extremists in Iraq, they will gain access to vast oil reserves." That comment is likely to confirm suspicions among war critics who believe that oil was a key factor driving the Iraq invasion in the first place.
Bush's bleak assessment of the war in Iraq won't enlighten anyone who has been following developments there. It should be obvious by now that the United States has become bogged down in a conflict without a plausible exit strategy.
Yet, the president continues to insist that "absolutely, we are winning" the war.
If we are indeed winning the war, there is a dismaying level of confusion at the highest levels of government about how to conduct it.
A day after Gen. George Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that he might need more troops to achieve victory, he issued a clarification saying anyone who inferred that he had said more troops might be needed would be mistaken.
"Quite frankly, that is the wrong impression," the statement declared.
Then there's that agreement that Casey and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad announced Tuesday that they had reached with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on a 12-to-18 month timetable to measure progress in the war. "Iraqi officials have agreed to a time line for making these difficult decisions," the ambassador said.
Barely a day had passed before al-Maliki denied that such an agreement existed. "Everyone knows that this government is a government of the popular will and no one may set a timetable for it," he said. "The Americans have the right to review their policies, but we do not believe in a timetable."
Over to you, Mr. President