"The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.
In interviews over the past week, the officials made clear that the White House is gradually scaling back its expectations for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The timelines they are now discussing suggest that the White House may maintain the increased numbers of American troops in Iraq well into next year."
The most convincing explanation for why this President invaded and occupied Iraq is one that I first heard mentioned a year ago. Once in the White House, Bush proved to be a medicore president at best, and — horror of horrors! — may have been doomed to last only one term like his dad. After September 11th, re-election may not have seemed guaranteed to the traditionally paranoid inhabitants of the White House, and the war in Afghanistan, though an initial success, must not have seemed anything like the grand gesture that was needed to make Bush's re-election and legend.
... and so I read somewhere that White House strategists were at one point obsessed with the British general election of 1983, which put Margaret Thatcher back in power for her second term, riding never higher on the jingoistic wave of the Falklands War. Is power so addictive and so important, that it is worth telling and selling the biggest lie of the era in order to keep holding on to it? I guess it must be. Even in the hectic 18 months after 9/11, Bob Woodward said that the Republicans in power were at least 50 percent of the time interested not in governing, but in using their power to shaft the Democrats.
Watching the Iraq lie rise and build before my eyes caused me huge distress. Things like hearing Saddam Hussein being made out to be as dangerous as Hitler, and hearing this accepted as true, as opposed to silly verbiage, makes one think that the world is going awry.