House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was right to cut off President Bush in their White House meeting earlier this week. Somebody has to.
Bush was beginning to describe how he's about to pull back some American troops in
Too bad somebody couldn't interrupt the president on national television last night, the eighth time in four years that he's taken to the national airwaves to defend an indefensible war and ask the nation to trust his -- what? Besides his hazardous gut, there's little left to trust.
Take his claims about the 'surge.' The troop increase that started in February was billed as a way to crack down on violence and give the Iraqi government more room to foster reconciliation. But we've been there before. Total coalition troop strength today, at the height of the 'surge,' is lower than it was at the beginning of 2005. What the 'surge' masked, what President Bush never spoke about, is the hemorrhage that coalition troops have suffered since January 2005. The
And that draw-down Bush is promising? It's not a choice. He has to pull back. He already extended troop deployments from 12 to 15 months. Short of another extension, which would be politically deadly, brigades have to be rotated home almost immediately. A further reduction will be forced on the military regardless of political wishes next spring. As The Associated Press reported in mid-August, 'The Army's 38 available combat units are deployed, just returning home or already tapped to go to
In short, the American military is tapped out. It's not hype, but fact, to say that current deployments are endangering American security for leaving the country vulnerable to the unexpected.
Bush's perspective is even more deceitful for centering on American concerns. Here's the consequence of Bush's war that Iraqis are contending with. Today, despite the surge, up to 2.4 million Iraqis are refugees abroad, and 1.1 million are internal refugees, forcibly displaced from their homes. That's 13 percent of the nation's population, including 40 percent of its professional class - - uprooted or gone.
Unemployment is as high as 40 percent. Inflation is running at 50 percent. Just 30 percent of
That is what Bush calls 'the way forward.'
Pelosi was too kind to Bush, especially now that he is exclusively in time-scrounging mode until the next president inherits his catastrophe.