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Bush’s Iraq Strategy: Run Out The Clock, Blame The Next Guy

January 12, 2007

Bush has realizes Iraq is a failure. What’s done is done, and there is little chance for stable democracy there in the immediate future – no matter what we do or don’t do. Bush knows it. His strategy right now is to not admit it. He will let the next president be the one to admit that our goals there have failed. This allows Bush (and his apologists, if indeed he still has any by that point) to claim that it wasn’t he, Bush, who lost the war; it was the defeatist Democrat who followed him!

I honestly believe that this is a conscious strategy on the part of the White House. They’re trying to run out the clock without admitting any failure.

If Bush pulls a rabbit out of his hat and Iraq stabilizes within the next year I’ll be happily surprised. But even if that does happen, it won’t change the fact that it was handled very badly and that the whole thing was a colossal mistake. Walking away from an Iraq that isn’t in the throes of a civil war would be a tremendous achievement at this point, but claiming that it vindicates and justifies all that has gone before would be a little like driving the wrong way down I-94, getting in a massive multi-car collision and then congratulating yourself when your teetering car does not in fact fall off the overpass.

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No comments yet

  1. Your opinion is based on a big assumption that a Democrate will be in the White House after the next election.


  2. One will be. But even if one isn’t, this still makes sense: it becomes his/her fault, not Bush’s. He and a hardcore 20% of the electorate that will support him even if he sprouts horns from his head and starts breathing fire, get to go forth saying the defeat wasn’t his fault and that if only his replacement had been as stalwart (in denying reality) as he was, victory might have been ours. You don’t lose if you don’t admit it seems to be the idea here.


  3. “…it was the defeatist Democrat who followed him!” is hardly the basis for your central point. It’s what I call a “Bill Safire Drop-In,” a non-fact somewhere along the continuum running from Wishful Thinking to Informed Guess.
    If I read you correctly, your guess is that Bush would prefer to delay the inevitable until it can occur on the next person’s watch, allowing him to blame them for the explosion of his chemistry set and perhaps encouraging a dissenter or two as historians agree on their verdict:

    “Worst. Ever.”


  4. Yes, that is my prediction exactly.



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