Anyone who listened to the president's speech in Riga today knows that this is all nonsense. He has no intention to change his policy in Iraq. His policy has been and continues to be the creation of an essentially Western country in Iraq governed on a unitary basis by an administration elected on the basis of one person, one vote. He expects that "victory" there and in his other areas of activity, Lebanon, Syria, etc. will result in a wave of revolutionary change across the Islamic World which will "drain the swamp" in which the "extremists" grow. He was taught this vision by neocon "dervishes" who are still pursuing the memory of Europe transformed by the French Revolution. The French Revolution renewed in the Muslim World remains the goal. We are already seeing the result of the "freedom agenda" in Iraq. There, Liberty has become license to kill and give over to rapine all those who "threaten" the ability of one's own group to maximize its position.Remember: every time you hear a scared conservative or compliant liberal talk about a "solution" in Iraq: there is no solution in Iraq. To speak of solutions is to credit the wholly incorrect idea that some portion of the original project, whatever that was, may yet be salvaged; that through hard thinkin' and good managin' and send-more-troopsin', the United States may yet build a house of cards sturdy enough to survive the slow, tentative removal of our not-so-stabilizing hand, which will stand on its own for long enough in our relative, partial absence to let us claim with less obvious medacity that it is the Iraqis' fault entirely when it collapses in on itself once again.
Bush is "having you on," folks, "having you on..."
But for the dauphin, even all that is a step too far toward malign "pessimism."