Not Our Fault

Things are happening fast. While the drawdown of troops has yet to begin, the preparation for a drawdown of the war in Iraq is well under way. Reports in today’s papers indicate the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations to the president include troop reductions. Yesterday in Jordan, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki postponed a meeting with President Bush in the face of stiff resistance from elements of his own ruling coalition. Tuesday night, the New York Times posted a secret memo authored by National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley that shows the administration has doubts about both the Iraqi government’s ability and it’s willingness to curb sectarian violence. Many news organizations have had enough of the evasive language of the Bush administration in refusing to classify the conflict in Iraq as a civil war, and have decided to call a spade a spade. But most tellingly, before the meeting between Bush and Maliki was cancelled, when Bush was queried about what he would ask Maliki in their meeting, Bush said, “My question to him will be: What do we need to do to succeed? What is your strategy in dealing with the sectarian violence?” The blame game has been embraced by the Oval Office. Continue reading “Not Our Fault”

Enters the Lexicon

Ohio State gave Northwestern a thumpin’ on Saturday. Michigan did the same to Indiana. While I was having a phone conversation with a friend earlier today, I described the leads the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals had over their opponents at the time as “thumpins.” It was then my friend pointed out that I was not the first person he had heard use that word in casual conversation since President Bush’s press conference last Wednesday. All the world watches our fair leader, and when he so eloquently and simplistically described the shift in Congressional power away from his beloved GOP as a thumpin’, the characterization seemed to have taken up lodging in more than a few vocabularies. After all, as my friend pointed out, no matter how down Bush is, he’s the president, and he “still has the bully pulpit.” Continue reading “Enters the Lexicon”

Bowing to Reality

Donald Rumsfeld has resigned. It was not a voluntary resignation. President Bush wanted a change at the Pentagon and got it.

It would be a mistake to assume that President Bush bowed to the American people, who so forcefully registered their disapproval of the Iraq war in Tuesday’s elections. Rumsfeld’s ouster had been in the works for months. There is a strong possibility it would have happened sooner had not a group of retired generals openly called for his head earlier in the year. Instead of going through with Rumsfeld’s removal at the time, the White House decided to back their man, so as not to appear to be succumbing to outside pressure. Continue reading “Bowing to Reality”