Last night the President addressed the nation and explained to us that the surge was working, and that we could start bringing our troops home. He even offered up a time-line. 5800 troops home by Christmas of this year and a full 30,0000 home by summer of next year.
Mr. Bush spoke to the country for the 8th time on the subject of Iraq and why the war was necessary and he was right and the rest of us don't have a clue. It must be comforting to be so "dead certain", to borrow the title from the recent book about Bush and the war. It must be terrific to know that in spite of all evidence to the contrary, you still believe that what you are doing is the right course of action. As Bush continues towards the sunset of his presidency, a presidency that has been replete with failure and scandal, he seems most comfortable in leaving the situation in Iraq for the next person to occupy his job.
The speech's theme was expected. More of the same. Stay the course. They stand up and we stand down. Mostly the same old speech. Except for this: The president said that "Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America." An Enduring Relationship.
For the first time, the president has openly suggested that we would have an ongoing and indefinite role in Iraq's affairs. This means essentially both diplomatic and military presence in country. We've had the same in Germany and in Korea. I'll leave it to you to decide if this is a worthwhile and wise policy.