(Updated) Loneliest Man In the World
Like the last person in the room to get a really bad joke, President Bush becomes more isolated by the day as the scales fall from the eyes of the small and shrinking number of people who share his belief that his war in Iraq can be won.
There would seem to be an element of pathos to this: The lonely commander in chief walking the halls of the White House late at night, framed portraits of his predecessors looking down on him in mute abjection as he ponders what went wrong.
But we know this man who arrogantly declares that he channels the wisdom of Jesus so well in the seventh year of his reign of error to understand that it is unlikely that he is contemplating anything of the sort.
What went wrong has been obvious from the outset of a war in which the rationales were jury rigged to meet political goals, there never were remotely enough troops, body armor or armored vehicles despite appeals from his generals, and scandalously little consideration given to what would and should happen after the Saddam Hussein regime fell, let alone the implications of installing a Shiite-dominated government as the storm clouds of a sectarian civil war gathered.
In a drearily familiar modus operandi also obvious from the outset, paramount for George Bush is covering his ass with deadlines that cannot be met and promises that cannot be kept.
It is bitterly ironic that true leadership and not flag waving and empty rhetoric is needed more than ever now that the president’s Dunkirk is not far off.
That would be how to get nearly 160,000 troops and millions of tons of materiel out of Iraq. This would be an enormous logistical undertaking under the best of circumstances, but is fraught with extraordinary peril because this man has worked so hard to transform a faraway land that represented little threat to regional let alone world stability into a haven for insurgents and a death trap for anyone wearing an American flag on their sleeve.
I am not familiar with schizophrenia, so I don’t know if this mental illness asserts itself in regular patterns. As in, one month you’re Mister Mighty Surge, the next month you’re Mister Withdraw to Bases and then the next you’re Mister Mighty Surge. And so on and so forth.
But if the latest accounts from the bunker at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are to be believed, Mister Mighty Surge may be getting ready to take another powder and new medication is kicking in the form of the familiar Mister Withdraw to Bases. This is a plan being discussed under which U.S. troops would be gradually withdrawn from the very areas on which the success of the surge was dependent.
Do you suppose that Napoleon ever jerked around his troops like George Bush does?