Bush and Cheney-cut and run - I don't think so.
The Republicans' restiveness suggests that Bush may not be able to stick with his current Iraq policy through Election Day. Even if he does, he will come under heavy pressure from his own party after Nov. 7 to pursue a demonstrably more effective strategy -- or to begin pulling American forces out.
To which Atrios responds:
But he won't. There won't be a more effective strategy. And forces won't be pulled out.
This has been made clear over and over again. I don't know why people refuse to listen.
Steve Gillard has a unique hypothesis
He reasons logically that the military is in dire straits and cannot sustain their deployment for that much longer. He also notes that a draft will not be instituted. So whats the answer:
So we face a conundrum. And Bush will handle it as he always has, by running. One day, Dick Cheney will be told he is a very sick man, with not much time and that the only way to save his life is to leave the WH. Bush will sadly agree, and pick someone else for them job. No, not Condi Rice. Maybe McCain. maybe Hegel, someone who is palatable.
Then, after a few weeks, when it is clear that the Iraq war is over, Bush, too, will be found to be near collapse, and Iraq will be President Hegel's job. And he will be the one to end the war
When Bush says this will be another president's problem, he is probably right. Only thing is, we're probably not talking 2009
Frankly, I can't buy this sequence of events. First it is too logical to think that Bush and Cheney would ever see the reality of the situation. The reality has been there for a long time and they have done nothing. Second I think this scenario implicitly under estimates what Bush and Cheney feel is at stake. Remember they know that this war in Iraq has nothing to do with the mythical WOT but has everything to do with controlling the resources of the area thereby insuring US's energy future as well as exerting significant geoploitcal power to counteract the threats of Russia and China. Therefore, losing the war means losing America's future.
I think it is much more likely that they will go for broke, i.e. after some faux negotiations they will attack Iran with a massive air strike. As expected there will be blowback including attacks here at home as well as against the troops in Iraq and Israel. The attacks at home will sway enough people to get behind Bush resulting in a draft. I think the main emphasis of Bush's military response would be to basically flatten Iraq, Iran and Syria resulting in millions of deaths.
Most of the commentators I have read that talk about the US losing in Iraq start from a flawed set of assumptions, i.e. that the US is there to either spread Democracy or liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam. Any analysis that starts from that set of incorrect ideas is worthless. You have to start from the real reason for the invasion: energy and the projection of American geopolitical power. Finally you have to clearly understand that Bush and his neocon cabal place no value on human life.
So barring a revolt by the military I think a serious escalation is much more likely than Bush and Cheney putting their tails between their legs and skulking off into history as the worst administration ever.
Thus, I agree with Ray Close a 17 year veteran of the CIA but for slightly different reasons.
Sometime before the end of his term, a massive air military attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers --- justified by the conviction that a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to American national security, firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership.
God I hope I'm wrong.