Bush Wants To Change The Subject
“I’m convinced the Army and the Marines are near the breaking point.”
--Incoming House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D)
Both the Post and ABC News are reporting at this hour that Bush will deflect the “surge” problem he faces in Iraq by shifting the subject to growing the size of the military to combat terrorism. Fine. Here are several questions for the Decider:
1. Before we add troops to the active forces to fight terrorism, how many troops will you redeploy from police duty inside Iraq’s civil war?
2. Which tax cuts for the wealthy will you terminate to pay to fix the military you broke? In other words Mr. President, tell us how you plan to pay for your military build-up. From the sound of it, you are looking at an increase of at least 50,000 from current levels, and you have broken the current military so bad that tens of billions are needed just to replenish it at the current size. Democrats should make sure the American people get to decide if Bush gets to charge it on their credit card again, or if they will make Bush deal with Iraq and identify what sacrifice the wealthy will make first.
3. Lastly Mr. President, since you don’t agree that fighting terrorists is a law enforcement function but rather a function of a permanent war that the GOP wants to monopolize for itself, before you get to spend another dime tell us how these forces will be used in conjunction with our intelligence community and other countries.
Note in the AP wire story how the Pentagon brass is hesitant at best to commit another 5 brigades to Iraq without knowing what the end game is and whether or not such a deployment is tied to a bigger (read: political) solution. Despite what some of the brass are saying, and despite the 7-brigade talk from the war cheerleaders at the American Enterprise Institute (who got us into this mess), Boston University Professor Andrew Bacevich says it won't help.
And as DJ Moonbat says in the comment thread, Bush will have to justify a military expansion and tell the American people how he will pay for it in front of a Democratic congress that won't rubber stamp any more lunacy, which will be a new experience for the Bush Administration.