Bush Flip-Flops On Listening To Military Leaders
Maybe David Gregory can zing Tony Snow with this:
Bush has traditionally paid public deference to the generals, saying any decisions on moving U.S. forces in the region would depend on their views. At a Chicago news conference in July, for instance, Bush said he would yield to Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Iraq commander.
"General Casey will make the decisions as to how many troops we have there," Bush said, adding: "He'll decide how best to achieve victory and the troop levels necessary to do so. I've spent a lot of time talking to him about troop levels. And I've told him this: I said, 'You decide, General.' "
By yesterday, however, Bush indicated that he will not necessarily let military leaders decide, ducking a question about whether he would overrule them. "The opinion of my commanders is very important," he said. "They are bright, capable, smart people whose opinion matters to me a lot." He added: "I agree with them that there's got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops before I agree on that strategy."
A senior aide said later that Bush would not let the military decide the matter. "He's never left the decision to commanders," said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so Bush's comments would be the only ones on the record. "He is the commander in chief. But he has said he will listen to those commanders when making these decisions. That hasn't changed."
Bush has lied and flip-flopped. Will the media confront him and Snow on it? Keep in mind that this has come after the ISG report was released, and after the Iraqis have themselves pointedly rejected a troop increase or a change of mission towards an advisory and training role for our forces. Yet Bush is now blowing off both our own generals and the Iraqis themselves, because The Decider knows best.
As I said yesterday, it is time for Congress to put the Bush foreign policy into receivership.