The Surge Is All His
Twenty four American troops were killed in Iraq on Saturday, the third deadliest day of the war. The largest number of deaths, thirteen, came in the downing of an American helicopter by ground fire, something we will see repeated as more and more Americans surge into Iraq under the plan we now find out was dictated by the president himself, over the advice of both his own military and the wishes of the occupied Iraqi government.
It's amazing to see how five deferments and spending the Vietnam war under a barstool in Alabama can make you smarter than the commanders on the ground in Iraq.
Give a close read to the Post story by Peter Baker and Michael Abramowitz, who are reporting that the surge is almost exclusively the work of the president himself. After reading it, I am still confused as to the operational orders for our forces after the surge commences. It seems clear from the story that the al-Maliki government wanted the Americans to retreat out of Baghdad and let the Iraqis deal with the city, which ostensibly would allow the Shiites to cleanse the Sunnis from the capitol. And al-Maliki wanted us to deal with Al-Qaeda in the al-Anbar province, and finally seal the borders, something we should have done years ago.
Yet the story indicates that Bush rejected this, and wanted more troops than even his military men wanted, but to do what? Does Bush clearly intend for our forces to battle the militias directly even if the host government is lukewarm if not hostile to the idea? It seems from the reading of this story that the only part of al-Maliki's proposal that Bush adopted was the part about going after Al Qaeda in the al-Anbar province, since there is no mention in any of the material I have read since the rollout of Bush's plan about sending troops to the borders.
Since the story makes it clear that both the military and the Iraqis were against what ended up being the final Bush plan, Bush is singularly responsible for whether or not this plan succeeds or fails.