President Bush is going multi-lateral. He discussed the proposed Iraq military buildup with Jordan‘s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. What he can promise them is beyond me. What can he possibly expect them to do? They know Bush is finished.
While he is talking to them, Congress led by the Democrats and being joined by Republican defectors, is working up a no-confidence momentum that will not persuade anyone to take a risk dependent on a long-term American commitment. They know Bush is finished.
A new AP-Ipsos poll found approval for Bush‘s handling of Iraq at a 29 percent approval and a 68 percent disapproval. That is trending downward.
Under such conditions what can be expected of the Iraqis? They will make the calculation that the Americans will leave and then determine which side they will fall towards. They know there is no chance or interest in a reconciliation between the Iraqis themselves. One and a half million of them have voted with their feet and left.
Today Gates and Pace appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee in an effort to persuade lawmakers to accept the new plan. Gates was not exactly encouraging. "There are no guarantees and I cannot guarantee what the Iraqi government‘s going to do," Pace said. "I can simply tell you what they have said they‘re going to do. And if they do what they say they‘re going to do, then this will succeed." Rice said we are running out of patience. "Our patience with the Iraqis is not unlimited."
The threat that the U.S. would pull out if the Iraqis don‘t perform as promised, will guarantee the defeat of the plan. It is called, "every man for himself."
The Democrats want out. There is nothing that will change that, and all the enemies that are in Iraq know the end is near. Bush built victory around Iraq becoming a democracy. Had he established a victory and a reasonable amount of security, he had a chance of establishing a democracy. The situation is similar as one faced by a banker who has a big problem loan, and kept throwing in more and more money hoping for a turn-around. At some stage the loan is taken away from the lending officer and placed into the work-out department.
The problem is the United States does not have a work-out department. Our system requires the one who made the mess, straighten it out. Bush is in control and will remain so till the end of his term. That is unfortunate because there are too many in Congress and the White House that will let their personal ambitions step on their duty to their country. That includes the President.