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January 11, 2007

Bush on Iraq.

I've said before that President Bush leads, and that's what a President is supposed to do. Vice someone in a leadership position who lives by the poll - effectively looking for where the herd is heading, jumping in front, and saying "Follow Me!"

That's not leadership. Leadership is having a vision, and convincing people to follow you. President Bush has a vision. He's been mixed (and lately bad) on the getting people to follow part.

But give him credit for sticking to his guns, even as he takes his lumps, though I wish he was a little less loyal to close advisors and more flexible in his adaptation.

Jules Crittenden has a pretty good round up on the subject here.

Now, I await the follow-through. Will the *deeds* match the words? We've had plenty of 'leaders' who talk the talk. The question is - will President Bush walk the walk as he has in the past, but not as much lately - and, more importantly, will he be able to make the Iraqi government walk the walk.

Did, as some suggest, the President declare war on Syria and Iran last night? No. The question is - will he *make* war on them in the context of the parameters laid out last night? Will the SOF and Predators prowl in and over Syria and Iran? Will things happen on the border, or inside their borders, in those places where overt and covert support for the mooji's is provided?

If that happens, we'll have some sense of walking the walk. That's just one example. If Maliki gets Sadr to disarm his militia - or turns loose the Coalition on Sadr's Mahdi Army, we'll have some sense.

He may have boxed the Congress for the moment - but this shift in strategy, operations, and tactics is going to have to show something, and soon, in months, for him to keep them boxed.

And the long pole in the tent is... the Iraqis. Can they, will they step up? And if they do - will we support them?

That will be leadership. Unfortunately, President Bush isn't dealing from a position of strength. Now we'll see what his metal is made of. But it won't matter if he's a girder of fine steel, if the footings are balsa.

I'll do my little bit - to include, at the extreme, becoming temporarily unemployed... the money for the surge is coming out of the budget that's been funding the work we've been doing - work that was pretty much guaranteed a month ago has evaporated as the surge sucks the money into different pots and those projects are deferred to next year. This is going to be a lean year for some of us. Hey, there's a war on. S'okay, I'm not worried. Winning is more important than my current job. I'll just engineer a recall... and figure out some way to finesse the physical!

Update: AP/IPSOS Poll shows Americans "overwhelmingly" oppose the surge. I can certainly believe that a majority of Americans believe that, anyway. I know around here, the sense amongst the Auld Soldiers is "Right Plan, Too Late."

Fully 70 percent of Americans oppose sending more troops, and a like number don't think such an increase would help stabilize the situation there. The telephone survey of 1,002 adults was conducted Monday through Wednesday night, when the president made his speech calling for an increase in troops. News had already surfaced before the polling period that Bush wanted to boost U.S. forces in Iraq.

This is where leadership comes in. Of course, if the surge shows results, 6 months from now 55% of the people polled will say "Good idea!"

Show us what you've got Mr. President. The troops will do their bit.

Comments on Bush on Iraq.
FbL briefed on January 11, 2007 09:29 AM

John, we seem to all be sharing the same disease: you, Grim, JHD and me. I wouldn't recommend joining our ranks, as it seems rather difficult to leave... ;)

John of Argghhh! briefed on January 11, 2007 09:49 AM

Well, I have other sources of income. I get several thousand a month just for breathing.

But I'm willing to be a Wal-Mart greeter, too. Home Depot is an option - except I'd end up with no pay due and a bill every two weeks, I'm sure.

Maggie briefed on January 11, 2007 10:04 AM

I would vote against the Walmart greeter....sometimes people touch them. That's not for you. But the subject reminds me of a funny joke.
A very loud unattractive, mean-acting woman walking into Wal-Mart with her two kids in tow, screaming obscenities at them all the way through the entrance. The Wal-Mart Greeter says, "Good morning and welcome to Wal-Mart...Nice children you've got there - are they twins?
The ugly woman stops screaming long enough to say, "Hell no they ain't, the oldest one, he's 9 and the younger one, she's 7. Why the hell would you think they're twins?.......Do you really think they look alike?"
"No", relies the greeter, "I just couldn't believe you got l*^d twice!"

So, no John, no Walmart greeter for you. Also, I don't see Home Depot either. You'd be turning all the tools into weapons.

FbL briefed on January 11, 2007 01:52 PM

I think the last few lines of what you quoted is the key to that poll. I think it's terribly misleading of the AP to present that poll as being representative when it was conducted before the President made his case.

MajMike briefed on January 11, 2007 02:30 PM

well, i had held off on buying the tan version of these boots...

John of Argghhh! briefed on January 11, 2007 02:36 PM

Snerk. At least my mother taught me how to tie my shoelaces...

Tsk, tsk.

MinorRipper briefed on January 11, 2007 04:06 PM

John of Argghhh! briefed on January 11, 2007 05:19 PM

Hi Ripper. Wondered when you'd show up around here!

Okay. Three videos you've found.

Three instances. Granted, if there are three, there are certainly more.

Out of how many hundreds of thousands of soldiers who have deployed, you've found three videos.

And this, then, is Truth. The Real Deal.

Okay. So, if I go trolling in Democratic Underground or Daily Kos and find atrocious things being said, I get to say that that is representative of the whole cloth of the Left/Opposition?

You'd laugh me out of here.

And rightly so.

So, are you seriously proposing that out of all the videos on the web from the troops, that these three, however dumb the things being done by 18-Twenty-somethings are, is the True Face Of The American Military?

If that's the case - y'all need to clean up DU and some of the wilder Kossacks.

Otherwise, this is just a silly game of "gotcha".

Just as Haditha and Abu Ghraib are not "hearts and minds" events, neither are they indicative of the whole effort.

Just as a few bad cops doesn't mean all cops are bad.

Or a few black gang-bangers doing a drive-by means all black teen males are killers.

If you're trying to suddenly convulse me with guilt - well, I just remember what we found when we went into Kuwait City in Round 1.

That gives me a sense of perspective your video series lacks.


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