Scuttling to victory

Guardian [UK]
by staff

10/23/06

Americans, Iraqis and many others must have wondered just what George Bush meant in his weekly radio address on Saturday when he insisted: 'Our goal in Iraq is clear and unchanging. Our goal is victory.' The president's comments can only be counted as bizarre at a time when concerns about the deteriorating situation have reached a 'tipping point' due to a combination of events on the ground in Baghdad, Amara and elsewhere -- and the impending decimation of the Republicans in the November 7 Congressional elections. Mr Bush's nonsensical message, a variant of his stock line about 'staying the course,' is likely to be quickly forgotten. The phrase that will be long remembered is that of Alberto Fernandez, head of public diplomacy at the state department: he told al-Jazeera that US policy in Iraq had suffered from 'arrogance' and 'stupidity.' Recent days have seen policy-makers in Washington scuttling to catch up with ordinary voters, and with some leading Republicans, who have had enough of this misconceived and incompetent war, their interest galvanised by leaks from James Baker's blue-ribbon, bipartisan Iraq study group. Mr Bush and Condoleezza Rice both say there is no fundamental shift of strategy in the offing, merely a review of 'tactics' in pursuit of a stable democracy. But talk of milestones, yardsticks and benchmarks attests to an increasingly urgent desire to quit before the going gets very much worse...

//www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,,1928837,00.html


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