Rich: Aside from Laura and Barney, who's in the bunker with Bush?
Aside from the first lady and Barney, who's in the bunker with President Bush, New York Times columnist Frank Rich asks in his latest Sunday column.
It's a very short list led by John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and neo-conservative dead-enders like William Kristol and Frederick Kagan, who congregate at The Weekly Standard and the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington think tank. The one notable new recruit is Rudy Giuliani, who likened taming Baghdad to "reducing crime in New York," without noticing that even after the escalation there will be fewer American troops patrolling Baghdad than uniformed police officers in insurgency-free New York City.
his discrepancy between the policy that Bush nominally endorses and the one he actually ordered up crystallizes the cynicism of this entire war. If you really believe, as the president continues to put it, that Iraq is the central front in "the decisive ideological struggle of our time," then you should be in favor of having many more troops than we've ever had in Iraq. As T.X. Hammes, an insurgency expert and a former Marine, told USA Today, that doesn't now mean a "dribble" (as he ridicules the "surge") but a total of 300,000 armed coalition forces over a minimum of four years.
But that would mean asking Americans for sacrifice, not giving us tax cuts. Bush has never asked for sacrifice and still doesn't. If his words sound like bargain-basement Churchill, his actions have been cheaper still. The president's resolutely undermanned war plan indicated from Day1 that he knew in his heart of hearts that Iraq was not the central front in the war against 9/11 jihadism he had claimed it to be, only the reckless detour that it actually was. Yet the war's cheerleaders, neocon and otherwise, disingenuously blamed our low troop strength almost exclusively on Rumsfeld.
LINK: SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED TO READ MORE