Friday, August 22, 2008


There's little chance that much of the rest of the media picks up with the very accurate narrative Dan Froomkin creates about the recent development in Iraq. It's a complete reversal of the last several years of rhetoric.

It is hypothetically possible that an American pullout on this timetable will leave behind a peaceful, democratic and pro-Western Iraq. One can certainly hope. But it seems more likely that the sectarian fissures opened by the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation will once again explode into violence as soon as U.S. troops -- and U.S. payments -- stop creating an artificial sense of stability.

And then, of course, there's Bush's own histrionic prediction. "It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing," he said last May. "All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars and gather their strength -- and begin plotting how to overthrow the government and take control of the country of Iraq. I believe setting a deadline for withdrawal would demoralize the Iraqi people, would encourage killers across the broader Middle East, and send a signal that America will not keep its commitments. Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure -- and that would be irresponsible."

So the next big question is this: How will Bush explain this turnaround when he finally emerges from his Crawford vacation? Will he try to downplay its significance? Or will he actually suggest that the job is nearly done in Iraq? That would be a bold move indeed, but not one with a lot of evidence to support it.

I think Bush, too, is BORED NOW and won't really even bother to try anything. His moment at the center is about to pass, and after that he won't give a shit.