Yesterday, Vice President Dick Cheney was on hand at the National Convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart to talk about Iraq. The speech was full of the usual pabulum and dishonesty about the conflict, and there were even some bad jokes (“at ease, please,” he jestingly opens his remarks)””strange, coming from a serial draft-dodger.
But Cheney wasn’t there to talk up an imminent victory, or to discuss the last throes of the insurgency. He was there to claim that we have clarity: “Our mission in Iraq is clear,” Cheney tells the crowd. And again, in closing: “We will not relent in this effort, because we have the clearest possible understanding of what is at stake.”
Last Month, General George Casey, commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, told reporters that large-scale troop withdrawals could start as early as next spring. Then, just last Monday, we learned that a troop increase can be expected in the short term. Three days later, President Bush said no decision had yet been made on whether troop levels would increase or decrease. Just yesterday, we learn that 700 new troops will be dispatched to Iraq.
Ah, very clear. Everyone on the same page?