David Kurtz reviews some myths and realities about the politics of Iraq. In short, George W. Bush is still the president and the country is still S.O.L. — he’s not letting polls or elections or congress constrain him. So we’re going to implement a “surge” into Baghdad which, as Henley notes is going to coincide with the normal seasonal decline in violence and thus be claimed as a victory. Victory, of course, will not be forthcoming.
This set of realities and not, say, Evan Bayh’s decision not to run is going to be the key factor in the 2008 Presidential election. A frighteningly large number of people seem to be counting on the idea that the war will be mostly over and the troops mostly withdrawn by 2008. But then again, people said Bush would “declare victory and go home” in time for the ’06 midterms. And they said he would do it in time for the ’04 election. But it’s not going to happen. The troops will leave if and only if a new political leader is elected and that leader wants to withdraw the troops.