Blogs > HNN > What Bush will do about Iraq

Nov 20, 2006 3:48 pm

What Bush will do about Iraq

Take your pick:

A. President Bush is basically an inflexible person. He will therefore remain comitted to the losing course he has chosen in Iraq and won't give up his goal of a democratic vision there. As he keeps saying, we will win as long as we have the will to win.

B. President Bush, worried about his legacy and the prospects of the Republican Party in 2008, will adopt the Baker-Hamilton commission recommendations, even if they radically change our goal and strategy, in the hope of ending the Iraq War in the next two years.

The answer?

I don't honestly know.

In recent weeks I have gone back and forth on the answer. One week I have felt confident that he is a man so rigid and self-righteous that he will refuse to make substantial adjustments in his Iraq policy. The next week I have been equally confident that he will give in to the pressure to end the war (or our involvement in it) by 2008 to help his party.

Both answers cannot be true. He must either change or stand pat. And yet I can make a strong case for both.

I am led to the conclusion that at this point the only thing one can say with confidence is that we know enough to know the right question but we don't know enough to say what the right answer is.

The right question is what kind of man is President Bush? Is he really a Christian zealot who believes he was put in the oval office to liberate 50 million people (the combined populations of Iraq and Afghanistan). Or is he really deep down just an ordinary politician worried about the next election (and his party's prospects in the election, which will substantially affect how he is viewed by his peers).

Before January 20, 2009 we will have our answer.

My hope is that he proves to be a politician. A politician will recognize reality and make needed adjustments. A zealot will take us down the holy road to hell.

comments powered by Disqus