In spite of the election results, it appears President Bush has the same view about Iraq as he did before the election returns. He was quoted this week as saying: "There’s one thing I’m not going to do, I’m not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete…We can accept nothing less than victory for our children and our grandchildren." It’s misguided business as usual for the adminstration regarding Iraq. This President, as commander in chief, has been in charge of the disasterous fighting in Iraq for three years and things are worse now then before he manipulated the invasion of Iraq with false information. Yet, he continues to have the swagger of a cowboy when it comes to the reality of the situation.
Vice President Cheney is also emphatic about Iraq. He is quoted as saying "I know what the President thinks. I know what I think. And we’re not looking for an exit strategy. We’re looking for victory." Not only that, he made it clear this Administration would, if necessary, use force against Iran. And what about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? She said in Australia that there’s no choice but to win. So even though this Administration didn’t get the rubber stamp Congress they hoped for, nothing has changed regarding their failed Iraq policy.
As former President Jimmy Carter told Wolf Blitzer on CNN he believes the invasion of Iraq is "going to prove, I believe, to be one of the greatest blunders that American presidents have ever made." Congressman Dennis Kucinich has said: "We have to take a whole new approach. We’re spending over $400 billion a year, money that’s also needed for health care, for education, for job creation, for seniors. We have to take a new look at this. We need to be a strong country, but strength isn’t only military.
CBS news quotes Michael O’Hanlon, policy analyst at the Brookings Institute as saying about Iraq "We’re losing. One of the few hopes we have left is (that) someone is close enough to (President Bush) that he will be listened to by Bush – and smart and independent enough to see this in a different way." But, it seems to me that this President and this administration march to their own drummer, paying no attention to the American people, the truth or the facts. It appears vain to hope for them modifying their thinking to conform to the will of the people. Perhaps the Baker-Hamilton Study Group composed, in part, with former President Bush’s advisors, will have helpful recommendations that this President will listen to about Iraq. We’ll see if the Democratic majority in Congress will use the power they have been given by the people through exercising strong and courageous leadership or the party will once again fall back into infighting, confusion and lack of direction.