July 14, 2007

Reports of his death perhaps exaggerated...

President Bush gave an interview to 10 conservative writers recently. Kate O'Biern and Rich Lowry have a report in NRO, He’s Not for Turning. Bush makes his case on Iraq.. Bush is not, perhaps, exactly Churchillian, but it's pretty good...

Forget the leaks and the speculation, President George W. Bush is not looking for a way out of the surge and the Iraq war. In a session with about ten conservative journalists Friday afternoon, a confident and determined president made it clear that he is going to see the surge through, and will rely on General David Petraeus’s advice on how to proceed come September, regardless of the political climate in Washington...Excellent. And I suspect all this may work out better than the pessimists expect.

...Pressed on whether the surge can be sustained despite all the difficulties, he said, “That’s the challenge, but I’m optimistic about it.” He said that back in January, “I suspect you’d be asked the same question, particularly since the outcry was quite significant.” But he went with the surge.

“How can he possibly do this,” he said, characterizing what critics of the war were thinking. “Can’t he see? Can’t he hear?” (At one point he acknowledged that these decisions aren’t easy — “You don’t know what it’s like to be commander-in-chief until you’re commander-in-chief,” he said.)

He explained “that last fall, if I had been part of this polling, if they had called upstairs and said, do you approve of Iraq I would have been on the 66 percent who said, `No I don’t approve.’ That’s why I made the decision I made. To get in a position where I would be able to say ‘Yes, I approve.’...

....He says he has four audiences when he broadcasts his commitment to the mission in Iraq: the American public; the American military and their families; the Iraqis (“because there are a lot of people who doubt America’s resolve”); and the enemy (“the enemy thinks that we are weak — they’re sophisticated people, and they listen to the debate”). As for that last audience, “I really think the additional forces into Iraq surprised them—a lot.”....I hadn't thought of it that way. Poor al Qaeda, they slaughter thousands of innocent men women and children, and then their newsmedia/Democrat/pacifist wing fails to carry out its part of the bargain, and there's MORE Americans coming! Suuuprise! I bet they were flummoxed!

....The president made his intentions clear Friday afternoon. He’s not going to abandon the surge, despite all the talk of his administration being willing to move to the Iraq Study Group model of the Iraq war. He views “this period as fundamental for deciding whether or not this nation is going to be secure throughout a lot of the 21st century. And therefore when it comes to the war in Iraq, as you know, I made a decision not to leave but to put more in, and I will support our troops and support Gen. Petraeus, his plan.”....Thank you. I'll depend on it.
Posted by John Weidner at July 14, 2007 7:24 AM
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