The president is out on the campaign trail in a last gasp effort to help some GOP congressman hold their seats. One of his main points is that Democrats cannot be trusted to have control of Congress "because they don't know how to win in Iraq." I guess I have been blinded by reality, having been under the impression that the administration's handlng of Iraq is as close to an overall disaster as one can imagine...clearly Bush has the answers of how to win in Iraq (how silly of me to use the evidence of reality on which I base my own conclusions). I want to say that Bush's stump speeches are laughable, but unfortunately things are too serious for our troops to just be sarcastic.
For three long years the GOP-controlled Congress has allowed this president to get us into this mess without any serious objections, oversight, demands for accountability, or suggestions to at least rethink strategy because of the poor results and steady deterioration of conditions on the ground. Only when the polls turned did one see the consistent GOP calls to "stay the course" fade away. Many Republicans who have consistently backed Bush on the war now hope to be seen as independents, including my congressman (Mark Kirk), because they now call for changes in strategy and suggest that timelines, benchmarks, and redeployment need to be considered...the same conclusions reached by most Democrats a year or more ago. They are running for cover, trying to distance themselves from their multiple years' worth of support for Bush's policies on Iraq (and we cannot forget that the Taliban is essentially in control of several regions in Afghanistan, to the point where the top NATO commander said that things need to significantly improve in the next 6 months or else we will lose the Afghan people to the Taliban). Democrats who demanded that we do the job right in Afghanistan, against those who were actually responsible for killing 3000 Americans, before going into Iraq were chastised, and simply dismissed as 'unpatriotic' for daring to question Bush. And the standard line Republican candidates still use against Democrats who want some sort of change in Iraq policy and strategy is "cutting and running," even as the Republicans suddenly say the same thing as the Democrats have been saying. This is ridiculous and infuriating, and as both sides resort to what is likely the most negative campaigning in our history, it is the troops who will continue to suffer because of a lack of leadership from Washington.
I am fairly certain that there is absolutely no person on the planet right now who knows how to achieve true victory in Iraq, largely because I honestly do not know what victory means, and I have not heard anyone give a convincing argument/definition of what victory is. I cannot grasp in my mind (and I have tried) how anyone can listen to Bush's latest speeches and regard them as believable or credible, as if the president knows what victory in Iraq looks like.