What if the 'surge' works?

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Feb. 2 2007 6:19 AM

What if the 'Surge' Works?

Are foes of Bush's plan taking a political risk?

(Continued from Page 1)

The resolution says, in the first of 12 clauses::

(1) the Senate disagrees with the "plan" to augment our forces by 21,500, and urges the President instead to consider all options and alternatives for achieving the strategic goals set forth below;

Now, I'm not very imaginative, but I can think of at least seven "outs" a Senator who votes for Warner's resolution could try to use if the surge is ultimately judged beneficial: 1) 'I wanted more troops than the 21,500!' I strongly believe we shouldn't risk troops unless we have an overwhelming force advantage;' 2)  'We were trying to get the attention of this president, to change course. I didn't agree with all the provisions in the resolution.' Oh wait. Hillary's already said that3) I just wanted the president to consider all options and alternatives;' 4) Under my alternative plan, we could have acheived the same result without putting that many extra American soldiers at risk (e.g., 'We could have done the job with 20,500 troops!');  5) Gen. Petraeus is a genius; he took a flawed policy and somehow made it work;  6) 'The plan they actually implemented wasn't the plan we condemned--in the wake of the resolution, I think you'll see they modified the plan, which made it work much better; 7) 'The resolution itself was what scared the Iraqi government and made the plan work, so I actually take some credit for its success.' ...

I'm sure more experiences politicos can come up with other, better, 'outs,' ** The most important "out," of course, is this: Should Bush's surge happen to succeed, angry voters aren't very likely to run around punishing politicians who voiced doubts (especially since most voters harbored those same doubts). Voters just won't be riled up the way they'll be if the surge fails. They'll base their vote on other issues (e.g., health care, taxes). Isn't the rational course for a self-protective Senator, then, to err on the side of pessimism and vote as if the surge had a lower chance of success than you actually think it does (or than you would think it does if you actually analyzed it fully)? ...

**--Update: Anti-surgers could  always "huff, snort, nit-pick" about the inevitable "messy details," suggests Victor Davis Hanson--though I imagine that would be easier for previously antiwar Dems than previously prowar GOPs. [Via Insta]...  2:12 A.M.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

You were supposed to clear the decks for me, dammit! Hillary Clinton hasn't gotten nearly enough grief for declaring, of the Iraq War:

"The President has said this is going to be left to his successor. I think it's the height of irresponsibility, and I really resent it. ... This was his decision to go to war; he went with an ill-conceived plan, an incompetently executed strategy, and we should expect him to extricate our country from this before he leaves office." [E.A.]

Imagine if Eisenhower had said that about Korea. This is the presidency, not a dream date! Presidents are supposed to deal with the problems the face.  JPod riffs, Lee Harris ruminates ... P.S.: Hillary's "evil men" joke  was funny, though. ... 11:21 A.M.

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It's true. This cat is looking into the abyss, man. ... 11:08 A.M.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sloppy Joe: Everybody's piling on Joe Biden's loose-cannon Observer interview. Biden is a loose cannon, and the praise lavished on Sen. Hagel for "letting it rip" in front of Biden at the recent Foreign Relations committee hearing might not have been the best influence on him. But Biden's sharp critiques of his Democratic rivals' Iraq plans--especially Hillary Clinton's--are not so easily dismissed.

"From the part of Hillary's proposal, the part that really baffles me is, 'We're going to teach the Iraqis a lesson.' We're not going to equip them? O.K. Cap our troops and withdraw support from the Iraqis? That's a real good idea."

The result of Mrs. Clinton's position on Iraq, Mr. Biden says, would be "nothing but disaster."

It would be highly informative to see her try to answer. Let's hope Biden makes it to the debates (and not only the ones in front of the proven fools in Iowa). ... 11:03 A.M.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

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