Clap Louder.

Cheer for the war more, and the war will be no more.

Or something like that. I too, heard nothing new. I wasn’t expecting to. Stay the Course, version 5.0. Or more. I’ve lost track by now. I had to watch, kind of in a sick, car-crash kind of way, only worse. I’d say that he looked far less confident than we’re used to seeing him during his presidential addresses. I’d say that the stammering and stumbling was a notch higher also. I’m sure it was a painful speech for him to give.

When you have a 26% job approval rating, how do you go out there and tell a skeptical nation that:

“This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad’s residents.”


“Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue — and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties.”

How do you go out there and try to tell them that just 20,000 more troops will do the trick, when this is the 5th surge we’ve tried already. This diary from edgery on dailyKos describes and discusses the semantics of surge vs. escalation , and has a nice graph at the end that I’ll borrow here. (Thanks for the nice work.)


None of these prior surges have accomplished the goal, why would this one? What’s different? I wish I could have put it as well as Devilstower in a different diary at dailyKos.

“Tonight, Bush outlined a complete New and Improved strategy for Iraq. New and improved as in the way a box of Lucky Charms is new and improved whenever they change the shape of a marshmallow. And that’s an insult to Lucky Charms.”

President Bush did offer a bit of truth, though in his statement that:

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.

There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship, because they’ve all been decommissioned, due to lack of maintenance and readiness. And their proposed replacement ships won’t be ready until 2013. Well, maybe this thing will be wrapped up by 2013. But whether there is or isn’t a surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship, there has already been a premature declaration of victory on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

mission accomplished

And that’s something that we didn’t see during the wars of our fathers and grandfathers either.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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