Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Decider in Chief

I wonder if the United States has ever been this close to a military coup. Bush will not back down, and he cannot be persuaded. Leaving Iraq is losing. We will not leave. What will the military do? What will they say?
By yesterday, however, Bush indicated that he will not necessarily let military leaders decide, ducking a question about whether he would overrule them. "The opinion of my commanders is very important," he said. "They are bright, capable, smart people whose opinion matters to me a lot." He added: "I agree with them that there's got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops before I agree on that strategy."

A senior aide said later that Bush would not let the military decide the matter. "He's never left the decision to commanders," said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so Bush's comments would be the only ones on the record. "He is the commander in chief. But he has said he will listen to those commanders when making these decisions. That hasn't changed."
I stand by my earlier prediction that the gloves are going to come off verbally. The people with power are starting to get alarmed. The people without power are already alarmed. Eventually, people stop deferentially responding to offensive non-answers like this:
Q: If you conclude that a surge in troop levels in Iraq is needed, would you overrule your military commanders if they felt it was not a good idea?

Bush: That's a dangerous hypothetical question. I'm not condemning you, you're allowed to ask anything you want. Let me weight and gather all the recommendations from Bob Gates, from our military, from diplomats on the ground, interested Iraqis point of view and then I'll report back to you as to whether or not I support a surge or not. Nice try.
And the new questions they ask will have an edge.
  • "Why shouldn't you be impeached?"
  • "Is there anyone's child you wouldn't have killed so that you wouldn't have to admit a mistake?"
  • "Why do you think you were elected king?"
But, hey thanks, Republican voters in 2004. I hope you feel proud that you were lured in to vote against gay marriage so that you could elect this irresponsible murderer. The blood is on your hands, too.

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