MI:2 Plan for Victory

President Bush's Iraq Victory Speech(Pre-speech photo via Wonkette).

Tom Raum, who has covered Washington for AP through five presidents and over 30 years writes:

President Bush came as close as he ever has to admitting mistakes on Iraq Wednesday, acknowledging setbacks and uneven results in the training of Iraqi troops in his latest defense of the war 2 1/2 years after he first declared victory.

George W. Bush finally did what he always feared doing: he announced how we would win the war, at the risk of threatening the troops by spreading formerly classified information to the public today at the US Naval Academy (transcript).

Not really. The National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, as its written, was composed earlier this month according to its datestamp, despite White House claims to have been operating according to the plan since 2003.

Listen to the November 30 Talk of the Nation from NPR for a great conversation on this speech featuring James Fallows and Michael Rubin.

A couple insights from across the blogosphere:

Marc Cooper took the wayback machine and found that the “old Nixon game plan seems tailor-cut for Bush.” Seems text of the speech may have been leaked to Cooper as he vowed to sleep through the president’s “major” announcement.

Cafe Politico says there was hardly any evidence of a plan being revealed, suggesting the title: “Lots of Testosterone-Inspired Soundbites Minus Any Specifics.”

David Corn bites his lip and delivers an insightful analysis of the speech at his blog.

Sens. Kerry and Reid released statements to the effect of: “yo, I don’t think so.”

The Left Coaster says that in addition to the typical rhetoric, Bush “retreated back to his strategy of 2000. It?s him and the people of America against the entrenched political forces in DC.”

Donald Rumsfeld Hands
Tuesday, Donald Rumsfeld had an “epiphany,” and like all of his previous epiphanies, this one resonated very little with the actual military players don’t come across like Rummy, who speaks as if he is “merely observing the Iraq war on television,”Dana Milbank wrote in the Post. Here is some of the exchange he had with his new Joint Chief of Staff:

[A]sked about torture by Iraqi authorities, Rumsfeld replied that “obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility” other than to voice disapproval.

But [Gen. Peter] Pace had a different view. “It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it,” the general said.

Rumsfeld interjected: “I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it’s to report it.”

But Pace meant what he said. “If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it,” he said, firmly.

I’m glad we cleared that up. Rumsfeld should have begun the press conference with the anecdote he used to close it:

“I just don’t know…. I can only talk about what I know.” [exaggerated shrug] “That’s life.”

Finally, earlier today AP released a list of about 40 international civilians believed to still be kidnapped throughout Iraq.

A Solution for Iraq

Its time to deal realistically with the situation in Iraq.

It would be disastrous for the troops to withdraw; there time for a “timetable” was before our men and women hit the ground, now the strategy must be addressed progressively.

I say we “stand down” now, without leaving. Drop our weapons and commit to cleaning up the mess we made.

I sincerely hope to see a genuine commitment to passively overseeing and facilitating a REAL transistion in Iraq following the elections.

Of course, this idea came to me in a dream – perhaps I should wake up. Check my live newsfeed at right for the latest news from Iraq.

Articles: Let’s get Back to Regime Change: Asia Times | “American Consent on Withdrawal” – Dar al-Hayat | “More Than a Mistake in Iraq” – Washington Post | “The Way Forward in Iraq” – L.A. Times | “The Path to Peace” – TomPaine.com | “Panic is Not the Solution” – Newsweek | “Counterproductive US Actions Thwart Solution” – Hellenic News | “Staying the Course” – Sy Hersh, New Yorker

Telegraph’s report of indiscriminate killing of Iraqis – seeing is believing

This is sickening, and even more disturbing is the creedence one must give this report, considering it was front page material in the UK’s Telegraph:

“A “trophy” video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.”

And we wonder how they can “hate us for our freedom…”

Watch the video at Crooks and Liars. (link)