The “what if” game: What if you were a commander in chief and were meeting with your leaders who were conducting a war on your behalf. Is there any chance that you would not ask questions like “do you have enough soldiers”?
What if, though, you pretended that you hadn’t done that? I wonder what that could mean?
President Bush said Saturday he is open to the possibility of slowing or stopping plans to bring home more U.S. troops from Iraq, defying domestic demands to speed the withdrawals.
Updated on war developments, Bush said the U.S. presence in Iraq will outlast his presidency.
Bush said any decision about troop levels “needs to be based upon success,” but that there was no discussion about specific numbers when he was briefed by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad.[…]
Bush began the day receiving an hour-long briefing from Petraeus and Crocker at Camp Arifjan, the largest U.S. base in Kuwait and home to about 9,000 American troops. Acting on the two men’s recommendation a year ago, Bush ordered a buildup of 30,000 U.S. forces in Iraq. In September, again on their advice, Bush announced he would withdraw some troops from by July — essentially the 30,000 in the buildup — but still keep the U.S. level there at about 130,000.
With Petraeus at his side, Bush said, “My attitude is, if he didn’t want to continue the drawdown, that’s fine with me, in order to make sure we succeed, see. I said to the general, `If you want to slow her down, fine. It’s up to you.'”Petraeus and Crocker are to give Congress an update on Iraq in March and make a recommendation about troop levels.
There are many very vocal critics of this Administration’s Iraq war who contend that the recent reduction in violence against both the Iraqi civilian population and our military contingent there is related to things other than a true cessation of hostilities. What if your General was of that mind also, but you were hoping that things might change for the better by March? And what if you had proved yourself to be of such limited curiosity and intellect that many people would simple accept the assertion that the conversation had simply not gotten around to the subject of what the future holds.