Sunday, April 06, 2008
it's my quest, quest for certainty:
This is -- sigh -- probably true:
The president felt frustrated that he could not "get out of either Abizaid or Casey any coherent description of how we were going to defeat the enemy" as sectarian violence spiraled in Baghdad, one former official said. That led Bush to overrule his military advisers last year, order a "surge" of 30,000 additional U.S. forces to Iraq, and search for a new field commander who would be more in line with his views on how best to wage the war.
Yeah, wonder why Abizaid or Casey couldn't offer any coherent description of how to defeat the enemy...

Still, this is surely an effort at washing Bush in the blood of the Petraeus-lamb. Bush was casting about for a commander "more in line with his views on how best to wage the war"? And those would be...? To send more troops to Iraq? People from Joe Biden to the Weekly Standard had been saying that for four years. Bush refused when it might have made a difference and acquiesced when it wouldn't. A blast from the past:
Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave. As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders.
Wouldn't want to give the impression we're staying forever! That was June 28, 2005. His commanders were John Abizaid and George Casey.
--Spencer Ackerman