Great article in Slate on Monday’s press conference with the prez. It’s just so clear he doesn’t get it. Fred Kaplan really nails it here, though:
As for Iraq, it’s no news that Bush has no strategy. What did come as newsâ€”and, really, a bit of a shockerâ€”is that he doesn’t seem to know what “strategy” means.
Asked if it might be time for a new strategy in Iraq, given the unceasing rise in casualties and chaos, Bush replied, “The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and dreams, which is a democratic society. That’s the strategy. â€¦ Either you say, ‘It’s important we stay there and get it done,’ or we leave. We’re not leaving, so long as I’m the president.”
First, it’s not clear that the Iraqi people want a “democratic society” in the Western sense. Second, and more to the point, “helping Iraqis achieve a democratic society” may be a strategic objective, but it’s not a strategyâ€”any more than “ending poverty” or “going to the moon” is a strategy.
I’d add that “we’re not leaving, so long as I’m president” clearly isn’t a strategy anyway, unless your strategy is “let the next guy clean up the mess”.