Having explained here at exhausting length why I felt the Iraq Study Group provided the best available chance at a bipartisan compromise on Iraq policy -- and indeed pretty much the best policy choices available, from a very bad lot -- only to see the President completely reject same, I have seen no point in commenting further on the subject (beyond that screwwwwwwwwwed post). I have to confess, though, that I have found the President's own announced strategy completely incomprehensible: militarily, politically, diplomatically, you name it. I've been (not for the first time) at a complete loss to understand his motives.
(It doesn't help, btw, that he recently explained to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi why the current strategy will work by saying he "told them it had to." According to a Democratic colleague, Pelosi replied, Why didn't you tell them that the last two times?)
I still haven't a clue what the President thinks he's doing...but at the following link (PDF file, using the free Adobe Acrobat reader) you'll find a truly horrific speculation. The author, Stephen P. Pizzo, covered the Savings & Loan scandal of the 1980s, and his article "Texas Hold-em" compares the mindset of the Texas S&L highrollers to the President's Iraq strategy. I don't know whether the comparison is fair. I do know that it is plausible enough to scare the hell out of me.
"every single Texas S&L crook I interviewed after the feds closed their bankrupt thrift and/or foreclosed on their projects, made the same claim -- almost word for word. It went like this:
'My S&L (or project) would not have failed if the feds had just let me complete my plan. If they had just funded it to completion it would not have failed. They caused the loss by stopping us from seeing the project through.'
And that's precisely what Bush will claim if he can just roll over his Iraq loans for two more years. He will leave office and go back to Crawford. The new administration will be forced to declare his Iraq project in default, bite the bullet and withdraw US troops. The lid will come off the already simmering Sunni/Shia civil war and that's when we'll hear from George again. He'll sidle out from his ranch house, cozy up to the Fox News microphone and declare:
'See, I warned that's what would happen. I didn't lose Iraq, the new administration and congress lost Iraq. Had they stuck with my plan and let it run to completion, my Iraq project would not have failed.'"
The whole thing is here:
93 93/93 -- AJ