Setting Expectations

Even if you take political preference aside for a second, and ignore the craziness of George Bush’s speech last night, if you just take it at face value, something is really really wrong. The President admitted that he made mistakes, that there’s tons of violence, that we’re not “winning.” Then he said that winning the war in Iraq is absolutely crucial to the Global War On Terror, that we *must* win it. Oh crap. Really? We *must* win it? Otherwise we’ve lost the GWOT?

That sounds like a basketball team captain calling a press conference at half-time, with his team down by 30 points, saying “if we don’t win this game, then my career is OVER. Thus, we must win this game.” Okay, I understand that this would be a good motivational speech to his teammates, or even to himself. But to the public? To his opponents? To the world at large? You’re just setting yourself up to make failure even worse than it already is. You’re saying “if we lose this—and we are losing it—then we’ve lost even more.”

A long long time ago, Bush claimed he was the CEO President. He proves, once again, that he isn’t. If we fail in Iraq, he’s made that failure look far worse. Propping up Iraq as a major front in the War on Terror was a good idea to get people to back the war. Now we will reap the consequences of this massive exaggeration, and our failure—which everyone but Bush expects at this point—will be as big as the cause Bush trumpeted.

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