According to Bush, defeat is not acceptable in Iraq. Okay, heard that before. We can’t leave before victory is achieved. Check.
But the logic of the ‘surge’ is that we’re also cracking down on Maliki. We’re giving him one more chance to get it right. And if they won’t do their part, we’re outta there. Or in other words, we pull up stakes without acheiving victory.
But President Bush’s oft-restated promise to stay in Iraq forever sort of gives Maliki the wink-n-nod that it doesn’t really matter what he does. We’re staying regardless.
So the whole thing is silly and makes no sense in the the simplest logical terms.
Of course, we might also mention the point that the incomparable John Burns made on Anderson Cooper’s show last night: that it’s silly to really believe that Maliki is going to try to crush the Mahdi Army when they a) give him the votes to remain Prime Minister and b), more importantly, those are the fighters Maliki is planning on using the Civil War really gets cracking. As Burns put it, they’re Maliki’s Plan B.