It seems every day there is some speculation that Bush surely must be weakening on Iraq, given the continuing high number of casualties, increased wobbling by some Republican senators and his plummeting 'approval rate' polls, but as Paul Hoosan's post this morning suggests, Bush remains unmoved. He is 'the real thing'. He is standing firm, like Plymouth Rock. It's as if the past 4 and half years have made absolutely no impression on him. I am always reminded of the one lesson he said he took from Vietnam, that "we will win if we don't quit."
Just, as in September, when he met a group right-wing talk show hosts, he confided (off -the record) that 'the War on Terror' has to be about right versus wrong, because if it's about Christianity versus Islam, we'll lose"....and later in October, to a group of 'on-the-record' conservative bloggers when he repeatedly talked of the real threat of the Caliph engulfing half the globe, Bush always reserves his most candid thoughts on 'the Armagadden' of Iraq, to like-minded soul-mates. In the latest example, it was to a group of conservative journalists, at a closed meeting in the Oval Office, on Friday. Supposedly, it was off-the-record, but let's read two journalists' joint account in 'The National Review' 'He's Not for Turning'
(On the Iraq war). He views this period as fundamental for deciding whether or not this nation is going to be secure throughout a lot of the 21st century.
Bush explained that last fall, if I had been part of this polling, if they had called upstairs and said, do you approve of Iraq I would have been on the 66 percent who said, `No I don't approve.' That's why I made the decision I made. (the surge) To get in a position where I would be able to say Yes, I approve.
He worries about exhaustion as we're dealing with these radicals who have a lot of energy and who aren't going to be tired. But he said he has "tools" in the debate, including "the bully pulpit and the ability to convince the American people...
He marveled at one of the media's lines of questioning at his Thursday press conference,They asked me yesterday 'Are you sure it's al Qaeda [in Iraq]?' 'Yeah, how do you know?' 'Because they swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden is how I know. (yes indeed, Bush's marvelous 'Quod erat demonstrandum' thinking at work)
He said, eventually We need to be in a position that can sustain a long-term troop presence, although that depends on conditions on the ground...
and lastly, There is such a thing as the universality of freedom. I strongly believe that Muslims desire to be free just like Methodists desire to be free.
But how many Methodists are willing to blow themselves up, or kill hundreds of their neighbors to acheive it?
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!