‘Stubborn’ is the nicest adjective one could possibly use to describe the recent actions President George W. Bush has taken, or intends to take, regarding Iraq. A great number of other less indulgent terms comes to mind, though. Last Wednesday, Bush appeared on television to expound his unsurprising decision to send 21,500 more American troops to Iraq.
Also, unsurprisingly, many American politicos as well as average American citizens are rather displeased. In fact, it seems that Bush has done his very best to avoid any sort of reality, be it in facts or the opinions of politicians or just the American people. Well, Mr. President, the general public does not approve of your actions or sending more of our men and women into harm’s way. Haven’t we sent enough of our people, our most important resource, to Iraq time and time again?
Meanwhile, Congress struggles to find an appropriate but not too radical response to this newest call for more American lives. A movement has been propelled by a group of primarily Democratic dissenters. This non-binding resolution is spearheaded by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich) and 2008 presidential hopefuls Sens. Joseph Biden (D-Del) and Chuck Hagel (D-Neb). The resolution states that ‘escalating the United States military force presence in Iraq’ is not in the best interest of the nation. If a troop surge isn’t in the national interest, in whose interest is it?
Perhaps Bush and the few who remain advocates of the war on Iraq have other supporting evidence for their stance. A Pentagon review of the Iraq situation had suggested three options, one of which Bush may see as malleable to his military inclinations. In the review, the possibilities are listed as increasing the amount of troops in Iraq, having a smaller force with the intention of staying longer or withdrawing completely. The first suggestion has rather clearly been the least popular choice; it is not the sort of change the American people want to see in Iraq.
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group had something to say concerning our military presence in Iraq. Perhaps within their findings Bush and his administration discovered some mandate allowing them to deploy more troops; however, it is difficult for someone to misunderstand the panel’s exhortations to withdraw U.S. troops by early 2008. If that is too vague for the administration’s comprehension, the Study Group further recommended that more troops not be sent unless they were so requested by a military commander. Bush does not appear to be the sort of military commander the Group had in mind.
This most recent attempt at an apparent quick fix through more military personnel is quite simply another deliberate misunderstanding on the part of the current administration in its attempt to fully comprehend the situation at hand and the interests and will of the American people. It is unfortunate that this latest blunder has thus far only been remonstrated with words and symbolic actions by Congress and even more tragic that it requires our men and women in uniform to act out this unwanted military drama.
One can only hope that citizens and politicians alike will continue down this road of symbolic action, continue on to real action and no longer indulge a president who stopped acting on behalf of his constituents some time ago.