Reports say public support for Mr. Bush's war is decling further, and faster now than before the election. This demonstrates that the average American is not only smarter than anybody in the Bush administration, but better political thinkers too.
The administration's "stay the course", combined with the "one last big push" ideas are characteristic of their overall mediocrity, and George Bush's intellectual laziness. To my mind its the kind of thinking not really seen since the Great War when "stay the course" was also the policy, and hoped for success in "one last big push" was the losing strategy. The total lack of success and growing casualty lists showed it was no more imaginative then as it is now.
In the beginning of this administration the neo-cons got rid of all the generals whose assesments did not conform to the preconcieved neo-con policy. The generals advising Bush now are the ones who agreed to be their yes men. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld's "stay the course" strategy is really their way of saying, "we have no other ideas, and we're too arrogant to admit a mistake". Now we look like we did in Vietnam, like the Soviets in Afghanistan, and the French in Algeria.
Sending another 20,000 troops won't change a thing. Increasing funding for Iraqi security forces won't work either because they have been thoroughly compromised by militias, and death squads. Besides will the Democratic congress approve increased funding for a losing strategy?
A regional/international conference that utilizes the influence of what few friends we have left is the kind of idea that might move us away from incompetent "stay the course" thinking, stabilize the situation, and perhaps end the killing.
Promoting reconciliation between the three major groups in the country is also a practical idea, and my feeling is many sane and exhausted Iraqis will welcome such an idea.
Bush left to his own devices will never get us out of Iraq, and never win any victories that might allow us to leave. He needs help from the Persian Gulf regional countries who might lend him legitimacy, and push him toward making progress.
In spite of our phoney rhetoric, all we've done in Iraq for the last fifteen years is make things worse in every way. Lets get out.