This surge idea comes after the people voted overwhelmingly against the Republicans, largely based on the President's handling of Iraq. A majority of Americans thinks we shouldn't even be there. The Baker-Hamilton report advised leaving by 2008, with no mention of a surge. Most military leaders oppose the surge.
The few people who do support a surge support a much larger one. It's not clear that anybody besides George W. Bush thinks a surge of 20,000 people is a good idea.
So what the hell is he thinking?
The easy answer is, he's not. That's what I figured at first -- that he's simply too stubborn to admit defeat.
Then I read Glenn Greenwald's latest post:
The President's intentions towards Iran need much more attention
As Think Progress notes, the White House took multiple steps yesterday to elevate dramatically the threat rhetoric against Iran. Bush included what The New York Times described as “some of his sharpest words of warning to Iran” yet. But those words could really be described more accurately not as “threats” but as a declaration of war.
He accused the Iranian government of “providing material support for attacks on American troops” and vowed to “seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies.” But those networks are located in Iran, which means that search and destroy missions on such networks would necessarily include some incursion into Iranian territory, whether by air or ground.
I think there is a tendency to dismiss the possibility of some type of war with Iran because it is so transparently destructive and detached from reality that it seems unfathomable. But if there is one lesson that everyone should have learned over the last six years, it is that there is no action too extreme or detached from reality to be placed off limits to this administration. The President is a True Believer and the moral imperative of his crusade trumps the constraints of reality.
Let's think about this "surge" again. Before Bush brought up the idea, we were debating when we should withdraw from Iraq. The Baker-Hamilton group, as I mentioned above, recommended we withdraw by 2008, and they were the ones appointed by Bush. Many Democrats wanted to withdraw sooner.
By shifting the debate to the "surge," Bush put off the debate on withdrawal.
Leaving him with 160,000 troops next-door to Iran. And warships and strike aircraft in the Persian Gulf region in a display of military resolve toward Iran.
Bush knows he'll never get permission to start a new war with Iran. He's just going to turn the current debacle into a new one. U.S. troops stormed an Iranian consulate in Iraq this morning and siezed six people.
The war with Iran is on, folks. Bush is turning a large failure into an overwhelming catastrophe.