Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Josh Micah Marshall: Bush Blames General Casey for Everything

I don't know if the basic gist of the New York Times piece on what happened in Iraq in 2006 will get picked up. But in case anyone misses it, let's do the short summary. According to the White House, the person to blame for Iraq is Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., the top American commander in the country. And Casey's so bad that President Bush is probably going to can him before his current tour concludes this summer. Probably as soon as next month. In so many words, Casey's policy (which, reading between the lines, it's pretty clear Casey thought was Bush's desired policy) was maintain current troop levels and 'standing down as the Iraqis stand up'. You may have thought that was the Bush policy. But apparently not. "Over the past 12 months," the Times now tells us, "as optimism collided with reality, Mr. Bush increasingly found himself uneasy with General Casey’s strategy." In fact, the Casey policy left the White House so wrong footed that they were "constantly lagging a step or two behind events on the ground." So why did the president wait so long to rid himself of this meddlesome general? Well, politics is politics, remember. "Many of Mr. Bush’s advisers say their timetable for completing an Iraq review had been based in part on a judgment that for Mr. Bush to have voiced doubts about his strategy before the midterm elections in November would have been politically catastrophic." At least there was no rush to get a handle on the situation. Read this article. The swirl of buckpassing, cravenness, ridiculous lies and general awfulness will turn your head.

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