That’s the quote from Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, the full statement enlightening us further that "There is a strong consensus building in Washington in favor of President Bush’s strategy for victory in Iraq."
He went on to say, “As the Iraqi security forces gain strength and experience, we can lessen our troop presence in the country without losing our capability to effectively defeat the terrorists. Today, Sen. Biden described a plan remarkably similar (my italics) to the Administration’s plan to fight and win the war on terror (yeah, my italics again). We welcome Sen. Biden’s voice in the debate (?). We are pleased he shares our view that the way to a democratic and peaceful Iraq is through aggressively training Iraqi police and soldiers, rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and forging political compromises between Iraqi factions."
So, the Democratic Senator who came out with a statement to somehow goose a confused and impotent administration into some kind of action, got co-opted. The neocons are pleased that Biden sees it their way. The hand of Karl Rove is certainly in that clever little manoeuvre. Biden actually said, "There is a broad consensus on what must be done to preserve our interests. Recently, 79 Democratic and Republican senators told President Bush we need a detailed, public plan for Iraq, with specific goals and a timetable for achieving each one."
Did I miss something? Is there a plan in there anywhere or just the demand for a plan?
Now the guy who was previously up to his knees in war plans, Donald Rumsfeld, has been conspicuous by his absence lately. Either he and our warmongering Vice President have had a falling-out or he’s just politically astute enough to know when it’s time to hunker in the bunker and keep a low profile.
So, Scott, just exactly what strong consensus is building in Washington? If it’s in favor of President Bush’s strategy for victory in Iraq, it seems only fair to let all us ordinary Joes in on how that winning strategy plays out. I’m ready for a winning strategy. The President needs one. If it’s there and you all are excited about Joe Biden’s voice in the debate, then there must be a debate going on that escaped my attention.
I’ve seen some stonewalling. I’ve heard our president say “we do not torture” at the same time his vice-president was trying to keep torture on the books. I’ve heard about Eastern European secret detention facilities and read about the several-times-daily car bombings in Iraq. I’ve seen and you have as well, the reports of this or that political assassination, but the Bush plan that expects to forge political compromises between Iraqi factions, doesn’t seem to be able to keep them alive, much less forged.
Tomorrow, we are promised (or at least tantalized by) the speculation that Bush will make all these collaborative plans known to us in a speech he plans for the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. It’s an inescapable fact that, whatever those ‘plans’ might turn out to be, they are driven not by circumstances on the ground or even what passes for Bush policy. They are driven, at the point of a congressional sword, by next year’s mid-term elections. Several days ago, Annapolis suffered a fire in its historic downtown area and several buildings were burned out.
Sometimes the President has all the luck. Now he has a perfect backdrop for his speech.