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27 December 2006

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I vigorously disagree with much of what you wrote in this post. First, I disagree the President is "bullheaded". Which, as you note, can be seen as a virtue. In the right doses at the right times. I think the President is behaving in a mean spirited, self centered, and selfish, childlike manner. He is putting his own personal need to deny reality ahead of the good of the nation.

Second, it is, I believe, less a question of what he was told about Iraq...than about what he wanted to believe. Most of the events that manifest themselves in Iraq were predictable to even the most casual observer of the ME. No, it was dramatically much less about what he heard...than it was about what conclusions he reached on his own. His famous 'gut instinct'. After he had made up his mind on what he knew it really did not matter what he was told.

And finally, I don't think this is a "hell of gamble". Gamble implies it has a chance to work. I don't believe that. If we look at the timeline of the Kagan/Keane/Bush plan (assuming that is the plan they are going with) the entire thing won't come to head (so they think, anyway, I have a hunch it may come to a head sooner, and in ways they have not anticipated) till the fall of 2007. Then if they can milk it a bit more, in to 2008, they will say 'well, you can't change course now, it would be unfair to the next President' or some such nonsense like that.

No, this is no gamble from their perspective. This is about them getting out of office without the 21st century photo op equivalent of someone dangling from the landing pad of a chopper, being airlifted out of the green zone.

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