The press is portraying this as a "tectonic shift," which is what they've been saying about Warner's every utterance for the last three years. It's ridiculous. I don't know if the Great God Petraeus will say that the surge is working so well that we can redeploy 5,000 troops, but I wouldn't be surprised, would you? (Particularly since it's highly likely that 5,000 troops are scheduled to be redeployed anyway.)
The administration is mounting a multi-pronged public relations campaign to show "the surge" is working to shore up any wobbly congressmen. The NIE today reinforces the idea of surging progress. But that isn't the whole story. The NIE also says the political situation is a mess, which it is. Today we find out that Bush's lobbyist allies are now working to depose Maliki and install their favorit puppet Ilyad Allawi. And John "tectonic shift" Warner, (who said that he would not vote with the Democratic withdrawal proposals) also said in his little speech that Prime Minister Maliki is not doing a heckuva job and we need to pressure him to knock some Iraqi heads together (or "somebody" finds someone who will.) And he even admits that is the reason he's calling for withdrawing a few thousand troops. Conventional wisdom seems to be gelling that the problem is Maliki.
Except, of course, it isn't.
Sadly, it appears that more than a few Democrats are going to help the administration buy more time by first agreeing that the surge is working and then actually leading the charge for Bush's next delaying tactic by jumping on the "Maliki is failing our troops" bandwagon.
Labels: 5000 troops, Iraq, kabuki, surge