Bush To Address Nation: Token “Drawdown” To Underscore Indefinite War

Well, we’ve been waiting for this moment for some time now, the President is now less than two hours away from addressing the nation in regards to the Iraq War.  I’ve got CNN.com in the background telling me they’ll be providing a webcast of the speech, so barring catastrophy I will be liveblogging the speech.

But first, a little preview.

No one expects to be surprised tonight.  As has been frequently commented both here, and throughout both the blogosphere and the mainstream punditry, this is merely the final scene of this act of Kabuki theater that is the Iraq War.

But what about the first scene?  Editor and Publisher takes a look back at all the now broken promises that Bush offered us at the beginning of the year:

With President Bush reportedly ready to endorse a full continuation of the “surge” in Iraq through next summer in a speech to the nation tonight, a look back at what he promised in his address last January might prove illuminating, especially concerning “benchmarks.”

The president said then, “I’ve made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this….

“To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq’s constitution.”

None of this happened

Go read the rest; the go into much more detail on all the goals we failed to meet during this epoch of “the Surge”.

But even this lack of progress was not unexpected, and since that first speech at the beginning of the year, what we have been a party to has been little more than a scripted play.  Progress coming hard, the PR machine out of the White House has kicked into drive pulling out all the stops, from the old classic of skewing data, to the other old classic of moving goalposts.

The climax of this thriller occurred just a couple of days ago when Patraeus and Crocker delivered their “report” to Congress, continuing on the fine traditions of cherry picking data to paint just the right picture.

Meanwhile, political prognosticators such as myself have been ready to throw down the predictions.  Enough of a drawdown to hopefully keep the people at bay while making another call for permanent war (AKA the “Korean” model) in Iraq.

The only thing left now is the final speech, a technicality that will begin a mere ninety minutes from now.

I’ll be here with my Diet Dr. Pepper and chewing Tobacco, ready to fact check and mock on cue, which, given how repetitive this stuff is anymore, I can pretty much do from memory, blindfolded, and with my pinkies taped to my ring fingers.

Hopefully, you’ll join me for the fun.

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