WASHINGTON, DC - On the heels of President Bush’s address to the nation Wednesday night in which he formally announced his plan for a surge of roughly 20,000 additional U.S. troops in Iraq, pundits, politicians and everyday Americans have been weighing in on the number of chances Bush might have left to fight his war.
One of the first to throw his hat into this debate was Hardball host Chris Matthews. “This surge thing, this High Noon, Battle of the Bulge, John Wayne, Iwo Jima, Mary Poppins, Hail Mary, Scent of a Woman, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, one last good ol' American try - this will be, I think, the president’s fourth-to-last chance,” Mathews opined. “First, if in six months to a year it hasn’t fully worked, the president can tell the American people the plan is in place but we need more time. We can’t bail now.” Matthews went on to explain, “Then six months or so later, he can say it’s just beginning to come together – can’t pullout now. Several months after that, he can sack Maliki’s government, say it’s all their fault things are slow going. Then the president has pretty much taken us to the end of his term in office. Bingo. Mission accomplished. And with Jeb’s political future already in the toilet, the president can just blame Jeb – I mean, why not? What has Jeb really done to help the Iraq policy, anyway. I think the president will be able to make the case for that. Iraq was Jeb’s fault. Maybe he should’ve stepped up when it counted. But he didn’t. Meanwhile, his brother George did everything in his power to win it. Ha!”
In his latest syndicated column, George Will remarked, “Though I may differ in substance with the strategic and epistemological underpinnings driving President Bush’s new direction in Iraq, faced as he is with the febrile chorus of hand-wringing naysayers who have fashioned no plan of their own, I must say I admire the president’s tenacious Hobbesian pluck.” Will added, “History reveals that valor oftentimes trumps common sense. And though one can link a tragic causality to such heretofore instances in our human narrative, the consequent Shakespearean resonance rewards us all and mends the mortal wounds of those warriors who have the misfortune to fall on the swords of injustice. George W. Bush must be credited for this. We owe him that much. To betray this pact is to embrace an innately plebian mistrust of monarchical magnanimity. With this new direction, the president has earned, if not a blank check, then a generous donation, at least ostensibly, of time unfettered by anything less than sanguine faith and the brotherhood of noble intentions.”
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, though moving toward the center recently, also came out to back the president’s new plan in Iraq. In released excerpts from an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that will be aired this Sunday morning, Schwarzenegger said, “Based on my experience - whether as Conan in Conan the Barbarian when I avenged the death of my parents by beheading Thulsa Doom, or playing the relentless Terminator, or turning Sub-Zero into plain zero in The Running Man when I strangled him with the barbed wire, even with my role in Kindergarten Cop - you never shrink from a fight. That only emboldens your enemy. When that puny schoolchild tried to tell me I had a tumor, I got right in his flabby little face and defiantly shot back, “It’s not a tumor.” The president needs all of our support. We can’t leave Iraq like losermen. Sarah Connor in The Terminator knew that, one day, the fate of the free world would depend on her son, John. Right now Prime Minister Maliki is the Iraqi Sarah Connor. He must ready his nation of sons against the insurgent machines. Also there can be no rigid timeframe on success. There must always be room for sequels.”
MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan, appearing on Joe Scarborough’s Scarborough Country, noted the tear President Bush shed during a Medal of Honor ceremony this week in which a fallen U.S. soldier posthumously received the award. “Joe, I may not be in favor of the president’s new direction in Iraq, but you can bet that his show of emotion at that ceremony was a formidable tactical strike.” His voice rising, Buchanan explained, “I can tell you this now, and I’ll be the first to predict it - for every tear the president sheds you can tack another six months onto the war in Iraq. Joe, I don’t know if Rove tossed sand in his eyes before the ceremony or slipped him some Natural Tears. Whatever the case, Joe, the president may not have the troops, but, with inducement, he just might have the tears to ensure his policy in Iraq remains on track.”
Though some critics, and most Americans in recent polls, believe any increase of troops should first be approved by Congress, gym teacher and Civil War enthusiast Bob Jensen of Wilmington, Delaware, fully supports the president and has carved the image of George W. Bush’s face into the northern façade of his house to convince others to join him.
“You wouldn’t believe how difficult that was to do in aluminum siding. All of my neighbors said, ‘Bob, you’re crazy. Not just for supporting the president’s surge, but for carving his face in aluminum siding with a friggin’ Swiss Army knife.’ But I just think it’s the least I could do,” said Jensen, who without provocation then dropped and did fifty chest-to-the-ground push-ups before climbing back into his Army-green Hummer and driving off.