Frank Rich declares the Iraq War over. The only thing left is will anybody tell Bush:
LIKE the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man?
The pentagon has been gone off the reservation, with the General in Iraq, Casey talking about withdrawing troops and a move to try and rename the "War on Terror."
Mr. Bush's top war strategists, starting with Mr. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, have of late tried to rebrand the war in Iraq as what the defense secretary calls "a global struggle against violent extremism." A struggle is what you have with your landlord. When the war's uber-managers start using euphemisms for a conflict this lethal, it's a clear sign that the battle to keep the Iraq war afloat with the American public is lost.
We also have the classic "senior official" quote in the Washington Post massively lowering expectations in Iraq:
The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.
But the realities of daily life are a constant reminder of how the initial U.S. ambitions have not been fulfilled in ways that Americans and Iraqis once anticipated. Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.
Barbers post signs saying they do not shave men, after months of barbers being killed by religious extremists. Ethnic or religious-based militias police the northern and southern portions of Iraq. Analysts estimate that in the whole of Iraq, unemployment is 50 percent to 65 percent.
The question is, will anybody tell Bush? Do we really need to tell him? Or will the Pentagon and the rest of his administration just let him prattle on about "Freedom is on the march" and "Stay the Course" as they pull troops out and try and salvage something from this entire fiasco. Time will tell.