Bush’s Talk in Cleveland: Don’t Believe the Head Fake

Lawrence J. Korb discusses Bush’s speech.

Facing growing opposition at home to his Iraq strategy, President Bush heads to Cleveland today in an effort to buy more time and run out the clock on his failed policies. He is trying to give the appearance that he will scale down U.S. troops in Iraq and possibly reduce the scope of the mission if security conditions improve, while still rejecting calls to change course.

Americans should not take the bait and fall for yet another head fake from President Bush. Throughout the last four years in Iraq, the Bush administration has repeatedly sent false signals regarding a possible strategic change in Iraq, and then ultimately failed to deliver on these promised changes. President Bush has made it clear time and time again that he plans to hand off the Iraq mess to his successor, saying last year, “We’re not leaving so long as I am the president.”

This is a pivotal week in the country’s Iraq debate. A strong majority of Americans oppose President Bush’s policy, and seven in 10 now support removing nearly all U.S. troops by next April.

Congress is considering a range of alternative Iraq strategies this week, but it should not settle for anything less than a major strategic shift in course, as proposed in “Strategic Reset,” a new plan for Iraq and the Middle East released by the Center for American Progress.

For more information:

Strategic Reset: Reclaiming Control of U.S. Security in the Middle East