What is the deal with President Bush trying to play both sides of the Iraq War fence lately? A couple of weeks ago, Bush said we were definitely winning in Iraq. Then, a day or so ago, Bush was asked if we were still winning and he said that we weren't winning, but we weren't losing.
And we thought John Kerry flip flopped more than an IHOP cook on speed working straight commission?
Bush's recent statement was monumentally stupid on a couple of levels. Obviously, his critics are going to jump on the first half of his statement to say, "See? Even President Bush says we're losing! We've been right all along!" And believe me they have no problem twisting what the President says and does to "prove" their point. Case in point: Michael Moore in "Fahrenheit 911" which wasn't so much of a documentary as it was a series of anti-Bush statements and half-truths wrapped in something that kinda-sorta looked like a documentary. To claim we're winning and losing at the same time only helps those who are predisposed to oppose the war effort. Dumb.
But the true stupidity of the statement can be seen when we consider what this does to the troops. A leader is someone who inspires others to follow his vision. Bush had that after 9/11 and has squandered it with statements that were either half-hearted or, in this case, contradictory. The soldiers on the ground don't want to feel as though their sacrifices aren't worth anything. They get that sentiment enough from the Democrats in this country. They don't need it from their President, the President that brought war against Iraq in the first place.
I know what the President is trying to do, but let's be honest. Iraq hasn't gone exactly as planned because I feel we underestimated how deep in Saddam's back pocket some of our allies in Europe and Russia were and how crooked the United Nations was. But to say we are losing in Iraq, even if it's followed with a statement to the effect that we're winning is wrong. We are winning in Iraq. You want to see evidence of that? Pick up this week's Newsweek, where they are admitting the Iraqi economy is booming and the government is thinking about implementing tax cuts. For a country allegedly in the throes of civil war, a booming economy is the last thing the anti-war side wants to see, but it's happening. Bush should be out front saying, "You chumps think we're losing? Newsweek says the Iraqi economy is expanding. Take that, you surrender monkeys!"
Of course, that would mean Bush would have to be willing to defend the earlier statement he made, which was far closer to the truth than people care to admit.