It has been an open secret for weeks that President Bush would reject the message of the American people from the November 7 elections, along with the advice of savvy military strategists and foreign affairs experts, and surge the United States military deeper into the Iraq quagmire.
Now, as the President prepares to confirm his commitment to carry on in the wrong direction, with tonight’s primetime address to the American people, Bush’s White House has begun to leak details of how many more troops will be dispatched to Iraq–and, even more significant, how quickly those troops will be moved into position.
According to White House counselor Dan Bartlett, Bush will announce that he plans to commit an additional 21,500 US combat troops to the Iraq fight. Specifically, according to breakdowns provided by the White House, 4,000 more Marines will be sent to the violence-torn Anbar Province, while 17,500 more troops will be dispatched to the hell that is Baghdad.
According to the White House, the first new US brigade will hit the ground in Iraq by Monday. The next brigade is expected to arrive by February 15, while additional brigades continuing to enter the country at 30-day increments.
By moving so quickly, the President essentially pushes Congress aside. This is, at least to some extent, the fault of the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate, which has known for weeks that the President was moving in the direction of a surge but which has failed to develop a coherent response.
But make no mistake, the Bush White House is not merely implementing a military strategy with regard to Iraq tonight. It is also implementing a political strategy with regard to Capitol Hill.
The President who has failed to consult with Congress throughout has decided to implement an immediate surge in hopes that it will become a reality before the House and Senate hold hearings, debate or take even the most minimal steps to check and balance his mad schemes.
John Nichols’ new book, The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and at
The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and at