Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
December 13, 2006
With every day a wasting, with the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq now standing at 2,920 and climbing, Bush is dawdling.
The decider can’t seem to decide what to do about Iraq.
He is too prideful, too headstrong, too macho, too ignorant, and too foolish to do the sensible thing, which happens to be what a majority of the American people want, and that’s to set a timetable for withdrawal and get out of there.
No, that’s not on Bush’s agenda.
He’s already torn up the fig leaf that James Baker gave him to exit stage right.
Bush is crazy enough to still think he can wrest victory from the jaws of defeat, when he’s just going to end up throwing more bodies into those bloody jaws.
My bet is that he’s postponed his big speech till after the holidays because he doesn’t want to dampen this season of cheer by announcing that he’s planning on upping the troop levels.
Only 12 percent of the American people are in favor of that, according to an LA Times/Bloomberg poll this week.
But Bush and Cheney don’t care what the American people want.
As Cheney said, right before the election, “It may not be popular with the public—it doesn’t matter.”
The hubris that Bush and Cheney exhibited on the way into Iraq will soon be on full display again as they drag this country deeper into the morass, against the wishes of the American people and against the wishes of the Iraqi people.