It seems like change is in the air. Everywhere I turn these days, someone is talking about change. What I'm hearing, Bush, is that you yourself are contemplating this dread word. Stay the course is out. It's all about change. You're rushing everywhere, hither and yon, to create the impression of seeking the advice you never wanted in the past.
But change, of course, is just another word. The Bush lexicon is known to include quite a number of terms whose meaning is the opposite of what we ordinary, error-prone, English-speaking mortals have come to expect. The context in which I hear you utter the word "change" these days does not bode well for its welfare either. I very much fear that "change" has become another euphemism for "stay the course."
"Success" is the word with which I hear it frequently associated on your lips, and I suspect that "success" is the new word for "victory"--now banned, presumably since your Gates admitted right out loud for everyone to hear that we are not winning the war against the insurgents in Iraq: "No"--his plain, one-word answer to the question posed by a senator at his approval hearing--"no" leaves little room for ambiguity or doubt. "Success" may be a fraction easier to achieve than "victory", and a whole lot easier to sell to the American public.
It seems to me, Bush, that you're attempting what I might call the Jack Horner strategy. Remember the nursery rhyme? It goes like this:
Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie.
He put in his thumb
And pulled out a plum
And said, What a good boy am I!
Well, good luck finding that plum, Bush. Your Christmas pie is very short of goodies at this point. Increasingly, you're looking to the Iraqis themselves to solve the problem you created for them. Good luck with that. The track record is dismal. The Iraqi security forces, so-called, have amply proved themselves to be the source of sectarian violence, not the cure. The most this feckless bunch seem capable of is collecting weapons paid for by the American taxpayer and selling them, unused, in mint condition, to the highest bidder.
So tell me, Bush, just exactly how do you expect these folks to achieve what the greatest military in the history of the world has failed to achieve in three long years of conflict? Unless, of course, when the irritant of the American presence and the enabling agent of American arms and money are finally removed, they do prove, surprisingly, capable of restoring their nation to some semblance of sanity. They'll never do it, Bush, while we're still there to give them the excuse for all their troubles.