Tony Snow got things started early yesterday, telling a national television audience that Bush was embracing a “new way” on Iraq. “Some want us to take a new look at the way we’re doing things, which is exactly what’s taking place,” Snow said, adding, “This is not the beginning of the end, it’s the beginning of a new way…. That’s why we’re coming up with a new strategy.”
Some officers and midlevel officials have been telling me and other reporters that President George W. Bush is preparing to give in on Iraq—to recognize that victory is no longer feasible, that the "surge" isn't working, and that it's time to cut back U.S. troop levels and shift strategy once more.
After watching Bush's speech in Cleveland this afternoon, I can only conclude that this prediction—like all the similar predictions of an impending drawdown these past three years—is wishful thinking.
The president seemed, as much as ever, committed to the war, certain of liberty's inevitable triumph, and deluded about the nature and direction of the conflict.
If there's going to be a change, it'll have to come from Congress. The Webb Amendment would be a good start.