Jan 12, 2007

[US] The New Way Forward?

Image Source: CNN.comThings came to a head yesterday when President Bush finally made his big speech on his proposed New Way Forward for Iraq, the name they've given the supposedly "new" strategy. The buzz had been building up all week as soon as it had been leaked to the press that the proposal included the much-maligned "surge" of 20,000 US tropps, a number that firmly resolved itself as 21,500 prior to the big speech Wednesday night, US time.

Of course after the big speech come new of the global community's reaction to this plan. Of course Iran and Syria aren't happy since Dubya all but convicted them of aiding terrorist cells operating in Iraq. We never expected the Democrats to love this idea - they've been talking against it all week - but even some Republicans have expressed concerns.

I felt it wasn't Bush's best speech yet - I'm not talking about the content but more of the delivery here. He had a number of slips and slurs here and there whereas he's usually a bit more polished that he was Wednesday night - something that speaks of how last minute this was in terms of everything coming together.

He's definitely grasping at straws here - sticking to his guns is a difficult move at this time when clearly public opinion is against him and Congress is no longer friendly to him. While Congressional leaders have stated they will not employ their "power of the purse strings" just yet, they defintely have that option in the long run. Their propose resolution meant to act as a political thermometer of who is for or against the Bush plan is the first of many potential steps House leaders are going to take to systematically hedge the president in and force a change of a different sort in terms of Iraq foreign policy.

21,500 troops isn't much and too much of this plan gambles on Iraw suddenly changing and becoming more accountable for security in their own country, something we've not seen any clear indication of in recent months. Will this anger the local militia groups? Without a doubt, and of course this will trigger more violence and more deaths.

There's little that is truly "new" about this way forward. I feel they're just putting more wood on the fire, so to speak. This will not really end anything right away - we're only going to build things up further. Then what'll happen? What new forward will be left to us then?

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