NOTHING NEW….There were a number of things worth commenting on in Bush’s speech tonight, but I guess the biggest thing that leapt out at me is also the simplest: he really didn’t make even a cursory effort to pretend that he was doing anything truly new. There was nothing about new military tactics, just an assertion that more troops would help us clear and hold neighborhoods. There was nothing very serious about reducing sectarian tension, just a laundry list of proposed Iraqi legislation accompanied by some platitudes about Prime Minister Maliki accepting responsibility for his own country. And there was nothing substantial about broader regional initiatives, just the usual pro forma warnings delivered to Iran and Syria.
It took me a couple of minutes to digest this, but there’s nothing even remotely new here at all. Almost to the letter, it’s the same stuff we’ve been trying for the past three years, except with about 10% more troops than before. Does Bush really think the American public is going to find any of this very convincing?
UPDATE: There’s a little more detail here, but frankly, there’s still not much new.