MORE SURGE….So what’s the president’s plan for the “surge”? Here’s Newsweek on the “real plan”:

The White House expects all the new troops to be deployed in Iraq. But they won’t go until the Iraqis have met several conditions — or benchmarks — to get the extra help they say they need….The White House expects that could take as long as six months, making the ramp-up of troops more of a stagger than a surge.

Really? Benchmarks first, then troops? Here’s the LA Times:

Interviewed this morning on CBS’ “The Early Show,” [Dan] Bartlett said Bush would emphasize that “America’s commitment is not open-ended, that benchmarks have to be met … both on the security side but, just as importantly, on the political side and the economic side.

….The Associated Press reported today that Bush plans to commit 17,500 U.S. troops to Baghdad, with the first of five brigades arriving by Monday. The next wave would land by Feb. 15 and the rest would be sent incrementally every 30 days.

Hmmm. Sounds like the same old schtick after all: troops first, and then benchmarks. And we really, really mean it this time. If the benchmarks aren’t met, we’ll….um….we’ll….set some new benchmarks! That’ll show ’em we mean business.

Wake me up when the speech is over, OK?

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