I've been conned again by the Bush administration. One reason I was skeptical of the surge was its very low troop levels. I couldn't see how a mere 17,500 new troops would change the dynamic in any meaningful way. And it hasn't. Yes, we've seen some calm in Baghdad, as Shiite militias lie low, but we've also seen stepped up Sunni violence in Baghdad's periphery. Now, in response to "whack-a-mole," it appears that Petraeus wants another full brigade. When you add that to the extra 4,600 announced March 10, the surge is now just shy of 30,000 more troops. Rich Lowry claims vindication. Huh? The only vindication is that Lowry believed that Bush was lying back in January, and Lowry, it appears, was right. Why did Bush "low-ball," i.e. deceive us about the numbers? My best bet is that he thought if he actually told people we'd be sending 30,000 more troops (and maybe more), Americans would balk. I would have been more impressed, of course, and more inclined to support it. But this is beside the point. The point is: why is it beyond this president to tell the truth to the American people in wartime?
Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.