I'm a litle slack-jawed at this quote from Bush in a confab with a handful of journalistic handmaidens:
"[L]ast fall, if I had been part of this polling, if they had called upstairs and said, do you approve of Iraq I would have been on the 66 percent who said, 'No I don’t approve.' That's why I made the decision I made. To get in a position where I would be able to say 'Yes, I approve.'"
I wonder if he would have voted Democrat, like so many of the non-approvers did. But the news in the story is that Bush intends somehow to ignore military reality and not abide by necessary troop rotations and draw down in the spring:
President Bush rejected the notion that he will be constrained by the availability of troops come next spring and will have to draw down the surge. He said, with a pointed ending to his answer, "The key factor that I'm confident that David Petraeus is looking at as he comes back is how to achieve the initial objective he set out, which is to provide enough security for the political process to move forward. I'm sure that in the bowels of the Pentagon people are looking at troop rotations and troop movements, but that is not the primary objective of our commander on the groundnext question."
Asked specifically if that meant that Petraeus would get the troops to continue past the spring if he needed them, he said, "We will work as hard as we can. People said we couldn’t find the troops for the last reinforcement as well," but he added that he’s mindful of troop rotations and time in theater.
He said, eventually, "We need to be in a position that can sustain a long-term troop presence," although that depends on "conditions on the ground."
"A long-term troop presence." He intends to go nowhere. He's the kind of person who, when he sees a wall, accelerates towards it. But it's not his car.