Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Same Time, Next Year

I always look forward to the State of the Union and shortly after it begins forget why. The speeches themselves are well below the average hot convention speech or presidential address to the nation prompted by tragedy or political necessity, although President Clinton, with visible glee, used the forum in a traditional way to trot out wild and crazy ideas guaranteed to go nowhere.

At least this one didn't begin with the tired boilerplate: "The State of the Union (is excellent! is superb! has never been better!). But Bush could not help himself from making an insider's jab as is his wont by referring to the "Democrat Party" -- which drives the Democrats nuts -- although published transcripts based on the released version says "Democratic Party."

There is very little to dissect, but I can't help but think if Bush's next, and last, SotU will be any different.

Iraq came up late in the speech, and wasn't mentioned in passing. As the NY Times reports:
In an admission that the United States now finds itself trapped in the cross-fire of a sectarian conflict, Mr. Bush said, “This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in.” While he insisted that America could not afford to fail, he also warned the Iraqi government that “our commitment is not open-ended.”
What if The Surge works even a little bit? What if the Democratic-led Congress cannot bring itself to drop the defunding bomb? What if al-Malaki perfects his carrot-and-stick routine? What if Iran realizes that provocation, but not all-out provocation, keeps the United States just where it wants it?

If the U.S. military commitment is not materially different in a year's time, what will we hear then?

No comments: