Two simple points about Bush’s speech last night are making their way around the web.
1. If we are really cracking down on Maliki and insisting that he ends the sway of the militias, then we must be prepared to leave if he doesn’t, with our dreams of “victory” dashed. But Bush said yesterday that failure is not acceptable, implying that we aren’t leaving any time soon. So will there be accountability, or won’t there?
2. Why would Maliki crack down on al-Sadr when al-Sadr’s influence provides the votes that keep Maliki in power?
Read more at Talking Points Memo, who traces the thinking to Andrew Sullivan and John Derbyshire.
(One additional note: Bush said yesterday, as part of his murky explanation of why things will be different THIS time around, that Iraqi police will be increased in numbers and will start patroling the streets to better protect the local populace. Specifically, he said they will be “conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.” Honest to god, if I was a citizen of Baghdad, I’d be scared to death. Iraqi police already operate checkpoints and go door-to-door. That’s how they kill people.)