The New York Times reveals today that President Bush, speaking Monday evening at a Republican Party fund-raiser, assured Republicans that, "There will be no early withdrawal so long as we run the Congress and occupy the White House."
This statement is "twisted" in the Washington sense of the word in that the keyword "early" is a word that we all think is simple enough for everybody to understand. But it isn't simple. In fact, with respect to Iraq, nobody outside of the inner White House circles of secrecy knows the real meaning of this word. At one point, early meant before Iraq was rid of its WMDs. At another point it meant before Saddam was captured. Then it meant before Iraq had a working government. But the meaning keeps on evolving into new and bigger objectives. Now absolutely nobody knows what this term means.
Unless you use a little common sense. The conspiracy theory is that Bush has no intention of ever withdrawing from Iraq so long as Republicans hold power in Washington. Essentially, that is exactly what Bush said Monday evening. Bush used the term "early withdrawal" as opposed to the clearer term "withdrawal" but any adult knows there is no difference between those two terms. Early withdrawal is any withdrawal that happens before both involved parties are thoroughly fucked. So in that light, Bush is simply confirming the conspiracy theory.
The new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow confirmed the second conspiracy theory. Think Progress reports on comments Snow made to the fact that the 2,500 US soldiers killed in Iraq number had been reached. Snow responded, "It’s a number, and every time there’s one of these 500 benchmarks people want something."
But then he went on with this:
And part of what happened this very week when the President went to Baghdad, and he sat down with the Prime Minister and he sat down with the cabinet, and he sat down with the President and Vice President, he sat down with the national security team, and he sat down with the leaders of all the major political parties, what he saw now is that after all of this, what you have in Iraq is a freestanding government that has been elected by the Iraqi people. It has a Prime Minister who is going to be there for four years, who is determined to act as a Prime Minister, who is determined to lead, who is setting priorities, and he’s somebody we can work with. You have a Minister of Defense who has significant experience and is already working with his colleagues, not only here at the Pentagon, but also General Casey and others in the field. The President understands that those deaths cannot be in vain, and you’ve got a government now that can help ensure that that is not the case.
Conspiracy theorists have been saying for years now that the Bush intention in Iraq was to set up a puppet government friendly to US interests. Tell me that's not what Snow just said. The deaths of all these US soldiers is justified because a government has been established in Iraq with a Prime Minister (Maliki) who is "somebody we can work with." The 2,500 US servicemen have not died in vain because Iraq now has a Minister of Defense who is working with his US military "colleagues" both in the Pentagon and on Iraqi soil.