'The Decider' Decides to Punt


President Bush is not the decider even though he told us so in plain English.

Speaking to a business group in Cleveland, Bush said any decision on troop withdrawal in Iraq would be decided by commanders in the field—not in Washington. He is taking a hike.

Forget that Bush is the commander in chief and those same commanders are under him. He has recused himself from that role.

Even though some previously loyal Republicans in Congress are jumping ship, Bush continues his stubborn stand. He urges patience. He wants to wait until September to rethink his strategy. When September rolls around, it is likely he will seek more patience and time.

Again, the president is ducking the real issue. With much macho, he told the nation he was a decider who would make the tough decisions. How many think he has lived up to that vow?

Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, a Democrat seeking his party's presidential nomination, is far back in the polls. But he tells it like it is in Iraq: Get our soldiers out of this damnable sectarian war.

Biden is often ridiculed for his gabby speaking manner, and he pleads guilty. However, he is right on this and should continue to plead with senators to take a bold stand.

Henry Kissinger, a sometime adviser to the White House, warned against regional chaos if our troops leave. Kissinger was wrong about Vietnam in the Nixon and Ford eras. He is a predictable hawk who always sees the sky falling.

Now a former decider, Bush has yielded ground to the brass hats. He again asks for patience as more blood and treasure are spent in Iraq.


A word about cartoonist Doug Marlette, who died Tuesday at 57 in acar accident in Mississippi. Doug was a onetime colleague at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with a real talent.

A lunch with Doug was a real hoot. He was interested in every subject from sports to science. He was an equal opportunity annoyer with his cartoons. If you branded him a liberal, you were wrong. He could singe liberals as well as conservatives.

As the song goes, only the good die young.