Bush Iraq Game Plans: Rope-a-Dope and Stall

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President Bush's strategy in Iraq can be defined in sports terms of boxing (rope-a-dope) or in basketball before a shot clock (stall). He is playing for time, more time, and still more time.

His latest press conference was a case study in a leader who can't understand why most Americans are no longer with him on the war.

His latest press conference was a case study in a leader who can't understand why most Americans are no longer with him on the war.

His cover story never changes. Be patient. The commanders on the ground need more time. The "surge" just started.

By September, not much will change before we hear from General Petraeus again. There are too many holes in the military and political benchmarks set for the Iraqis.

If that scenario is right, Bush can be counted on to ask for more time—again.

That will be the real test for the Republicans in the Senate and House who have been willing to follow Bush off the gangplank. With the next election drawing ever closer, those GOP-ers whose necks are on the line will have to make up their minds.

There is no political worry for Bush. He is leaving office with the certainty that he is right and nearly two thirds of the nation is wrong.

Even more worrisome is Bush's continued contention that the war can be won (militarily) and a democracy can survive amid a brutal sectarian conflict. Is he dreaming? Iraq will never be a full-fledged democracy.

Republicans in Congress deserve to lose their seats if they stay this disastrous course.