But let us assume, just for the sake of argument, that Blair and Cheney are correct about things going pretty well around Basra, and that everybody else is wrong. If that were the case, then why wouldnâ€™t the British agree to simply shift their remaining forces to the more violent Baghdad, where they could reinforce Bushâ€™s Surge? Blair, in his remarks to Parliament the other day, never even mentioned that optionâ€¦because it is politically untenable back home.
All of which is further proof that the term â€œcoalition forces,â€ a staple of cable TV news, is a misnomer. By late summer, after the latest British drawdown and a scheduled pullout by Poland, and a scheduled pullout of Danish ground forces, the tally of non-American troops will total roughly 11,800. Thatâ€™s only enough people to fill half the seats at a Sixers basketball game in Philadelphia. And, at most, thatâ€™s only 10 percent of all the troops in Iraq; by late summer, Bush will be supplying, at a minimum, the other 90 percent.
And the uber-President continues to insist that things are going well.
Which prompts the question: Do they lie to themselves as much as they lie to the rest of us?